Keynote and Closing Session Day 4- WIE ILC 2021

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Keynote Speaker: Julie Coker, President & CEO, San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA)

Having a seat at the table”.  Studies have shown over the years that companies with the most successful business outcomes  are those that have diverse leadership at the top. It’s no longer a nice to have it is a business imperative.  Having diversity of thought leads to a more strategic and inclusive approach and yields better long term results.  As women we must not only prepare for a seat at the table but think of who will follow in our foot steps. 

Julie Coker is the President and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) where she oversees the organization’s efforts  to promote and sell San Diego as a top destination for meetings, conventions, overseas travelers, and leisure visitors. The  SDTA’s mission is to drive visitation to economically benefit the region.  

Previously, Coker served as the president & CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) where she  oversaw the 2017 NFL Draft and the 2016 Democratic National Convention, which had a combined economic impact of $325  million for Philadelphia. Prior to that, she was PHLCVB’s Executive Vice President, Convention Division, and managed a staff  of 25 sales and services professionals responsible for selling the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center and hotel  packages to customers across the country.  

Prior to joining the PHLCVB, she was the general manager for the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, where she  oversaw all operational aspects of the 350-room hotel. A 21-year Hyatt veteran, she began her career in 1989 as a corporate  management trainee at Hyatt Regency Columbus. Throughout her more than two decades with Hyatt, she rose through the  ranks in a variety of positions, including assistant front office manager, front office manager, hotel assistant manager,  assistant executive housekeeper and general manager.  

Coker serves on several boards, including the California Travel Association, Visit California, The San Diego Regional Chamber  of Commerce, The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She  is an Executive Committee Member of the 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). From 2016-2019, Coker co-chaired the  Shared Spaces Initiative to combat homelessness with Philadelphia’s Mayor, 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, Rhode Island, where she received a Bachelor of Science in  hospitality management and graduated magna cum laude.

Keynote Speaker: Julie Coker, President & CEO, San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA)

Having a seat at the table”.  Studies have shown over the years that companies with the most successful business outcomes  are those that have diverse leadership at the top. It’s no longer a nice to have it is a business imperative.  Having diversity of thought leads to a more strategic and inclusive approach and yields better long term results.  As women we must not only prepare for a seat at the table but think of who will follow in our foot steps...

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