|By Olivia Winslow, Newsday, Melville, N.Y.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Apr. 5, 2006 - John L. Segreti was remembered as a man with a "take charge" dynamism who took the luxury New York Palace Hotel to new heights.
Segreti, who lived in Southampton, died Feb. 9 of a pulmonary embolism, hotel officials said. He was 52.
He got his start in the hotel industry when he bought the Southampton Village Motel not long after graduating from Utah State University and returning to New York, said Dorene Golub, executive office manager of the New York Palace on Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
"He bought that hotel when he was in his 20s" in 1976, Golub said of the 11-room Southampton motel that Segreti continued to own at the time of his death. It was Segreti's "labor of love."
Segreti, who was born in Astoria, Queens, and raised in Bayside, first attended Arizona Western Junior College, where he played football and was named National Junior Lineman of the year, according to the New York Palace. He went on to complete his college education at Utah State, where he continued to play football.
Before becoming managing director of the New York Palace Hotel in 2003, Segreti was chief operating officer at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, headquartered in Hong Kong. His 11-year tenure with that hotel group included several general manager and vice president positions in Hong Kong, Jakarta and Singapore.
Before his work in Asia, Segreti held executive positions at The UN Plaza Hotel in New York and The Montauk Yacht Club. At 32, he was named general manager of the St. Moritz Hotel on Central Park South.
Golub said Segreti brought the athletic assets of teamwork and coaching into the business world. "He was very much a coach," she recalled. "He was very much a team player. Hardworking ... a very exciting man."
Golub said Segreti's vision at the New York Palace involved creating an "upscale" restaurant called Gilt, which opened in December.
A service for Segreti was held Feb. 14 in Our Lady of Poland Roman Catholic Church in Southampton.
Survivors include his wife, Diane; son, Eric; and parents Louis and Mary Segreti, all of Southampton; and sisters Virginia Lowe of Mount Airy, N.C., and Valerie Stagnari of Huntington.
Copyright (c) 2006, Newsday, Melville, N.Y.
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