The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has named Sheila Alexander-Reid as the new executive director of PHL Diversity, a key business development division of the PHLCVB. Alexander-Reid starts her new role Sept. 7.
“Sheila’s experience is at the key intersection of diversity, equity and inclusion, strategic planning and business development,” said Gregg Caren, PHLCVB president and CEO in a statement.
“She has not only the professional expertise to lead the business division, but a strong background in DEI advocacy that will continue to ensure PHL Diversity’s efforts are always community focused,” he added. “I look forward to the new energy and vision Sheila will bring to the organization.”
At DHL Diversity, Alexander-Reid will oversee the division’s efforts to promote Philadelphia as an exclusive, welcoming destination for meetings and conventions.
She will lead implementation and strategy to develop and synergize relationships with industry and government stakeholders across Philadelphia’s diverse community.
Alexander-Reid will also be instrumental in leading the division to increase the net convention, meetings and tourism brand value of Philadelphia as a welcoming DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) convention destination, while also advancing opportunities for growth of local businesses as a result of increased event and visitation to the city.
“I look forward to continuing my career of advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion and progress in the great city of Philadelphia by leading PHL Diversity,” said Alexander-Reid in a statement.
“I look forward to continuing to support the mission of the PHLCVB and PHL Diversity and cannot wait to work with its well-established board and close partners in the city and beyond,” she added.
Alexander-Reid has decades of experience in diversity, equity and inclusion and is a champion for marginalized communities.
Prior to joining PHL Diversity, she served as senior vice president, business development at BiasSync, a firm that helps organizations more effectively assess and manage unconscious bias in the work environment.
In 2015, Alexander-Reid was appointed by Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser as executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Affairs where she advised the mayor on the implementation of discrimination protections and diversity and inclusion policies that supported D.C.’s LGBTQ residents.
Alexander-Reid was instrumental in the city’s successful fight for marriage equality and she also served on a policy committee advising the (Joe) Biden-(Kamala) Harris campaign. She often collaborated with Destination DC, a destination marketing organization similar to PHLCVB charged with attracting diverse conventions.
She also spent 32 years with the Washington City Paper where she served as director of strategic engagement and development manager focusing on sales and marketing.
“Sheila has an impressive mix of personal experience, career development, higher education learning and a strong business acumen that will lead PHL Diversity into the future,” said Richard Lee Snow, chair of PHL Diversity and Regional Development Director of the United Negro College Fund, Washington, D.C. region in a statement.
“She follows an impressive list of leaders who have held this position and I am confident she will continue that legacy,” he added.
Alexander-Reid founded two agencies Branding4Change, a boutique branding and training agency focused on DEI, and Women in the Life, a social justice non-profit organization that creates safe spaces and social gatherings for lesbians of color.
She has earned certificates in diversity and inclusion from Cornell University and Stanford Graduate School of Business and leadership training from Victory Institute. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Spelman College.