Milton Segarra has been promoted as the new president and Chief Executive Officer for Discover The Palm Beaches. Segarra, a Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME), assumed following the retirement of Jorge Pesquera, who has led the organization for the past 16 years.
Since joining Discover The Palm Beaches as Chief Marketing Officer in the fall of 2022, Segarra has led the marketing team by approving a “success continuation plan.” This plan accelerated the implementation of the widest range of promotional efforts in the history of Discover The Palm Beaches, resulting in new visitation records, top rankings in Florida’s tourism performance, and record bed tax collections. With his extensive hotel and destination marketing background, Segarra applied 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,” Jason Emmett says, Chair of Discover The Palm Beaches’ Board of Directors. “I am certain he will continue that trajectory in The Palm Beaches. After conducting an extensive nationwide search, the search committee unanimously recommended that Milton be selected 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.”
Before joining Discover The Palm Beaches, Milton Segarra was head of the Coastal Mississippi Tourism Board. He introduced several initiatives during his tenure, including the Coastal Mississippi destination community-built brand and an Innovation and Strategic Growth Business Plan. Segarra was also instrumental in establishing the Mississippi Destination Marketing Organization Association, which successfully secured federal COVID-19 funds for tourism. Under his leadership, Coastal Mississippi consistently ranked among the top three performing destinations in the nation after COVID-19. Segarra previously held the position of President & CEO at Meet Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Convention Bureau), overseeing a significant brand transition and implementing digital marketing and social media initiatives. He also supervised advertising and public relations campaign strategies and a network of representation offices in the U.S. and Europe. He led Meet Puerto Rico to surpass sales goals and significantly increase bookings, room nights, and hospitality partnerships.
During his career, Segarra has held various leadership positions across multiple industries. He served as the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and held a cabinet position as Secretary of Economic Development for Puerto Rico. He also gained experience in the hotel industry, holding senior sales, revenue, and marketing positions with notable brands such as Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, and Sands Hotels and Casinos. Additionally, Segarra has held 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,” Segarra says. “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.”
In the upcoming fiscal year of 2023-2024, he will focus on initiatives including integrating meaningful brand evolution with revolutionary marketing technology to transform the visitor experience of The Palm Beaches. He plans to launch a new brand campaign and build on the success of previous marketing, sales, community engagement, and organizational sustainability initiatives. Furthermore, he plans to expand strategic marketing partnerships and develop MarTech tools to predict “need periods” and influence hotel demand through tactical investments. In addition, Discover The Palm Beaches will play a crucial role in launching 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. Segarra will also develop Discover The Palm Beaches’ new strategic plan with the county-wide Tourism Master Plan and DestinationNEXT (Destination International’s global study on critical trends impacting destination organizations). He will continue to oversee the implementation of an accessibility strategic plan, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion and sustainability initiatives.
Photo courtesy of Discover The Palm Beaches