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PHLCVB appoints hotel veteran as SVP of convention sales

Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), the official tourism promotion agency for the city globally, announced the addition of a senior vice president of convention sales.

A hotel industry veteran with more than two decades of experience, Richard (Rick) Staub will lead the PHLCVB’s convention sales and services team in achieving booking goals by proactively positioning and marketing Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) to prospective convention groups. He will begin work at the PHLCVB in September.

ECN 082015_POM_PHLCVB_Rick Staub

Staub comes to the PHLCVB after a dynamic career, most recently serving as the managing director/general manager of Philadelphia’s second largest hotel, the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown. Prior to that, Staub held the same position at the Loews Philadelphia for seven years. Having led a large convention hotel, Staub brings to the table robust knowledge of the meetings and tourism industry, its distribution channels and its customer base.

He has worked with the PHLCVB on numerous convention bid efforts and has effectively serviced convention groups and their attendees. Staub’s hiring comes as Julie Coker Graham, who currently holds the role, prepares to step into the position of president & CEO next year, when current president & CEO, Jack Ferguson, is set to retire.

“We are absolutely thrilled that after a rigorous nationwide search, Rick will be joining our team in this very important role,” said Ferguson. “We worked closely with Rick in his previous positions at the Sheraton and Loews and his ability to be a diplomatic consensus builder, successfully managing relationships with various stakeholders, in addition to his knowledge of Philadelphia’s hospitality landscape, were key factors in his hiring. Rick is an incredible asset to our team and our clients can be assured that they are in great hands.”

The search was conducted by Minneapolis-based Searchwide, an executive recruitment firm that specializes in hospitality industry recruiting with an emphasis on senior and executive level positions.

“I am looking forward to working with Jack, Julie and the PHLCVB team to bring even more business to Philadelphia,” stated Staub. “It’s an exciting time to be in this city, and with the changes at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and our continued evolution as a destination of international appeal, I am eager to help Philadelphia build upon its success in this highly competitive market.”

Staub’s career began at the Hilton Hotels Corporation where he served for more than a decade at various Hilton Hotel properties. He became Managing Director of the Tremont Suite Hotels Corporation in 2002, where he spearheaded a $13 million dollar full-scale renovation and expansion of the Tremont Plaza Hotel and coordinated a $25 million dollar renovation of The Tremont Grand, a 45,000 square foot banquet conference facility.

With his move to the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown in 2013, Staub helped the hotel achieve RevPar (revenue per available room) improvement of eight percent over 2013 and anticipates growth of six to eight percent in 2015. At the Loews, Staub helped secure the coveted AAA Four Diamond rating for the property as well as the Gold Key Award designation bestowed by Meeting Planner Magazine to deserving meeting properties.

“The PHLCVB’s hiring of Rick demonstrates their ability to attract great talent. Rick’s position is integral to the success of the Convention Center and we look forward to working with him,” said John McNichol, president & CEO, PCC. “His familiarity with our facility, our clients, and his most recent experience as a general manager at a PCC anchor hotel make him an excellent fit for this position.”

“For the past nine years, Rick has been a key leader in our hotel community operating some of our city’s largest hotels. He will be an important partner in his new role with the PHLCVB and we know he will accomplish more great things for our industry and our city,” said Greg Stafford, president, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association.

Staub currently sits on the boards of the PHLCVB, the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association and is a member of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Hospitality Committee, the Mayoral Committee for Market East Economic Improvement, the Philadelphia Hospitality and Tourism Task Force led by Jim Kenney, former City Councilman At-Large and mayoral candidate, and the 2015 World Meeting of Families and Papal visit Welcome Committee.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Staub and his wife, Tina, reside in Wilmington, Del. and have five children and two grandchildren.

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