Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast, the regional DMO tasked with promoting tourism in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties in Mississippi, announced Milton Segarra as its new CEO. The appointment will be effective starting on Jan. 8, 2018.

“We took our time with the search to find the perfect candidate to bring the coast to the next level,” said Bill Holmes Sr., president of the Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast Board. “Our Board is confident that Milton is indeed the best qualified person to accomplish the goals set forth in the GoCoast 2020 initiative.”

Segarra, who most recently served as president and CEO of Meet Puerto Rico, sent a separate statement to meetings media outlets that said he would be stepping down from his current role with the Caribbean destination on Dec. 15, 2017.

“I have enjoyed my tenure at Meet Puerto Rico and am proud of all the work my team and I have accomplished here on behalf of my beautiful home,” Segarra said. “Leaving is bittersweet. However, I know I [am leaving] the meetings industry in good hands here with the future leadership of the DMO set to start in July 2018.”

Segarra brings over three decades in tourism, corporate and government experience to his new role at Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast. In his most recent role with Meet Puerto Rico, Segarra led a team of 29 and managed a budget of $6.2 million. He helped with a major rebranding effort and marketing campaigns for the destination, and was a prominent voice in the meetings media after Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria in September.

Segarra will be moving from Puerto Rico to the Mississippi coast with his wife and daughter for the role.