The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau has named longtime ASM Global executive Gregg Caren to the position of president and CEO. Caren most recently served as the executive vice president, sales and strategic business development for ASM Global, formerly SMG, which operates 350 venues worldwide. He has also served in a variety of senior leadership positions for the company, which manages convention centers and sports venues, for more than 20 years.
Caren will begin the position in Philadelphia on June 8. He succeeds Julie Coker, who announced in January she would leave to lead the San Diego Tourism Authority.
“Gregg brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership from many facets of our industry, including prior sales, marketing and operations experience working with convention centers, hotels, and CVBs, both domestically and internationally,” said Nick DeBenedictis, PHLCVB chairman. “He is familiar with our customers, our region and has been a close partner to the organization in his role at ASM Global, the operator of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. As we turn our attention towards recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident that Gregg will guide the PHLCVB towards future success on behalf of Philadelphia.”
In taking over at PHLCVB, Caren will oversee efforts to promote and sell Philadelphia as a destination for meetings, conventions, sporting events, overseas travelers and group tour visitors. He is also expected the bureau’s chief liaison to local tourism and hospitality partners, including the Pennsylvania Convention Center, as well as national industry associations, and the city of Philadelphia.
“After two decades working with dozens of convention centers and destinations around the globe, I am genuinely excited and honored to represent my hometown of 25 years to the rest of the world,” said Caren. “Given the current state of affairs and my love for the greater Philadelphia region, I also have a strong sense of civic responsibility. The PHLCVB drives meaningful economic impact for our city and region. I’m truly looking forward to contributing to Philadelphia’s recovery efforts by leading the extremely talented team at the PHLCVB, and working closely with the partners and stakeholders that help drive our tourism industry forward.”
Caren has held board and leadership roles with the International Association for Exhibitions & Events (IAEE), the National Association of Consumer Shows (NACS) and the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM).