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.

Event design veteran and florist David C. McKnight mixes elegance with fun.

M+E: You started Emerald City Designs back in 1993. Tell us what initially interested you in floral design and why you named the company Emerald City.

 

Hotel business travel revenue will be down in 2022.

While the hospitality industry is beginning to rebound as the pandemic seems to wane, hotel business travel is still taking time to recover. (See also Infographic on page 38.) According to a report issued by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), leisure travel is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this year. However, the 2022 report projects that hotel business travel revenue will be down 23% from 2019, which equates to a $20-billion decrease.

 

Erin Murphy has been promoted to marketing director for West Michigan Tourism Association (WTMA) after serving as marketing manager since June 2021. A native of Grand Rapids, Murphy is passionate about promoting her home region. “I love how you don’t have to drive far to experience so many amazing towns and communities,” she says. “You’re never far away from a lake, and you can easily find whatever you’re looking for—from big-city amenities to sweet small towns full of charm.”