Discover The Palm Beaches, the official tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County, has appointed Milton Segarra, certified destination management executive (CDME), as president and CEO, effective October 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 organization 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 a range of promotional efforts in the history of Discover The Palm Beaches. These efforts resulted in new visitation records, top rankings in Florida’s tourism performance and record bed tax collections. To that effect, tourism’s economic impact in Palm Beach County surpassed $10 billion in 2022 for the first time. He also 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.
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 Coastal Mississippi and an “Innovation and Strategic Growth Business Plan.” He was also instrumental in the creation of the Mississippi Destination Marketing Organization Association. Prior to that, he was president and 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. He oversaw advertising and public relations campaign strategies and a network of representation offices in the U.S. and Europe.
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. He 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.
Segarra will focus on several key initiatives in FY’ 2023-24. He will work on the launch of a new brand campaign and build 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 to 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.