Recap & Photos: The Best Cocktail/Networking Luncheon – PHLCVB’s 2014 Annual Luncheon

Nearly 1,200
hospitality industry professionals, local business leaders and politicians
attended the annual PHLCVB’s 2014 Annual Luncheon on
Wednesday, November 26. What is billed as the largest hospitality
networking event included a cocktail hour, buffet luncheon and a short
and I mean short, it’s all about the networking and catching up with old
friends I consider it to be one of the best cocktail parties of the year. Many of the City’s decision makers and influencers attend. It’s an invite only, ticketed event too. Most people don’t even realize it happens.

 Carolyn Boser Newhouse, Barry “Ben Franklin” Stevens (he’s pretty darn believable) and Abby Newhouse

 Romulo L. Diaz Jr., Vice President and General Counsel, PECO, and Derrick J.V. Sawyer, EFO, Fire Commissioner.
 Elliot-Imani Griffin  Communications Director and Legislative Assistant, Jason Lewis, Office of Councilwomen Blondell Reynolds Brown and Nicole Allen, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

 Jill Asher, Alana Tosti, and Alissa McConachie, Philadelphia Magazine.
 Elka Battle, Scott Mirkin, ESM Productions, Marie Nicoll, Melissa Marsilli, Chermaina Roumeltheo and Liz Herrick.
 I loved the tablescapes and room decor Choice created for the event. 
 Several years ago Discover PHL did away with the traditional sit down luncheon, with speeches and recognitions and
went with a really fun, fresh idea of a 2.5 hr networking event with a buffet. There were sponsored tables if you wanted to sit with your posse, but there was also random seating areas and cocktail tables for friends to gather around. 

 Everyone was drawn to this unique sitting area.
 Jacob Alvarez and Kenyana Kutney, both of Replica Creative.
the short program, which included a message from Jack Ferguson,
President & CEO of the Philadelphia
Convention & Visitors Bureau citing the PHLCVB’s major
within this past year, including the launch of the “PHL: Here For The
marketing campaign in April, a 10-page editorial project by National
Traveler magazine and the organization’s contributions to moving
to the 13th most visited American city by overseas travelers in 2013 and
to come in 2014; then there was a taped message from Mayor Michael
which was interesting since he was live in person at the
luncheon), the last speaker was Jason Ware, ‎Sr.
Manager, Operations & Meetings at American Heart Association (AHA) who announced
that AHA has selected
Philadelphia as the site of its 2019 annual meeting which was greeted by thunderous applause of all the guests.

 Jim Werner, Visit Philly, Brigid Squilla, Councilman Mark Squilla and Michael Sheridan, Temple University School of Tourism. (Congrats to Mike for taking up running this year and running his first half marathon.)

 Councilwomen Blondell Reynolds Brown, Mary Love, Philadelphia Zoo and Sue Fee, Synergy and adjunct professor at Temple U. (Thanks Sue for having Kory and I speak to your marketing class at Temple University.)

 Aramark does the catering at the Pa Convention Center. I’ve been to many a good party here but never saw them create a “salad bar.”
Which was very clever and popular, but

 they need to larger glasses, like a Planter’s Punch bowl or a salad bowl would be fine. Again though I loved the idea and people loved seeing their salads tossed, but the lettuce would fall out of the glass.

 The ladies of Delilah’s Gentleman Club and Steakhouse and the GM.

 Danielle Cohn, and Mayor Michael Nutter listen to the speakers on stage. This was Danielle’s last day at Discover PHL, after 18 years at the company she’s now at Comcast supporting entrepreneurs, startups and innovation throughout Philadelphia and the country.
 The Honorable Marian Tasco, Philadelphia City Council celebrates her birthday with Charmaine Matlock-Turner, Urban Affairs Coalitition.

 Julie Coker Graham, executive vice president of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), Jason Ware, Sr. Manager, Operations & Meetings at American Heart Association and Maria Grasso, Director- National AccountsPhiladelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

 Brendan Walsh, Mole Street Productions and Amanda Hill, Cashman & Assocs.

Gail Harrity, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Robert W. Bogle, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Philadelphia Tribune.
 Joe Corrigan, Edge Hill, Heidi Hawkins, Justin Pizzi and Kim Joyce all of Aqua.

 Charles Croce,  Executive Director and CEO of the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Director of Commerce and  Ed Grouse, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association

 Tony Crawford, Chariot Companies and Karen Lewis, Drexel University

 Rich Negrin, Deputy Mayor for Administration & Coordination and Managing Director, María Montero external affairs  Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor.
 Andrew Wheeler  Managing Director at Diversified Search and Kathryn Ott Lovell, Executive Director at Fairmount Park Conservancy.

 Larry Giuffra,  ‎Assistant Brand Manager at Replica Creative and Councilman Jim Kenney.

 Nancy Gilboy, Citizen Diplomacy International, Jon Herrmann, USA250, Terese Balzereit, Independence Visitor Center Corporation.
 Atif Bostic, Citizens Bank,  Earl Harvey, earlharvey media group and Kevin Cafferty, OIC Philadelphia.
 Matthew Ray, Chatterblast and Tony Forte,  Saul Ewing LLP

 Crystal Hayes and Michelle Conron, Cashman & Assoc. Michelle Kalev, Four Seasons and Christina Cassidy, Discover PHL
 James Cuorato, president and CEO of the Independence Visitor Center, and Mike Harris, Director, Marketing and Special Projects for the Phillies.
 Svetlana Yazovskikh, ‎Senior International Tourism Sales Manager at Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tom Allen, Palomar Hotel and Allison D’Amora, Hotel Monaco.

Lucy MacNichol, Khaila Burke-Green, Marissa Feldman, Danielle Cohn, Mark Correa, Mary Connors, and Hillary Ray all of Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau flank Nicholas DeBenedictis. Chairman, President and CEO Aqua.