Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board Announces Staff Promotions

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Images via Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board.

After almost two years of overcoming obstacles, the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) announced a few staff promotions.

“Through challenges, it’s always so encouraging to see great leaders step up, and that calls for acknowledging the amazing employees at the VFTCB,” said Mike Bowman, President & CEO of the VFTCB.

“We believe that the hard work and dedication of these folks have and will continue to help us move forward to tell the story of Montgomery County, PA as both a leisure and business overnight destination to drive positive economic recovery, and stimulate jobs,” he says.

Rachel Riley has been promoted to Associate Vice President of Communications.
She will continue to oversee communications/presentations, public relations, social media, government and regional relations, arts and culture, sales partnerships, and board business. Riley launched two firsts for the VFTCB in 2021: Crave Montco Month in July, and Arts Montco Week in September.

She also led the charge for the Valley Forge Freedom from Hunger Food Drive, which collected the monetary equivalent of more than 30,000 pounds, and 75,000 lifetimes. Since 2018, Riley has earned more than 5,200 article placements for an exposure of almost 2 billion. A former award-winning multimedia journalist, she holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Holy Family University and was named one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2021 40 Under 40, and PR News’ Top Women in PR.

Justine promotion
  • Justine Garbarino has been promoted to Associate Vice President of Marketing.
    She will continue to oversee web, data, business development, creative, and build the organization’s marketing strategy.

    In 2021, Garbarino maintained the successful coordination of the impactful Make It Main Street campaign initiative and partnership with Montgomery County/Commerce Department. After starting the co-op program in 2016, more than 80 partners have invested more than half a million dollars.

    She previously worked as a broadcast television producer for the FOX News affiliates in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. Garbarino holds a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies from The Catholic University of America, and serves on the board of directors for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County.
  • Emily Keel has been promoted to Content Coordinator.
    She produces written, photo, and video content for the board across multiple outlets, including official VFTCB social media accounts, the VFTCB website, in-house and third party publications, and numerous other outlets.

    Keel has been with the tourism board for almost six years, and has contributed to multiple projects including, the inaugural Crave Montco dining guide, the Patriot Tales comic book series, as well as being an integral part of the team behind Monty the Fox, the official mascot of Montgomery County. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

VFTCB officials also wanted to recognize staff members who were promoted earlier in 2021:

  • Samantha Cole was promoted to Associate Director of Public Relations. A positive leader who has grown the VFTCB’s social presence to more than 170,000 followers with 8 million video views, she was also an integral part in making this year’s 2021 celebration of the 15th Annual Revolutionary 5-Mile Run successful as a virtual event.

    In addition to maintaining overseeing social strategy, Cole has continued to take on more with PR and communications. A graduate of Bloomsburg University, Cole was also named a Social Shake-Up Movers & Shakers Rising Star in 2019.
  • Scott Higgins was promoted to Director of Sales.
    A true professional who specializes cultivating relationships amongst meeting planners and hoteliers, he has taken on more of a leadership role focusing on technology-driven tools to grow the VFTCB’s group business.

    He continues to work with corporate, association, social, military, educational, religious, and fraternal clients.
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