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.

The new reality for in-person meetings and events is coming into focus. While gatherings were cancelled or went virtual during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, states are now slowly beginning to reopen and move toward a return to in-person gatherings. Associated Luxury Hotels International, or ALHI, published safety recommendations for planners, hotels, airlines and more, as society begins to formulate safety guidelines for travel, tourism, meetings and events.  

 

The U.S. Travel Association has called the current moment the “Great Travel Depression,” in light of the economic effects resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Due to COVID-19, non-essential travel was, or has been, banned for months. Long anticipated trips and in-person gatherings were canceled and people have adjusted to the new normal: staying at home and meeting over Zoom. However, states have been slowly lifting restrictions, and non-essential travel will soon be happening across the country again. However, some may not be as comfortable with the thought of traveling as they were before the pandemic.