After a nationwide search, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has named Sheila Alexander-Reid the executive director of PHL Diversity. A business development division of the PHLCVB, PHL Diversity was created in 1987 and was the first multicultural division of a convention and visitors bureau in the country.
In her new position, Alexander-Reid will oversee PHL Diversity’s efforts to promote Philadelphia as an inclusive, welcoming destination for meetings and conventions—and she brings deep experience to the role. 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. In this position, she advised Mayor Bowser on the implementation of discrimination protections and diversity and inclusion policies that supported D.C.’s LGBTQ residents. She often collaborated with Destination DC, a destination marketing organization similar to PHLCVB, that’s charged with attracting diverse conventions. Most recently, Alexander-Reid served as senior vice president, 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,” says 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. Thanks to the work of PHL Diversity, the PHLCVB has been known as a leader in diversity in the tourism and hospitality industry for more than 30 years. I look forward to the new energy and vision Sheila will bring to the organization.”
In the last decade, Alexander-Reid earned certificates in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University and Stanford Graduate School of Business and leadership training from Victory Institute. “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,” says Alexander-Reid. “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.”