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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Rachel Ferguson is Visit Philadelphia’s chief innovation and global diversity officer. In this role, she is charged with helping to grow the leisure tourism segment by leading marketing programs focused on multicultural and multigenerational travelers and new geographic markets.

Ferguson leads the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion program, communications and revenuegenerating partnerships. Under her leadership, the organization launched award-winning campaigns to attract Latinx travelers (Filadelfia — You Gotta Feel It), LGBTQ audiences (Philadelphia Pioneers on the Road to Stonewall), women (City of Sisterly Love) and African American travelers (Love + Grit podcast).

In 2021, Ferguson led Visit Philadelphia’s collaboration with Wawa Welcome America and the African American Museum in Philadelphia to make the commemoration of Juneteenth part of the city’s annual Independence Day festival. She played an integral role in the formation of the nonprofit’s Diversity Fellowship Program, designed to increase the number of diverse professionals in the hospitality industry.

“I worked with the team to lead a campaign that beautified the city’s empty storefronts by transforming them into art installations by 12 local QBIPOC artists,” she said. “This work was featured in the New York Times, positioning Philadelphia as a resilient, diverse and inclusive tourism destination.”

Ferguson previously worked as a communications executive at CBS New York for seven years, serving on the steering committee for the CBS Corporation Diversity Council and creating the inaugural Sisters for the Cure brunch in New York City to address health disparities affecting African American women with breast cancer.

Ferguson is a campaign ambassador for “Our Community. Our Health,” a joint initiative of Independence Blue Cross and The Philadelphia Tribune to improve the health of the African American community in the Philadelphia region. In 2022, she was named to the Power 100 by the Philadelphia Business Journal and City & State Pennsylvania’s Power of Diversity: Black 100. She was named one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 2021 Women of Achievement, received The Philadelphia Tribune’s 2021 Most Influential African Americans award and was one of the Tribune’s 2020 Women of Achievement recipients.

Ferguson has served on the board of directors of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Communications Advisory Committee of the U.S. Travel Association. She is a graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations, advertising and applied communication.

“My hope is that Greater Philadelphia is No. 1 in (pandemic) recovery efforts as the industry works tirelessly to rebuild Philadelphia’s tourism and hospitality economy by attracting visitors and supporting the diverse businesses that make Philly, Philly,” Ferguson said.


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