Philly’s had quite a run the last couple of years, landing the 2016 Democratic National Convention and the 2017 NFL Draft, among other wins.
Helming the effort is Julie Coker Graham, president a CEO of the Philadelphia CVB (PHLCVB), and who was recently named co-chair of U.S. Travel’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC).
A 21-year Hyatt veteran, she worked her way through three different cities and up from assistant front office manager in Cleveland to general manager for the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia Penn’s Landing.
“I was fortunate to join Hyatt Hotels directly out of college, and they had a corporate training program that allowed me to work in different positions in a hotel,” Coker Graham, who earned a bachelor of science in Hospitality Management, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University.
Assuming the top job at PHLCVB in January 2016, Coker Graham is fast to share credit for the city’s success with others, past and present, at the CVB, where she’s worked since 2010.
“It’s nice to start your year in the presidency by having one of the largest conventions in the first six months,” she said, referring to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Coker Graham says one of her top goals co-chairing MMBC will be to grow its membership from its current 60.
“For me, it really is part of our everyday responsibility in our local communities, in terms of educating legislative officials on the value of face-to-face meetings,” she said. “I see it as an extension of what we’re already doing in Philadelphia.”