Philadelphia CVB appoints diversity tsar to make meetings more inclusive

Destinations /  / 
Sheila Alexander-Reid, Philly CVB Diversity Executive Director Sheila Alexander-Reid Photo Credit: Supplied Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau

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 diverse conventions.

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 community focused.”

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. 

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

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.


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