Three new board members have joined the Visit Philadelphia team.

These include: Obra S. Kernodle, IV, deputy chief of staff and director, Office of Public Liaison for Gov. Tom Wolf; Bret Perkins, vice president, external and government affairs, Comcast Corporation; and Anthony J. Conti, who worked for 29 years as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

 “Their extensive knowledge about business and government will help shape Visit Philadelphia strategies as we look forward to our 20th anniversary year,” says Manuel Stamatakis, board chairman, Visit Philadelphia. “I welcome their ideas and insights.”

Before his current position, Kernodle was the deputy of legislative affairs for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and worked on President Obama’s re-election effort as the Pennsylvania southeast political director. A graduate of Roman Catholic High School, he attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.

Perkins is a member of the Temple University board of trustees and is on the boards of The Committee of Seventy, the Family Online Safety Institute, Older Adult Technology Services and the Philadelphia International Airport Advisory Board. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia.

Conti is the chair-elect of The Philadelphia Foundation and serves on the boards of AMETEK, Inc.; Progressive Business Publications; Biotelemetry; and Center for Corporate Governance at Drexel University. He went to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and earned his master’s degree from Temple University.

Visit Philadelphia’s 19 board members are business, hospitality, government and academia leaders.

 

Los Angeles has such a robust food and dining scene, it’s rare to be the first at anything these days. But Benny Boy Brewing  appears to have pulled that off with its claim to be the city’s first combined brewery and cidery. Located in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood, just minutes from downtown, Benny Boy is anchored by a spacious outdoor beer and cider garden. Groups are welcome. The 1,200-square-foot cider house is available for private events of up to 51 guests while a full venue buyout accommodates 300. 

 

If you’re considering Santa Barbara as a destination for an upcoming meeting, there are more hotels and restaurants than ever before, along with new flights into Santa Barbara Airport.

Here are some highlights. 

Hotel News

Palihouse Santa Barbara, a 24-room boutique hotel in the historic Presidio neighborhood has opened. Offering a “vintage preppy meets American Riviera vibe,” total group buyouts are available, as well as outdoor entertaining space for intimate events.

 

By a number of measures, hotels are doing well in San Francisco.  For starters, occupancy rates, according to preliminary data, were 67.2% for the month of April, with average daily room rates just above $225. As the San Francisco Travel Association notes, those numbers point to the best-performing month for San Francisco hotels since pandemic restrictions were put in place in March 2020.