Angela Val has taken the reins at VISIT PHILADELPHIA as president and CEO. A recognized leader in the tourism and hospitality industry and a Visit Philly veteran, Val has more than two decades of destination-marketing experience. According to the announcement of her appointment, “Val has played important roles in every major event the City of Philadelphia has hosted since 2000, including the 2000 Republican National Convention, 2015 World Meeting of Families and papal visit, 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) and 2017 NFL Draft.”
“After a comprehensive executive search, it became clear that Angela is the right leader to drive VISIT PHILADELPHIA, our city and our region to new heights,” said Manuel N. Stamatakis, chair of VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s board of directors. “With a passion for Philadelphia and a proven record rooted in collaboration, partnership and consensus-building, we are confident Angela’s return to VISIT PHILADELPHIA will accelerate the city forward as travel and tourism return in full force.”
The role is a homecoming for Val, who spent 17 years with VISIT PHILADELPHIA, rising through the ranks to become chief external affairs officer. She left the organization in 2016 to serve as deputy executive director of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the DNC and then chief administration officer at the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), where she oversaw government and external affairs while managing the day-to-day operations until June 2021.
Most recently, Val was the chief operating officer at Tempest, an integrated marketing agency helping destination-marketing organizations and convention and visitors bureaus across the country strengthen their local communities. She has also recently concluded her role as the executive director of Ready. Set. Philly!, a yearlong collaborative initiative with the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce to reopen and reignite the city’s economy following the pandemic.
“When I arrived in Philadelphia 31 years ago as an undergraduate at Drexel University, I would have never imagined this city’s impact on me and my career,” said Val. “It is my chosen home, and I am thrilled to return to VISIT PHILADELPHIA as president and CEO, so I can give back to a city and organization that has given me so much. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, I look forward to working with our partners to build back the tourism industry, reinvigorate the economy and restore the vibrancy of Philadelphia, which is so essential to attracting leisure travelers.”
Val succeeds the late Jeff Guaracino, who passed away in December 2021, after serving as president and CEO from 2018 until his death. Guaracino, a longtime colleague of Val’s, was known for forging innovative and creative partnerships. Under his leadership, VISIT PHILADELPHIA stayed committed to its mission throughout the pandemic with omni-channel marketing efforts, including Philly Live Weekends, a collaboration with NBC Philadelphia; a Black- and Brown-owned business initiative called Shop Black Business Friday; and the Pack Light. Plan Big. For Philly. advertising campaign.
“With her deep knowledge of the tourism industry and extensive experience promoting our great city, Angela Val is a terrific choice to succeed Jeff Guaracino. I know she will continue to build upon his legacy of innovation and inclusiveness,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Having worked closely with Angela in her roles for the DNC Host Committee, PHLCVB and Ready. Set. Philly!, I’ve seen her passion for our city firsthand. I’m confident her commitment to collaboration and ability to develop strategic initiatives will help position Philadelphia for a strong tourism rebound after the pandemic.”