Angela Val took over as CEO of Visit Philadelphia at one of the worst moments for the organization, writes David Murrell for the Philadelphia Magazine.
The city did not have a triumphant reopening following the pandemic. It came out of the dark period changed, with worse conditions on public transit, fewer businesses and less foot traffic downtown, and constant worries about crime. And while tourists have started to return to Philadelphia, the numbers are nowhere near the pre-pandemic ones.
And when Val ascended to the top job in June, the internal circumstances were not much better. The nonprofit has had to reduce its staff to just 26 people due to the drop in funds – it is financed from a hotel tax – and her predecessor Jeff Guaracino had just died of cancer at 48.
“It was a recipe for disaster,” said Val.
She had to completely reconsider how she does her job. Currently, she is primarily preoccupied with concrete matters, such as trash cans, public safety, and public transit.
Her task is described by Meryl Levitz, the nonprofit’s founding CEO who hired Val 25 years ago, as nothing less than “developing a post-pandemic Philadelphia.”
Read more about Angela Val in the Philadelphia Magazine.
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