Philadelphia tourism guru to join Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association

Patricia Washington (Courtesy Photo)

Patricia Washington will take the reins at the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association, agency officials announced Friday afternoon.

Washington, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp.’s current vice president of cultural tourism, will step into her new role November 13. She takes over as president and chief executive officer for Stephanie Brown, who left the city for Ashville, N.C., earlier this year.

“We are so pleased to welcome such a dynamic and innovative leader,” said Jody Manor, chairman of the ACVA Board of Governors, in a statement. “Patricia is joining a strong organization and a booming tourism economy — Alexandria has seen a 22 percent growth in visitor spending in the last five years. We know it will take a truly exceptional candidate to take the power of the ACVA to the next level, and Patricia showed us she has the fire to do it.”

Washington will serve as the 16-year-old city-funded agency’s third president and CEO. Over the course of a 12-year stint with GPTMC, Washington led several efforts to promote tourism in the City of Brotherly Love, including the $2.5 million Art Philadelphia initiative. As the organization’s foremost fundraiser, Washington brought in $12 million for special projects during her time with GPTMC.

The announcement of her selection came a little more than a week after ACVA officials touted impressive new tourist spending figures. Visitor spending in Alexandria exceeded $770 million last year and raised $23.1 million for city coffers.