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Scene: Jeff Guaracino Way

Yesterday was a bittersweet, beautiful day, where friends of Jeff Guaracino gathered to remember a man who touched so many lives and made a difference in tourism & hospitality.

Press Release: On Tuesday, October 11, City officials horored the late civic pride booster, celebrated author and former President and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA, Jeff Guaracino, by renaming a portion of South 13th Street in Center City after the tourism marketer and LGBTQ+ trailblazer responsible for putting Philadelphia on the map as a premier LGBTQ+ tourism destination.

Nicole Cashman, Cashman & Associates and Sabrina Tamburino Thorne
Jerry Guaracino, Jeff’s brother, Joshua Thomas , Jeff’s fiance and Joanne Calabria, Jeff’s friend and mentor

In a ceremony that will take place in Philadelphia’s iconic “Gayborhood,” on South 13th Street between Locust and Spruce Streets will be renamed “Jeff Guaracino Way.” The City will also present a Mayoral proclamation and City Council resolution, introduced by Councilmember Mark Squilla, recognizing National Coming Out Day and proclaiming Tuesday, October 11, 2022 as “Jeff Guaracino Day.”

Guaracino, who passed away in December 2021, was a beloved family member, partner, colleague and friend, as well as a passionate hospitality and tourism leader, celebrated author and avid traveler known for his fun spirit and strong sense of self. During his storied career, Guaracino made a significant impact while employed two different times at VISIT PHILADELPHIA, serving first as Director of Communications and Vice President of Communications, and later as President and CEO. Guaracino was a driving force in Philadelphia becoming the first destination in the U.S. to air a nationally televised commercial for LGBTQ+ travelers through VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s award-winning marketing campaign, “Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay®.”

Guaracino was also the President and CEO of Welcome America, Inc. and previously the executive director of the Atlantic City Alliance. He honed his marketing skills in the early days of his career at The Franklin Institute, CBS3 and KYW1060 Radio. He even found time to pen two influential books about gay travel marketing — both industry firsts.

Scott Brown, Brown Shoprites and Larry Dubinski is the President & CEO of The Franklin Institute

Michael Newmuis, Chief External Affairs Officer, Visit Philadelphia introduces the opening performers, Vinchelle and Brittany Lynn

Vinchelle Performs “Girl on Fire”
Brittany Lynn Performs “I’m Coming Out”
Angela Val, President, Visit Philadelphia looks on as Sheila Hess, City Representative, City of Philadelphia kicks off program
The City and Sheila Hess will also present a Mayoral proclamation and City Council resolution, introduced by Councilmember Mark Squilla, recognizing National Coming Out Day and proclaiming Tuesday, October 11, 2022 as “Jeff Guaracino Day.” to Jerry Guaracino and Joshua Thomas.
Tami Sortman, Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus and Mark Squilla, Majority Whip, City Council of Philadelphia
Jerry Guaracino, and Joshua Thomas Representatives of Jeff Guaracino’s family
Mark Segal, Publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, Jeff’s other mentor, and longtime friend who helped Jeff emerge from the closet, which is another beautiful story to hear on National Coming Out Day. Just down the street from here, Mark Segal’s legacy is marked with a historical marker celebrating the Philadelphia Gay News, which was founded by Mark. (6ABCNews)
Julian King Performs “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
Cue the confetti cannons