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.

The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth changes its name to Saint John’s Resort in August.

It’s part of a rebranding with multiple enhancements that Director of Sales and Marketing Fadi Sibani says make it a true Detroit destination resort.

Formerly owned by the Archdiocese of Detroit as St. John’s Provincial Seminary from 1948 to 1988, the property was transformed in the 1990s as a center for youth and families before it was redeveloped into a hotel and conference center in the 2000s. 

 

First came COVID. Then came the tornado.

The northern Michigan community of Gaylord was just starting to rebound from the pandemic with its groups and events business as a new season was getting underway when a rare EF3 tornado with estimated wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour struck May 20.

Two people were killed and at least 44 were injured, according to official reports at the time. West Michigan meteorologist Bill Steffen said it was the strongest tornado to strike in the U.S. that month. 

 

Six months ago, Detroit’s TCF Center got a new name—Huntington Place. Now the convention center is getting striking new public art—an outdoor sculpture by acclaimed artist Scott Hocking. The 15-foot diameter bronze sculpture, Floating Citadel, will be located in the main circle drive of Huntington Place in downtown Detroit. The installation of the sculpture is expected to be complete by late summer. Renderings and images are available here