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Industry Briefs

Bill Wilson

After a 17-year tenure, Bill Wilson, founder and principal-in-charge of Synterra Ltd., is officially stepping down from his role as chair of PHL Diversity. He passes the leadership baton to successor Richard Snow, senior advisor of multicultural marketing and business development at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

During his time with PHL Diversity - a business development division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau ( PHLCVB) - Wilson helped to increase Philadelphia's prominence as a top destination for multicultural and diverse meetings. Wilson has worked to advance PHL Diversity's mission of attracting meetings and conventions while ensuring Philadelphia's minority business leaders have equal access to contract and vendor opportunities.

Over the years, Wilson has been instrumental in securing major meeting and convention business with organizations such as the NAACP, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Assembly of the Links Incorporated and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In 2017 alone, with his support PHL Diversity-booked conventions generated 57,000 hotel room nights, $3 million in state and local taxes, and $37 million in overall economic impact for the city of Philadelphia.

"It has been an honor to work alongside some of the most prolific business and community leaders, through the lens of tourism and hospitality, for nearly two decades," said Wilson. "I am proud of all that we have accomplished in that time, and I look forward to seeing the PHL Diversity continue to grow and thrive with Richard Snow's guidance."

"Bill Wilson's impact on PHL Diversity, the PHLCVB and the City of Philadelphia will continue to be realized for years to come," said PHLCVB President and CEO Julie Coker Graham. "His work in positioning our city as a diverse and inclusive destination has helped us to elevate our multicultural business offerings to clients and strengthened ties with the local community in the process. We appreciate his years of dedication and service as PHL Diversity chair and look forward to continuing to work with him as part of the PHLCVB Board of Directors."

One of Wilson's proudest professional achievements was his work on the Pennsylvania Convention Center upgrade in 2011. A $786 million project, Wilson was able to help the project succeed by building a public-private coalition to support it. As such, his professional legacy at the PHLCVB and PHL Diversity will be his ability to build bridges and unite civic and corporate leaders with one vision in mind: driving diverse convention business to the City of Philadelphia, deliver economic impact that benefits our region, and ensure that minority businesses are able to benefit from our region's economic growth.

Though he is stepping down from his position as Advisory Board Chair, Wilson will continue to serve as a board member of the PHLCVB and will continue to volunteer with PHL Diversity.

Richard Snow

At St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Snow currently has the national responsibility of managing current and cultivating potential relationships with African American groups, individuals (donors) and celebrities. Included are collective partnerships with the international Black Greek-lettered Organizations that collectively form the National Pan-Hellenic Council, The Links, Inc., NAACP, NUL, AEAONMS (Prince Hall Shriners) and many more.  St. Jude also has the support of over 1,000 churches across the country of all denominations through a program called Sunday of Hope, which was started while Snow was the Executive Director/COO of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Snow's hospitality industry involvement, past and present, includes serving as Chairman Emeritus, National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners; and on the Board of the PHLCVB; and the Advisory Boards of the Milwaukee Convention & Visitors Bureau, Lone Star (Dallas) Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Atlanta Customers/Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Washington (DC) Convention & Visitors Bureau/Washington (DC) Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and the Metro Detroit Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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