Leadership Spotlight – Mike Palma


Leadership Spotlight - Mike Palma


Mike Palma can only be described as a force to be reckoned with. This power player’s passion for creating a culture of customer service is undeniable and irrepressible. One cannot help but become inspired to interact, laugh, and share his excitement. Palma was born to be in hospitality.

Mike’s insatiable appetite for creating memorable experiences has taken this San Jose native from bustling bus boy to ardent executive. Serving as Vice President of Hospitality for BRIO Investment Group, Mike Palma leads with fervor as Operating Partner for Clevelander and Essex House Hotels, as well as Clevelander Marlins Park. Palma’s background in the hospitality industry began at the age of 15. Starting from the ground up, Mike worked his way through every position in the industry while attending San Diego State University. His intense devotion to quality service earned Palma a management position at the age of 23, in addition to a degree in Journalism (PR) with a minor in business.

After working as Director of Operations for a privately held sports bar chain in San Diego, Mike joined GOA & Associates as a Hospitality Consultant in 2000. During his tenure at GOA & Associates, Palma worked with clients like Marriot Hotel Group, MGM Grand, and Bucca di Beppo to provide them the tools they needed to take their guest experience to the next level. It was through his consulting work that Mike began working with Clevelander Hotel in 2002.

Before the year was over, his impressive efforts improving operations and driving an authentic brand experience led Palma to be invited to join the team at BRIO Investment Group. BRIO Investment Group is a privately held real estate company that owns BIG Destinations, the powerhouse hospitality brand behind Clevelander, Essex House, and Clevelander Marlins Park. Mike’s leadership help spearhead a 40 million dollar renovation of the historic Clevelander Hotel. The hugely successful renovation revitalized the Clevelander brand and solidified Clevelander’s reputation as the premier venue for sexy, fun, sports, and entertainment.

An active member in the community, Mike brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion to the hospitality industry. Working with the Ocean Drive Association, led by Marlo Courtney of Goldman Properties, Palma has built solid relationships with his industry peers. In 2012 Mike co-founded the Miami Beach Hospitality Coalition, where he now serves as President. With over 30 board members from prominent hotels and restaurants, the Miami Beach Hospitality Coalition serves as a voice to the hospitality community by working with the city and residents to improve the tourist experience.

His wealth of knowledge in every aspect of the industry has earned Palma the respect of his peers and associates. This natural leader is beloved by his associates, who appreciate his unwavering commitment to creating an environment of genuine hospitality while having fun doing so. This industry innovator and futurist is looking to recreate the iconic Clevelander experience across the nation.

An avid sports fan, man’s man and patriot, Mike’s devotion to his community is reflective in all he does. A father of three and husband to Cathy Palma, Mike is a proud family man and role model.

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