Julie Coker is President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), as of Jan. 1, 2016. Prior to being named to this position, Coker 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 joined the PHLCVB 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 serves on several boards, including the executive committees for U.S. Travel Association and Destinations International. From January 2018-2020, she served as co-chair for U.S. Travel’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition and secretary-treasurer for International Association of Exhibitions and Events Executive Committee (IAEE). In Philadelphia, she is a board member of the Global Philadelphia Association and on the executive committee for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. She is also on the Philadelphia International Airport Advisory Committee and the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Committee. From 2016-2019, Coker co-chaired the Mayor’s Shared Spaces Initiative to combat homelessness and in 2016, she served as the chair of Mayor Jim Kenney’s transition team for the Democratic National Convention.
Additionally, Coker is a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. In both 2012 and 2019, the Philadelphia Business Journal named her among their Women of Distinction honorees. She was the 2017 United Negro College Fund Mayor’s Ball Honoree for Civic Leadership and was named one of the Network Journal’s 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business. She also received the 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 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.