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Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Executive appointments at CPB, Serafina Beach Hotel

Alfonso Robles

In this edition of Climbing the Corporate Ladder, there are appointments in government and private sector.

Robles returns to helm of CBP’s San Juan Field Operations
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the designation of Alfonso Robles as Director of Field Operations for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to return to Puerto Rico and to lead such a complex organization during some of the most challenging times this area has faced,” said Robles. “I hope to enhance the Nation’s safety, and look forward to lead the men and women of CBP in accomplishing an important public mission – enhancing our nation’s safety and security while at the same time fostering legitimate trade.”

Robles commenced his tenure during the weeks that hurricanes Irma and María impacted Puerto Rico and the USVI.

This is Robles’ second posting in Puerto Rico. He has 31 years of service working at CBP and the former U.S. Customs Service, in both operational and legal roles.

He previously served in San Juan as District Director during the 1990’s, and then as the inaugural Customs Management Center Director for the Caribbean Area. In both roles, he directed the operations of one of the busiest narcotics and money laundering enforcement areas in the United States and managed the arrival of more than 2 million passengers annually.

From 2003 to 2013, Robles served as Chief Counsel for the U.S. Customs Service and as the first Chief Counsel for CBP. He directed all agency legal activities and served as the principal legal advisor to the Commissioner and CBP leadership. During his tenure, he oversaw the agency’s litigation strategy and all legal activities involving other organizations, federal and state agencies.

Robles holds a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and he is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court and District of Columbia Bar Associations. Throughout his career, he has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Rank Award, the DHS General Counsel’s Award, and the Treasury General Counsel’s Award for Outstanding Performance

Pierre-Alex Maillard

Serafina Beach Hotel appoints GM, director of sales
A few months ahead of its March opening, the Serafina Beach Hotel in San Juan has filled several key management positions.

Pierre-Alex Maillard has been named general manager of the boutique hotel. The owners behind the successful culinary brand, Serafina Restaurant Group, selected Maillard to launch their first lifestyle boutique hotel concept in the Condado District of San Juan. \

In his role, he will oversee all operations for the 96-room hotel beginning with pre-opening, including the signature aMare seafood restaurant along with the energetic PiñaCo Bar and By the Pool, the hotel’s sexy poolside lounge, as well as the hotel’s meeting and event spaces. Maillard is also responsible for hiring and building the team that will become the heart of Serafina Beach Hotel.

Throughout his career, Maillard has worked in hotel properties in the United States, Indian Ocean and the French West Indies, and now the Caribbean. Before joining Serafina Beach Hotel, he served as the General Manager at The Montauk Beach House, where he oversaw all hotel operations and repositioned the 33-room boutique hotel including the introduction of a new food and beverage concept and the pool parties that put the Hamptons’ hot spot back on the map.

Maillard also served as the General Manager at Hotel Christopher & Spa, an intimate and luxurious boutique hotel in Saint Barthélemy, French West Indies, where he played a key role in achieving the hotel’s five-star rating and opening the oceanfront Spa by Sisley. Maillard also worked with Hotel Carl Gustaf & Spa, a 14-suite hotel located in St. Barths, in which he played a key role in the complete redesign project, which later led to the property’s receipt of the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award.

Maillard was also the Resident Manager at the Saint Anne Resort & Spa, a five-star resort from the Beachcomber Hotel Group, where he successfully launched the property as the first all-inclusive luxury resort in the Seychelles islands.

Maillard, born in Dijon, capital of Burgundy’s famous wine country, holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from Académie Internationale de Management and a master’s degree in human resources management from Institut de Gestion Sociale, both in Paris, France. He speaks French, English and German fluently.

Betsy Mujica

Meanwhile, Betsy Mujica brings more than 20 years of experience within the realm of luxury hospitality to her position as director of sales for Serafina. Native to Puerto Rico, Mujica’s chief priorities include amplifying sales efforts for the 96-room boutique hotel beginning with pre-opening and spearheading the recruiting, training and supervising of Serafina’s sales and marketing team.

Mujica’s management experience include senior sales and marketing roles at a number of iconic hotels on the island, including her most recent post as director of sales & marketing at the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel.

There, she was a key player in the repositioning and successful re-branding of the 80-room boutique property. During a five year tenure at the Water Club Hotel, she oversaw sales for group, corporate, leisure and catering business, marketing and branding efforts, resulting in significant year over year growth in all markets from 2012-2015.

At the W Vieques Island Retreat & Spa, Mujica focused heavily on group sales from the U.S. and local markets and booked the first-ever buyout for the hotel. Mujica began her hospitality career at the El San Juan Hotel & Casino in Puerto Rico, where she was ranked as the top salesperson throughout her 15 years there.

Throughout her career, notably within the boutique hotel space, Mujica’s leadership and results have earned her subsequent recognition within her hotels and from the Sales Advisory Board & Circle of Excellence at Wyndham International for consistently exceeding sales performance.

She has been a member of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association’s Marketing Committee from 2012-2017, working closely with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company to develop cohesive marketing messages and campaigns for the destination.

Mujica received a degree in business administration from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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