Julie Coker Graham is the new president and CEO of the Philadelphia CVB, making her the only female African-American president & CEO to lead a major CVB in the U.S. She takes over as the result of a succession plan that was announced in June 2014, when she was appointed to the post of executive vice president. She assumed the position of president and CEO, succeeding the retiring Jack Ferguson. Prior to joining the bureau in 2010, she had served for more than 20 years with Hyatt Hotels, lastly as general manager of Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing.
Voyages FRAM has found a new director of network and embassies. He is Gaël Le Favor, former commercial director of tour operator Beachcomber Tours. Le Favor started his career in July 1995 as a trade commissioner in Presence Assistance. He later joined Beachcomber Tours as a trade commissioner in 2002. Favor replaces Bruno Abenin, who went on to become director of development for franchises and affiliates at Thomas Cook France.
Jill Carter has stepped down from her post as TUI UK and Ireland director of retail to take up a job with Thomson Airways. She is now director of customer delivery for the airline. She served for almost 25 years working in retail at TUI. Carter had taken the position of director of retail in February last year following the departure of Kathryn Darbandi, who moved to Thomas Cook. Carter joined Tui UK & Ireland in 1991.
A bit of a wrinkle has developed in the process to name a successor to Nicki Grossman, who retired last June after 21 years as head of the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB. It is up to Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry to name a successor. The wrinkle is that one of those who have applied for the job is Stacy Ritter , who is one of Henry’s nine bosses on the Broward County Commission. At the same time, according to published reports, Ritter has filed for re-election to another four-year term on the county commission and is raising campaign funds. Stay tuned.
After nearly 10 years on the job, Keli’i Wilson has been let go from her position as director of cultural affairs by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). Wilson, a native Hawaiian, said she and the tourism authority’s new executive team have fundamentally different values for the cultural initiative that she launched early in her tenure at the agency. (Since George Szigeti became president and CEO of the authority in May, five positions have been eliminated to meet a $1.3 million administrative cap and a brand manager resigned.) Szigeti told the HTA’s board of directors that the agency plans to refill the full-time position as soon as possible. In the meantime, Daniel Nahoopii, director of tourism research, will serve on an interim basis.