Cision PR Newswire

Discover The Palm Beaches Announces New President and Chief Executive Officer

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County, proudly announces the appointment of Milton Segarra, Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME), as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective Oct. 1. This appointment follows the retirement of long-time industry veteran Jorge Pesquera, who has led the organization for the past 16 years.

Since joining the destination in the fall of 2022 as chief marketing officer, Segarra has effectively led the marketing team through the approval of a "success continuation plan" that accelerated the implementation of the widest range of promotional efforts in the history of Discover The Palm Beaches. These efforts successfully resulted in new visitation records, top rankings in Florida's tourism performance and record bed tax collections. Tourism's economic impact in Palm Beach County surpassed $10 billion in 2022 for the first time. He has applied his extensive hotel and destination marketing background toward innovative forecasting models while fine-tuning tactical investments by geographic and demographic segments to achieve these record results.

"Milton is a seasoned and proven leader with decades of experience, having delivered significant results, growth in revenue, and advancing tourism at other successful destinations.  I am certain he will continue that trajectory in The Palm Beaches," said Jason Emmett, chair of Discover The Palm Beaches' board of directors. "After conducting an extensive nationwide search, the search committee was unanimous in its recommendation to select Milton for this critical role. I know that the board is fully confident that his strategic approach and organizational knowledge will advance our vision of positioning The Palm Beaches as Florida's premier travel destination and further solidify our brand as America's First Resort Destination. There is no doubt that Milton will be an excellent leader for Discover The Palm Beaches, maintaining our position in Florida, ensuring resident and community support for tourism, and enhancing our brand awareness on a global scale."

Prior to his role with Discover The Palm Beaches, Segarra led the Coastal Mississippi Tourism Board, where he spearheaded the creation of multiple initiatives, including a true destination community-built brand, Coastal Mississippi, and an Innovation and Strategic Growth Business Plan.  He was instrumental in the creation of the Mississippi Destination Marketing Organization Association, which successfully implemented statewide efforts to secure federal COVID-19 funds for tourism. As a result, Coastal Mississippi consistently ranked among the top three performing destinations in the nation after COVID-19. Previously, he was President & CEO at Meet Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Convention Bureau), where he oversaw a major brand transition, as well as digital marketing, and social media initiatives to position Puerto Rico as one of the premier destinations in the Caribbean for meetings and conventions. He also oversaw advertising and public relations campaign strategies and a network of representation offices in the U.S. and Europe. He led Meet Puerto Rico to new heights, surpassing sales goals and key marketing metrics, while increasing membership for the organization. Segarra achieved significant increases in bookings, room nights and hospitality partnerships during his tenure at these organizations.

Segarra's background also includes tenure as Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and a cabinet position as Secretary of Economic Development for Puerto Rico. Segarra has experience in the hotel industry where he held senior sales, revenue and marketing positions with Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and Sands Hotels and Casinos. His experience also includes leadership positions in the healthcare and technology industries.

"I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Jorge Pesquera, who truly has been a remarkable leader and accomplished so much for Palm Beach County and the tourism industry overall," said Segarra. "I am excited to continue to work with an incredibly talented and diverse team, a terrific board, and a wonderful community to position The Palm Beaches as one of the world's premier tourist destinations. I genuinely believe this destination is second to none and look forward to major achievements and milestones in the years ahead."

Segarra will focus on several key initiatives in FY' 2023-2024, including transforming The Palm Beaches visitor experience by integrating meaningful brand evolution with revolutionary marketing technology. He will also work on the launch of a new brand campaign and building on the success of previous marketing, sales, community engagement, and organizational sustainability initiatives. Plans include expanding strategic marketing partnerships, and further developing MarTech tools to predict "need periods" and influence hotel demand through tactical investments. Additionally, Discover The Palm Beaches will play a lead role in the launch of a Tourism Master Plan that will create a product development and marketing roadmap for Palm Beach County's tourism industry over the next 10-20 years. He will also initiate the development of Discover The Palm Beaches' new strategic plan in tandem with the county-wide Tourism Master Plan and DestinationNEXT (Destination International's global study on key trends impacting destination organizations). Segarra will also continue to oversee the implementation of an accessibility strategic plan, as well as championing diversity, equity, and inclusion and sustainability initiatives.

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