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Published on : Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Coker would be joining Paul Van Deventer who is the president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International to lead the coalition and also promote the value of face-to-face meetings, conventions, conferences, incentive travel, exhibitions and trade shows.
Van Deventer said that they are quite excited to have Julie as their first CEO of a convention and visitors bureau to co-chair MMBC.
He went on to add that her experience and passion for the meetings industry would be treasured assets to this coalition as they expand their reach among frontline industry professionals and destination leaders. Coker Graham is the first woman to lead the PHLCVB and the only African American woman to lead a destination marketing organization in a pioneering U.S. market.
Under her leadership, MMBC would continue to advocate the value story of MMBC among a diverse group of stakeholders that comprises business leader, meeting industry professionals as well as elected officials.
The coalition would also reinforce the economic effects of face-to-face meetings in cities like Philadelphia. In Philadelphia in 2016 meetings and conventions booked by the PHLCVB had generated an estimated $989 million in economic impact.
Coker Graham would assume her fresh leadership role that had been previously held by Richard Harper, executive vice president, HelmsBriscoe.
Graham would be commencing with her official duties on 1st January 2018.
Prior to her present role Coker Graham had rendered services as the senior vice president of convention sales at the PHLCVB and managed a staff of 25 sales and services professionals for selling the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Philadelphia’s hotel package to customers across the nation.