Three new board members have joined the Visit Philadelphia team.

These include: Obra S. Kernodle, IV, deputy chief of staff and director, Office of Public Liaison for Gov. Tom Wolf; Bret Perkins, vice president, external and government affairs, Comcast Corporation; and Anthony J. Conti, who worked for 29 years as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

 “Their extensive knowledge about business and government will help shape Visit Philadelphia strategies as we look forward to our 20th anniversary year,” says Manuel Stamatakis, board chairman, Visit Philadelphia. “I welcome their ideas and insights.”

Before his current position, Kernodle was the deputy of legislative affairs for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and worked on President Obama’s re-election effort as the Pennsylvania southeast political director. A graduate of Roman Catholic High School, he attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.

Perkins is a member of the Temple University board of trustees and is on the boards of The Committee of Seventy, the Family Online Safety Institute, Older Adult Technology Services and the Philadelphia International Airport Advisory Board. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia.

Conti is the chair-elect of The Philadelphia Foundation and serves on the boards of AMETEK, Inc.; Progressive Business Publications; Biotelemetry; and Center for Corporate Governance at Drexel University. He went to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and earned his master’s degree from Temple University.

Visit Philadelphia’s 19 board members are business, hospitality, government and academia leaders.

Remote working has become mainstream with the continued presence of COVID-19. While many people have welcomed the new normal of working from home, others miss the separation of spaces, as many corporate offices have remained closed since March. Without the daily obligation to go into the office, professionals have the ability to travel more freely. Hotels across the country are creating “work from hotel” deals–a play on “work from home”–so people can explore new places while still fitting in their 9 to 5.  

 

After almost 20 years of vacancy, the Cook County Hospital in Chicago will be put to use once again. A $150 million adaptive reuse project restored the historic, 106-year-old hospital, which has become a combined Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotel, as well as medical offices, a museum, a food hall and more. While the opening is multi-phased, the hotels are scheduled to open in late July.  

 

Jumpstarting tourism in cities across the country will be more complicated than simply opening doors again – especially in cities with large populations like Chicago. However, working together proves more effective, and in Chicago, more than 250 businesses are banding together to join Choose Chicago’s new initiative, Tourism & Hospitality Forward. It bolsters a safe reopening that encourages tourism as well as meetings and events in