Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), the city’s official tourism promotion agency, announced its new national sales director.
In her new position, Devon Whitaker will be responsible for the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia (DMV) market, booking between 1,501 to 4,500 total room nights per group. She will begin her new position in August.
“Devon’s consistency and creativity will be an immeasurable asset as Philadelphia’s meetings industry continues to evolve and expand,” said Jack Ferguson , president and CEO, PHLCVB. “Her drive to engage customers, exceed goals and deliver results will help us share the city we love with even more people wishing to experience Philadelphia.”
Whitaker brings to the PHLCVB over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. In her most recent position, she served as the national sales manager for Destination DC – for the last three years, she exceeded sales goals and expectations. Her ability to cultivate and maintain great client relationships has resulted in her being able to confirm six new annual conventions for Washington, D.C. totaling more than 125,000 room nights. Also during her time with Destination DC, Whitaker co-created “Dine with DC,” a quarterly event that provides an intimate setting where clients personally engage, exchange best practices and experience Washington, D.C. hot spots.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the momentum of positive change surrounding Philadelphia. It is a vibrant city that has so much to offer, whether it’s sports, history, culture or terrific restaurants,” said Whitaker. “Now that the new Customer Satisfaction Agreement is in place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, along with SMG management, Philadelphia is a gem that can now shine even brighter. It’s an exciting time to join such an esteemed and respected team.”
Whitaker began her career in hospitality at the front desk of the Inner Harbor Marriott in Baltimore, Md., and was promoted to the human resources department after six months. Within two years, she advanced to sales manager at the Marriott International in Gaithersburg, Md., where she rose to be a top sales person selected as a Golden Circle Candidate for each quarter in 2005.
After three years with Marriott, Whitaker returned to Baltimore as a convention sales manager for the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association. She remained in Baltimore for over a year before moving to Washington, D.C. and taking a position at Destination DC where she handled the entire East Coast and was promoted twice within seven years.
A graduate of Morgan State University, she currently maintains professional affiliations with Professional Convention Management Association, Capital Chapter; International Association of Exhibitions and Events; Meeting Professionals International and Just Because Networking Group.