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Kathryn Ott Lovell is the new President and CEO of the Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation. Photo credit: Sabina Pierce
Kathryn Ott Lovell is the new President and CEO of the Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation. Photo credit: Sabina Pierce

Former Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation appointed President & CEO of Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation

Kathryn Ott Lovell will join the organization in July.

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The Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation (Visitor Center) has announced that Kathryn Ott Lovell has been named its new President and CEO. This statement came hours after the Mayor announced her resignation as Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

She will start her new role on July 10, 2023.  

“Philadelphia is my home and I take great pride in welcoming visitors to our city offering them a uniquely Philly experience. From historic sites and cultural experiences to amazing restaurants and the nation’s most passionate sports fans, our city is one-of-a-kind,” Ott Lovell said. 

“As we prepare to welcome the world to the birthplace of America in 2026, Philadelphia has the opportunity to shine on a global stage. Leveraging the great success of the Visitor Center to-date, I look forward to working with our dedicated board, staff, and partners to further elevate and enhance the visitor experience for the millions who come to our region each year,” she continued. 

Ott Lovell served as the Commissioner of PPR since 2016 and established its first strategic plan. She also led initiatives to engage residents and visitors at Philadelphia’s parks. These included The Oval+, Enhanced PlayStreets, Parks on Tap, Swim Philly, and the Philadelphia International Unity Cup soccer tournament. 

Before working at PPR, she was the Executive Director of the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the Chief Advancement Officer of City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. 

She holds a BA in Philosophy/Communication from the University of Scranton.  

“We had outstanding candidates put their names forward for this position, each with a strong understanding of what the Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation has accomplished in the last 20 years, and distinct visions for what it could become in the years to come,” said Debbie O’Brien, Board Chair of Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation.  

“Kathryn Ott Lovell’s qualifications and experience were unmatched as was her enthusiasm to welcome visitors to our great city. There is no better champion for Philadelphia than Kathryn. Our Board of Directors is proud that she is joining the organization as President & CEO, and we are eager to see the impact of her leadership as we look ahead,” she added.

Her leadership skills will definitely be necessary in the coming years, as several major events will be taking place in Philadelphia in 2026. This includes the FIFA World Cup 26, America’s 250th anniversary celebration, and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

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