PALM BEACH, FL - The Breakers Palm Beach, one of America’s most iconic resorts, has promoted five key executives, as announced by Paul N. Leone, CEO of The Breakers and Flagler System, Inc. This significant move by the independent, family-owned property, reinforces the company’s unwavering commitment to developing internal talent and a robust leadership strategy for the future.
On behalf of The Breakers’ ownership and board of directors, Leone expressed gratitude to the promoted executives for their exceptional performance and ongoing contributions. “These leaders are responsible for operating a complex, transforming business with the highest standards of excellence,” he said. “Their average 28-year tenure and combined experience of more than 140 years, reflect their dedication and enduring impact. This is a significant moment for us in our quest to cultivate the next generation, who will sustain The Breakers’ evolution for prolonged growth and success,” he noted.
Since its founding in 1896, The Breakers continues to thrive as an evolving and expanding hospitality enterprise in a competitive, chain-dominated industry. At the heart of its entrepreneurial success is the organization’s devotion to the welfare and fulfillment of 2,300 team members, supported by an unrivaled investment in an inspired workplace. This culture drives guest satisfaction, which ultimately produces a healthy balance sheet and long-term prosperity, but it is all under the guidance of experienced and talented individuals.
Tricia Taylor - President of The Breakers Palm Beach
An accomplished hospitality professional with over 27 years of experience, Tricia Taylor is president of The Breakers Palm Beach, the first woman to assume this leadership position in the company's history. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of resort operations at this multi-faceted, 140-acre property and its off-site businesses.
With a focus on fostering a Culture of Care and Well-being, Taylor spearheads the resort's commitment to creating a positive work environment for every team member. This emphasis not only directly impacts guest satisfaction, customer loyalty and financial success, but it also creates continuous opportunities for advancement and innovation from within.
In addition to her role as president, Taylor chairs The Breakers' Executive Group, which optimizes performance across all divisions, while shaping the organization’s future direction and outlook.
Taylor's career in hospitality began at the renowned Waldorf Astoria in New York after graduating from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. She joined The Breakers in 1996, steadily progressing through the resort’s rooms division. Alongside her professional growth, she pursued her MBA with honors from Florida Atlantic University while holding the position of hotel manager in 2002. She became the general manager in 2010 and earned the title of executive vice president & general manager in 2019 after serving as senior vice president for five years.
Beyond her work at The Breakers, Taylor is an advocate of hospitality education. She shares her expertise as a guest lecturer at Florida Atlantic University, University of Central Florida (UCF) and Cornell University. She contributes to the industry by serving on the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Resort Committee and is a board of trustee member for the association’s foundation. Furthermore, Taylor is an advisory board member for UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management and is a coach for Cornell University’s Leadership Development Program. She was also recognized as one of the County’s most influential business leaders in The 2023 Palm Beach 100.
Photo Link: Tricia Taylor Headshot (photo credit: LILA PHOTO)
Denise Bober - Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
Denise Bober, a prominent human resources expert, currently holds the position of senior vice president & chief human resources officer at The Breakers Palm Beach, one of Palm Beach County’s largest employers. In her role, Bober is responsible for establishing an inspired workplace and best-in-class retention rates, recognizing that a satisfied and engaged workforce is crucial for the long-term success of this 127-year-old, family-owned organization.
With an impressive 35-year career at The Breakers, Bober has implemented numerous initiatives and programs that prioritize employee well-being and fulfillment. She is responsible for developing and evolving The Breakers' Culture of Care and Well-being, ensuring that the company fosters a positive and supportive environment for its staff. Her approach is rooted in her deep respect for people and commitment to providing a nurturing environment where employees can thrive and develop. Through her efforts, The Breakers has gained a reputation as an award-winning employer of choice, as well as a leader in social impact, demonstrating a profound dedication to team, community and environment.
Bober initially joined The Breakers in 1988 as a human resources assistant, progressing through the division she now leads. She assumed the role of director of human resources in 1997, where she immediately centralized hiring and staff relations functions while focusing on expanding recruitment, benefits, training and development, employee recognition, wellness initiatives and community service. Her efforts have transformed the human resources function from a personnel department into a front-of-organization division. In recognition of her contributions, she was promoted to vice president of human resources in 2015, and further elevated to senior vice president in 2019. She currently serves on the resort’s Executive Group.
Bober holds a degree in Hospitality Management from Nova Southeastern University and a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership and Development from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She sets the example professionally as a member of the Executive Women’s Association of the Palm Beaches and Global Women 4 Wellbeing. She also previously served as chair of the Palm Health Foundation and past president of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce. In 2018, the Global Wellness Institute recognized Ms. Bober as a Leader in Workplace Wellness and Palm Beach Atlantic University named her one of its 50 Most Notable Alumni. In 2020, the South Florida Business Journal honored Ms. Bober as one of its Most Influential Business Women.
Photo Link: Denise Bober Headshot (photo credit: LILA PHOTO)
Nick Velardo - Senior Vice President - Food & Beverage
As senior vice president of food & beverage at The Breakers Palm Beach, Nick Velardo leads a team of more than 1,000 hospitality professionals, who are dedicated to food & beverage excellence, at this iconic, 140-acre luxury resort. In this position, he oversees the culinary, beverage and service teams for both the restaurant and banquet divisions, including audio-visual and design. He is also a member of the organization’s Executive Group.
Velardo first joined The Breakers in 1995 as assistant director of food & beverage. Five years later, he was promoted to director of food & beverage, responsible for setting new benchmarks in food quality, service standards, training and presentation, all while fostering a positive and engaging work environment. Shortly thereafter, he was named director of food & beverage - restaurants and club operations, expanding his role to include golf, tennis, pool & beach, as well as activities.
In 2015, Velardo was appointed to vice president of food & beverage, where he expanded the resort’s dining collection from four to 10 restaurants, ranging from casual beachfront to stylishly sophisticated. Throughout his tenure, he has grown The Breakers’ wine program, which has achieved the coveted Wine Spectator Grand Award for 33 consecutive years, making the property one of America’s top wine destinations.
Prior to joining The Breakers, Velardo held various management and executive positions with Buena Vista Hospitality, ITT Sheraton, Holiday Corp, as well as independent restaurants throughout New England. He has degrees in Food Service Management and Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and actively participates in professional and community organizations. He is a founding board member of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA - Palm Beach County Chapter), where he has served as president and chairman of the Education Committee; he has also been the chairman of the FRLA Education Foundation Board of Trustees for the state. Additionally, Velardo holds the title of vice conseiller culinaire in the regional chapter of Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Beyond his professional endeavors, Velardo is involved in various charitable activities within the community. He supports organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs, Place of Hope and the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Photo Link: Nick Velardo Headshot
Darren Hirsowitz - Senior Vice President - Finance
Darren Hirsowitz holds the position of senior vice president of finance at The Breakers Palm Beach. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing consolidated financial reporting and taxation for the resort and its affiliated businesses, including One North Breakers Row (luxurious residential apartments), Breakers West Country Club, and the company’s expanding commercial real estate portfolio.
He leads various aspects of financial administration, including treasury and investment management, labor management and business analytics. Leveraging its proprietary enterprise data warehouse, the business analytics function converts data into comprehensive insights and analysis, enabling confident and intelligent decision-making, while ensuring the seamless execution of fully-integrated business processes across the company’s digital ecosystem.
As a key member of the organization’s Executive Group, Hirsowitz plays a crucial role in driving the strategic development of the company's comprehensive employee well-being and benefits initiatives, which include the administration of compensation programs and health and savings plans. Positively impacting more than 2,300 team members, he considers these pivotal projects to be his most significant contributions to The Breakers.
Originally from Boston, MA, and raised in West Palm Beach, FL, Hirsowitz holds dual bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from the University of Florida. He became a certified public accountant (CPA) in 2002. Prior to joining The Breakers in 2005, he worked with Theory LLC, a contemporary fashion brand, in New York City.
Outside of his professional responsibilities, Hirsowitz actively participates in numerous organizations such as the Florida Institute of CFOs (FICFO), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA). Additionally, he serves as treasurer on the board of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce; he also dedicates his time to advocate for organizations like Step Up For Students.
Photo Link: Darren Hirsowitz Headshot
Jorge Cabrera Jr. - Senior Vice President - Accounting, Technology & Supply Chain
An integral member of The Breakers Palm Beach since 1991, Jorge Cabrera Jr. currently holds the position of senior vice president - accounting, technology & supply chain. Throughout his extensive career, he has demonstrated dedication and expertise in various roles.
Cabrera’s hotel journey began in The Breakers’ receiving department, where he quickly advanced to the position of warehouse supervisor, overseeing the area’s on-site operations. In 1998, he transferred to the corporate office as a financial analyst, focusing on capital planning and projects. Four years later, he was promoted to hotel controller, assuming responsibility for accounting activities, budgeting and reporting.
Continuing to grow with the organization, Cabrera proceeded to take on additional oversight of the technology division in 2008 as director of accounting and technology services, further enhancing operational efficiency and cybersecurity efforts. In 2020, he was named vice president of accounting, technology & supply chain, once again expanding his skillset to include strategic planning, sourcing & procurement and contract administration. Presently, he is a member of the resort’s Executive Group.
A graduate of Florida Atlantic University, Cabrera actively participates in various community and professional organizations outside of The Breakers. He has served as chairperson and treasurer of the Florida Atlantic University National Alumni Board and has also held the position of board member and treasurer of the Resort Hotel Association. Cabrera is currently on the boards of the Town of Palm Beach United Way and the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County; he is on the advisory council for St. Ann’s Catholic School in West Palm Beach, and the advisory board for Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Rinker School of Business.
Photo Link: Jorge Cabrera Jr. Headshot
About The Breakers Palm Beach
One of America’s most iconic resorts, The Breakers is an Italian Renaissance-style hotel, set within 140 acres of oceanfront property on the island of Palm Beach, Florida. Founded in 1896 by magnate Henry M. Flagler, this legendary destination continues to thrive independent of chain affiliation under its original family ownership. Each year, an unrivaled investment averaging $25 million in capital improvements and ongoing revitalization, balances preservation and modernization to sustain multi-generational appeal.
Inspired by the Villa Medici in Rome, the magnificent, eight-story architectural centerpiece features 534 guest rooms and suites, including the ultra-luxury Flagler Club - a boutique, private-access hotel nestled atop the resort. A bounty of world-class amenities complement The Breakers’ gracious service and unparalleled seaside glamour. Ten distinctive restaurants, ranging from casual beachfront to stylishly sophisticated, showcase talented, award-winning chefs and Master Sommeliers. An exclusive beach club evokes the Mediterranean, with four pools, six whirlpool spas, 25 poolside bungalows and a variety of watersports. Additional offerings include: two 18-hole golf courses, 10 Har-Tru tennis courts, a tranquil, indoor-outdoor spa, a 6,000 sq. ft. fitness center, 13 signature boutiques, a Family Entertainment Center with extensive activities for children, and Via Flagler by The Breakers - an off-site, al fresco plaza of boutiques, eateries and galleries.
Along with being recognized as a AAA Five Diamond property, The Breakers has earned numerous accolades for its social impact, reflecting the organization’s unwavering commitment to team member well-being, the community and environment. For reservations or more information, call 888-BREAKERS (273-2537) or visit thebreakers.com.