Today, Julie Coker notified the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) Administrative Committee of the Board of Directors that she will be tendering her resignation in March 2020 as President and CEO. She has accepted the position of President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority. Coker has served as the President and CEO of the PHLCVB since January 2016.
“We thank Julie for the significant contributions that she's made during her tenure,” said PHLCVB Chairman Nick DeBenedictis. “Julie has built a strong team, and the PHLCVB is well positioned for future success. The staff will continue to win business on behalf of Philadelphia, and throughout this transition will remain focused on achieving their strategic goals. The board and I are committed to finding an outstanding candidate that can successfully lead the talented and dedicated team at the PHLCVB.”
“Serving as the president and CEO of the PHLCVB has been a highlight of my career,” said Julie Coker. “This was an incredibly tough decision but the opportunity to round-out my skillset by leading a premier West Coast destination was something I had to explore. I am deeply grateful to our board of directors, the city of Philadelphia and the talented team at the PHLCVB for the amazing experiences and successes we've accomplished together throughout my nine years with the Bureau.”
The process to find a new leader is now underway. This morning, the Administrative Committee of the PHLCVB Board of Directors accepted Coker's resignation and approved the activation of a search committee and firm. John McNichol, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and PHLCVB board member, will serve as the search committee chair. SearchWide Global, a national executive recruitment firm specializing in the hospitality industry with an emphasis on executive level positions, has been contracted to conduct the national search.
The PHLCVB is the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center and is the official tourism promotion agency for the city of Philadelphia globally. Tourism is one of the city's largest and fastest growing employment sectors, supporting 74,300 hospitality-related jobs in Philadelphia County alone. The team at the PHLCVB helps provide opportunities to work for thousands of Philadelphians by securing many of the country's top meetings, conventions and events, and in growing overseas visitation.
About the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) creates positive economic impact across the Philadelphia region, driving job growth, and promoting the health and vibrancy of our hospitality industry by marketing the destination and the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and attracting overnight visitors. Our work engages our local community, as well as culturally and ethnically diverse regional, national and international convention, sporting event and tourism customers.