100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Julie Coker Graham

President & CEO, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB

Julie Coker Graham is Executive Vice President for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB). She oversees a staff of 25 convention sales and services professionals who are responsible for selling the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center and Philadelphia’s hotel package to customers across the country. Under her leadership her sales team has achieved on average 97% production to the yearly sales goal for the past three years and booked over 735,000 room nights in FY 2013 which will result in over 1.1 billion dollars in economic impact to the city and region.

Coker Graham joined the PHLCVB after serving as General Manager of Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing. In her role, she oversaw all operational aspects of the 350-room hotel, which is 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 20-year Hyatt veteran, Coker Graham 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.

Coker Graham 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. She has been a nominee for Hotelier of the Year for IHLA in 2005 and 2006. She was also a nominee for General Manager of the year for Hyatt Hotels Corporation 2004 and 2006. She was recently the recipient of the 2011 John Wanamaker Award (Individual Award) given by the YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity. 

She is a past secretary and board member of the Illinois Hospitality and Lodging Association (IHLA) and past board member of the Oak Brook, Illinois Economic Development Committee. She served as Chairman of the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Women in Lodging Networking Group (WIL), she was 1st Vice Chair for the Greater Philadelphia Hospitality and Lodging Association (GPHA), and she served as a board member with Greater Philadelphia Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), Girls, Inc and is a new board member with Boys Scouts of America Cradle of Liberty Council where she was a recent recipient of Cradle of Liberty Good Scout Award.