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Three finalists for Visit Baton Rouge leadership interviewing this month

The board of directors for Visit Baton Rouge has selected three finalists to replace Paul Arrigo as the tourism agency’s next president and CEO.

The board plans meet with each candidate over two weeks.

The candidates are:

• Jill Kidder, current president and CEO of the Louisiana Travel Association;

• Milton Segarra, former CEO of Coastal Mississippi, a regional tourism organization;

• Jay Tusa, former executive director of the Tourist Development Council for Walton County, Florida.

The Louisiana Travel Promotion Association promoted Jill Kidder to president and CEO in 2017 after 10 years as co-executive director.

Segarra announced his resignation from Coastal Mississippi in September after a four-hour executive session discussing his position. Though he had prominent supporters among business and community leaders, some tourism board members had questioned his leadership and salary, according to local media reports.

Walton County commissioners in May voted 3-2 to fire Tusa as head of the Tourist Development Council, which he had led for five years. The decision came after some debate and confusion over how much of the agency’s tax revenue can be spent on tourism, local media reported.

All three meet-and-greets, open only to invited stakeholders, will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Kidder’s will be held Monday, June 13, at the Watermark Hotel; Segarra’s Tuesday, June 14, at the River Terrace at the Shaw Center for the Arts; and Tusa’s Wednesday, June 15, at the Watermark.

This story originally appeared in a May 31 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.