Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) announced the appointment of its new president and CEO.
Julie Coker Graham was appointed to the position as of Jan. 1, 2016. Prior to being named to this position, Coker Graham served as the senior vice president of Convention Sales and managed a staff of 25 sales and services professionals at the PHLCVB responsible for selling the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center and Philadelphia's hotel package to customers across the country.
Coker Graham joined thePHLCVB after serving as general manager at Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing, where she oversaw all operational aspects of the 350-room hotel, the only hotel in the city located on Philadelphia's revitalized waterfront area. Among her responsibilities were: directing all hotel and employee operations such as managing the assets and providing monthly profit and loss statements, maintaining legal compliance, assessing financial or product issues, and outlining sales and marketing strategies, while providing guidance, mentorship, and leadership to the employees and managers of the hotel.
A 21-year Hyatt veteran, she began her career there in 1989 as a corporate management trainee at Hyatt Regency Columbus and held various positions at the hotel until 1992. She also held full-time positions, including assistant front office manager, front office manager, hotel assistant manager and assistant executive housekeeper at Hyatt Regency O'Hare. In 1994, she was promoted to her first room executive position at Hyatt Deerfield (Chicago) and held the same position at Hyatt Regency Cincinnati before being appointed to join the opening team and lead the rooms division at Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in March 1998. In 1998, she was promoted to general manager at Hyatt on Printer's Row in downtown Chicago. From there, she was promoted to general manager at The Lodge, a Hyatt property in Oak Brook, a suburb of Chicago. She was a nominee for general manager of the year for Hyatt Hotels Corporation 2004 and 2006.
Coker Graham has been named chair of Mayor-elect Jim Kenney's transition team for Democratic National Convention Preparation. In addition, she serves on the board of Center City District and has been appointed to the 2016 board of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. Plus, she is a member of the Philadelphia Chapter on Links, Incorporated. She served as first vice chair for the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association (GPHA) as well as a board member with Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (now Visit Philadelphia), Independence Visitors Center Corporation, Girls, Inc. Philadelphia region, and Boys Scouts of America Cradle of Liberty Council. She is a past secretary and board member of the Illinois Hospitality and Lodging Association (IHLA) and past board member of the Oak Brook, Illinois Economic Development Committee. She served as chairman of the American Hotel and Lodging Association's Women in Lodging Networking Group (WIL).
She was awarded Cradle of Liberty Good Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America Cradle of Liberty Council and was the recipient of the 2011 John Wanamaker Award (Individual Award) given by the YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity.
Coker Graham is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, where she received a bachelor of science in Hospitality Management and graduated Magna Cum Laude.