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Walden Agustin Sr. was recently hired as the senior national accounts director of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. He comes to the CVB from the San Francisco Travel Association.
1. What are you most looking forward to in your new role as senior national accounts director for the PHLCVB? I’m looking forward to establishing a new presence in the Midwest and Southeast territories for the PHLCVB and igniting new opportunities for organizations to host their conventions in Philadelphia. I hope my established relationships with key clients will open the door for consideration and allow me to educate those organizations on all of the positive changes that are happening in Philadelphia.
2. How do you think your past industry experience has prepared you for this role? I’ve had the pleasure of working for very well-respected organizations in my career. They include Hyatt Hotels, Hilton Hotels, the Hawaii Convention Center and, most recently, the San Francisco Travel Association. The experiences I’ve learned from in hotel sales and operations, along with citywide convention sales for Hawaii and San Francisco, are valuable tools that will assist me in selling the city and convention center package for Philadelphia.
3. What goals do you have in mind for the CVB for this year and farther down the line? My goal for this year is to educate our customers on what’s new in Philadelphia and at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and ultimately book new conventions for the city. In addition, I hope to rebook past conventions that may have met prior to the new Customer Satisfaction Agreement at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and who might no longer have Philadelphia in their rotation.
4. How did you get into the hospitality industry? Growing up on the island of Lānaʻi, Hawaii, I had the pleasure of working for two resorts (now Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi, The Lodge at Koele, and Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi at Mānele Bay) at the age of 15. Based on my experiences at those hotels, I knew I wanted a career in the hospitality industry. With positive guidance, I chose to attend Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. for their hospitality management program. After four years at the university, I was able to also graduate with an associate’s degree in travel/tourism management and recreation/leisure management along with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.
5. What do you enjoy most about Philadelphia? Philadelphia is relatively new to me as I’ve only been here a few times and will be based in Illinois. However, I’ve learned about Philadelphia’s unique culture, diversity, arts, restaurants, rich American history and the love for its sports teams. I look forward to learning more about the destination and all that it has to offer.