But while the Florida native cuts an impressive
industry profile, many don’t know of the truly heart-warming, and maybe a bit brave, good works he does to
help the most vulnerable in our society—children.
For the last seven years, Aguel has combined his love
of motorcycling with a drive for giving back via his work
with Bikers Against Child Abuse, or BACA, which helps
victims of child abuse navigate the often terrifying process
presented by the legal system.
“I’ve had a passion for motorcycles for a long time,”
Aguel said. “I own a couple of Harleys. That’s my own
personal form of recreation I give myself—the freedom
of riding on the road with the wind in your face. It’s fun,
Formed in 1997, BACA’s mission is to empower
abused children that have to confront their tormentors
in court, which is a horrifying ordeal for kids who have
experienced physical and sexual abuse.
“The organization, when it began, recognized that
children love motorcycles—they all do,” Aguel said.
“But how can they find the courage to deal with the
legal process, to testify against perpetrators?”
Welcoming the kids into the BACA family seems to
be the best tactic, it turns out.
“The BACA family shows up at their home with a lot
of motorcycles—we call it an Adoption Ceremony—
and brings them into our motorcycle organization with
a vest and a patch, gives them a road name and assigns
members to be in touch with them every week,” Aguel
explained. “We’ll be in touch with them for depositions
if they have fear, and bikers will show up at their home
if they feel insecure, and ultimately until they have to go
to court to testify.”
Because of the nature of the legal system, BACA is
sometimes one of the only allies the child has when go-
ing through the frequently traumatizing court process.
“The perpetrator’s friends or family could be in court,
but many times family and friends can’t,” Aguel pointed
out. “But they will see the bikers there, and then they can
feel more secure testifying, and hopefully it results in a
conviction. It’s a very unique mission and it has really
made a difference in the lives of thousands of children,
24 Meetings Today // 08.16
You may have seen him on the “big stage” at many a meetings industry event, in his past role as chair of
MPI or as part of a panel of experts
on myriad subjects. Befitting
his 35-year career in sales,
marketing and executive positions
serving the meetings industry in
top organizations, Visit Orlando
President & CEO George Aguel
certainly doesn’t lack for exposure.
By Tyler Davidson