Black Meetings and Tourism

July/Aug 2011

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T H E P ERFECT PERS ON FOR THE JOB BY MICHAEL BENNETT January 2011. His hard earned andwell-deserved path to the top is as rewarding as any we’ve witnessed in our industry and a true labor of love for this 41-year hospi- P tality industry veteran. It’s not often one gets to rise to a level of prominence in their hometown with the credentials to support such lofty expectations, but Ferguson is truly the right person to lead the PCVB and build on its already stellar reputation. Prior to his appointment as head of the PCVB, Ferguson served eight years as executive vice president of the PCVB where he supervised a staff of 30 in the convention sales and services division. He also played an instrumental role in partnerships with Select Greater Philadelphia and the “The transition has been an exciting natural pro- gression in my career. hiladelphia native Jack Ferguson became president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention andVisitors Bureau (PCVB) in and convention groups, increasing commu- nication standards to clients through tech- nology and marketing, and to lead the PCVB in the development of a three year strategic plan.” “I would also like my tenure to include an increased focus on education through our work with The Philadelphia Academies Inc. (PAI), and the creation of Philadelphia’s Hospitality University. By collaborating with local leading hospitality organizations, I want to develop a hospi- tality pipeline that will enhance service levels of front line staff in the industry and to attract and encourage diverse students to realize the many opportunities in Philly’s hospitality industry.” The PAI it is a career-minded education program launched in the public schools with a core mission to expand life and eco- nomic options for their students and pre- pare young people for employment and post secondary education. Under the leadership Lisa Nutter, wife communication standards to clients through technol- ogy and marketing, and to lead the PCVB in the development of a three year strategic plan.” conventions and conven- tion groups, increasing My goals while serving in this position include providing exceptional service to the various of Mayor Michael Nutter, PAI serves as an intermediary, bringing the financial and human resources of the business commu- nity into Philadelphia public schools pro- viding work and life readiness skills, mak- ing connections to internships experiences, and offering scholarships that provide a path toward a productive life. One of the core industries supported by JACK FERGUSON Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce to connect meetings and conventions with local businesses. He serves on numerous boards both in Philadelphia and nationally including the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Temple University’s School of Tourism & Hospitality Management and the U.S. Travel Association to name a few. Ferguson is known for his energized can-do leadership style and is unquestionably one of the best advocates for a city we’ve ever seen. Ferguson was kind enough to take a few moments to address some key initiatives he is involved in, issues fac- ing our industry today and how the changing econom- ic climate affects his beloved city of Philadelphia, but first we wanted to know how he was adapting to being in the hot seat of leadership. “The transition has been an exciting natural progression in my career. My goals while serv- ing in this position include providing excep- tional service to the various conventions 42 PAI is the Hotel, Restaurant, Travel and Tourism Academy. Ferguson is especially proud of his service on the PAI board. “The hospitality community is the third largest industry in Philadelphia and it is thriving here, with more than 100,000 peo- ple in the region depending on it…it has helped increase economic options avail- able to public school students…Based on Philadelphia’s diverse population, the major benefactors of these programs are our multicultural communities, the largest of which is African-American.” “By working with organizations like The PAI., and Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, we can all make a huge difference and create a hospitality and tourism pipeline for developing young people for Philadelphia’s hospitality and tourism industry as a smart city.” It’s no secret we’ve experienced some tough economic times over the past few years. In fact, we tire of reporting the neg- ative at times, but there are lessons to be Black Meetings & Tourism July/August 2011:

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