Press Releases

PHL Life Sciences Announces Two New Co-Chairs for Advisory Board

6 November, 2019

PHL Life Sciences, a business development division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, will welcome two new co-chairs to lead its Advisory Board, tasked with advocating for the Greater Philadelphia region as a life sciences meetings destination.

Dr. Heather Steinman, vice president for business development and executive director of technology transfer at The Wistar Institute, and Dr. Darryl Williams, senior vice president of science and education at the Franklin Institute, will succeed Dr. Margaret Foti, president and CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research and Chris Yochim, founding member and chairman of the Board of the Delaware Bioscience Association.

“In 2018, PHL Life Sciences meetings, conventions and events brought over 80,000 attendees to Philadelphia who helped drive over $101 million in economic impact for the region, a testament to the work of the advisory board and its influence,” said Julie Coker Graham, president and CEO of the PHLCVB. “We are thrilled to have these two great leaders on our team, as we continue to expand our network and secure future meeting and convention business for Philadelphia.”

Since joining Wistar in 2014, Steinman has worked to reduce barriers between biomedical research and its ultimate commercial application. By streamlining this process, she's helped enhance the city's reputation for breakthrough science and technology innovation. Prior to this role, Steinman served as the director of the Penn Center for Innovation, Perelman School of Medicine Office at the University of Pennsylvania. She also spent more than a decade as a technology licensing professional in the Office of Technology Management at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

In his newly appointed role at the Franklin Institute, Williams oversees all aspects of science and educational programming. He's helped one of the city's premier attractions appeal to new audiences and worked to showcase the versatility of the venue to host meetings and groups. Prior to this role, Williams was the dean of undergraduate education for Tufts University's School of Engineering. Developing inclusive STEM curriculum has been his passion, and he spent four years managing various federal programs at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. In 2018, Williams was also appointed to serve on the NASA Advisory Council's STEM Engagement Committee.

“We're fortunate to have a deep bench to step up and lead the next two years of the PHL Advisory Board, and we are thankful for the countless hours Margaret and Chris have dedicated to our mission,” said Bonnie Grant, executive director of PHL Life Sciences, at the PHLCVB. “Both Heather and Darryl have spent extensive time building their reputations in other comparable life sciences destinations, making their perspectives invaluable as we continue to promote Philadelphia's strengths to life sciences meeting planners.”

Philadelphia is consistently recognized as one of the country's top destinations for life sciences meetings and the industry accounts for more than 50 percent of the bookings at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The PHLCVB is the only convention and visitors bureau in the U.S. with a dedicated life sciences business development division. In 2019, PHL Life Sciences-related events will represent more than 225,000 total room nights.

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PHL Life Sciences, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), works to increase Greater Philadelphia's recognition as a leading hub in the Life Sciences and a world-class destination for the industry's meetings, conventions and business opportunities. Connecting Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware leaders in medical, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, higher education, research, venture capital and health care industries, the division works to collaboratively brand the region as “America's Life Sciences Meetings Destination.”