The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has
taken steps to make the city a more welcoming and inclusive place for meeting
delegates with a key appointment.
Sheila Alexander-Reid, who previously worked for a
consultancy helping firms tackle ‘unconscious bias’ in the workplace, has
filled the role of executive director of PHL Diversity.
A champion for marginalized communities, Alexander-Reid will
oversee PHL Diversity’s efforts to promote Philadelphia as an inclusive,
welcoming destination for meetings and conventions.
In 2015, Alexander-Reid was appointed by Washington, D.C.
Mayor Muriel Bowser as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Affairs.
She was instrumental in the city’s successful fight for
marriage equality, and served on a policy committee advising the
Biden-Harris campaign. She often collaborated with Destination DC, a
destination marketing organisation similar to PHLCVB charged with attracting
Most recently, Alexander-Reid served as senior VP, business
development at BiasSync, a firm that helps organizations more effectively
assess and manage unconscious bias in the work environment.
“Sheila’s experience is at the key intersection of
diversity, equity and inclusion, strategic planning and business development,”
said Gregg Caren, PHLCVB president and CEO. “She has not only the professional
expertise to lead the business division, but a strong background in DEI
advocacy that will continue to ensure PHL Diversity’s efforts are always
Alexander-Reid said: “I look forward to continuing my career
of advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion and progress in the great
city of Philadelphia by leading PHL Diversity. And I look forward to continuing
to support the mission of the PHLCVB and PHL Diversity and cannot wait to work
with its well-established board and close partners in the city and beyond.”
In this role, she will lead implementation and strategy to
develop and synergize relationships with industry and government stakeholders
across Philadelphia’s diverse community. She will lead PHL Diversity with the
goal of increasing the net convention, meetings, and tourism brand value of
Philadelphia as a welcoming DEI convention destination, while also advancing
opportunities for growth of local businesses as a result of increased event and
visitation to the city.
AMI editor James
Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international
association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation
for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk,
read, listen to music, and drink beer.