The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has announced that Karen Dougherty Buchholz is the new chair of its board of directors. Currently serving as the executive vice president of administration for Comcast Corporation, which is headquartered in Philadelphia, Buchholz succeeds longtime PHLCVB chair Nicholas DeBenedictis, chairman emeritus of Aqua America.
“Thanks to a unique combination of experience working with the PHLCVB and our hospitality community on major events, as well as developing Comcast’s diversity, equity and inclusion program, Karen is perfectly positioned to lead the board of directors into the future,” says Gregg Caren, president and CEO of the PHLCVB. “I look forward to working with the board under her proven leadership and vision. I am also deeply grateful to Nick for his insightful and steadfast support over the years, not only during my tenure, but colleagues who have led the organization before me.”
“I am honored to serve as chair of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau’s board of directors,” says Buchholz. “The organization plays a critical role in supporting Philadelphia’s economy by driving the city’s tourism and hospitality industry, and I look forward to contributing to the continued success of the PHLCVB and its business divisions.”
Early in her 20-year career with Comcast, Buchholz founded the organization’s first corporate communications infrastructure, unifying communications for Comcast’s family of companies. Buchholz was also responsible for the development of both corporate headquarters, the Comcast Center, and neighboring Technology Center. She led Comcast’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for nearly 10 years, at one point serving as chief diversity officer. Under her leadership, Comcast launched employee resource groups and drove progress in supplier diversity, diverse programming and community impact initiatives.
Prior to joining Comcast Corporation, Buchholz was president of Philadelphia 2000, the organization that secured Philadelphia as host city for the 2000 Republican National Convention and served as the city's official host committee.
“I have enjoyed every one of my 18 years serving as chair,” says DeBenedictis. “It has been an honor to lead thePHLCVB board of directors all these years and I know Karen will be extraordinary in this role, taking our destination to even greater heights.”
DeBenedictis was instrumental in attracting national events such as the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, the World Meeting of Families and Papal Visit, the NFL Draft, and most recently, the FIFA World Cup 2026, to Philadelphia. DeBenedictis was also involved in the planning that helped trigger expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and steered the PHLCVB through challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.