The Corporation for the Promotion of Puerto Rico as a Destination, or DMO, is moving “full steam ahead” to complete the establishment of the nonprofit organization by July 2018, as required by the law that created it earlier this year.
The DMO’s Chairman, Jon Borschow said the board spent several days in a “retreat” to define not only the organization’s focus, but also the vision, mission, and profiles for the positions of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to begin recruitment.
To achieve that, the DMO has contracted a specialized firm in search of executives in travel, tourism, hospitality and conventions, among others, he said.
After Hurricane María, the DMO has continued working, and in November launched a Request for Qualifications of the recruitment companies to hire the executives.
“After a thorough evaluation of the companies that answered our call, the DMO’s Board chose SearchWide as the company responsible for the recruitment of these important positions for the operation of the organization,” he said.
“SearchWide has 18 years of experience in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, as well as 37 other DMOs in its client portfolio. We’re confident that they will get the best talent for Puerto Rico,” Borschow added.
SearchWide is a Minnesota-based firm with regional offices in Arizona, Washington, DC, New York, Cincinnati and Texas. Its client portfolio includes (in addition to 37 DMO’s) 13 hotels and 12 convention centers and other facilities.
The company’s CEO, Mike Gamble, has been participating in the DMO’s meetings to discuss the profiles that will be sought for the positions of CEO, CFO, and CMO.
“We’re thoroughly impressed with the Puerto Rico DMO board, and its commitment and passion is contagious,” Gamble said.
“The search for their CEO, CMO and CFO is critically important and comes at a pivotal time of rebuilding and rebranding,” he added. “SearchWide appreciates the confidence to lead the search and plans to move quickly on these important positions.”
“Our priority is to fill the position of CEO so that the person chosen can participate in the selection process of the CFO and CEO,” Borschow said. “They’re going to be essential part of the team and they need to be connect and adapt from the first day.”
The DMO has already begun negotiations with the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. to define the DMO’s service contract.
“We established the elements to guide the negotiations so that the process is carried out with agility and transparency, fulfilling the goal of launching the DMO in July 2018,” Borschow said.
Tourism Co. Executive Director José Izquierdo said “the implementation of the DMO has been part of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s platform. During the retreat, we have managed to join efforts to establish the principles of the institutional strategy and establish a shared destination vision among the members of the DMO.”
All of the DMO’s board members took part, or were represented, during the working retreat.