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Maria Grasso

Senior Vice President, Convention Division, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau

Maria Grasso, CEMA Board Member at Large, was recently named senior vice president, convention division at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), leading the convention sales and services team in growing convention bookings, while positioning Philadelphia as a premier destination for meetings, conventions, and events.

A more than 20-year veteran of the organization, Maria joined the PHLCVB in 1999 as senior director of national accounts, quickly establishing herself as the organization’s top-producing sales director. She most recently served as vice president of sales and convention services, a customer-facing role focusing on organizational growth in key industry verticals

Today, Maria and her team at the PHLCVB are securing conventions and meetings while highlighting Philadelphia’s impressive vaccination rate, higher than both state and national averages. They are working to tout the successful collaboration of the City’s health department, regional scientific community, and hospitality partners, which has driven Philadelphia’s success in safely hosting in-person events since March 2021.

Actively involved in Philadelphia’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2026™, Maria serves as the hotel accommodations expert representing the PHLCVB in direct contact with FIFA and U.S. Soccer. She was part of the committee that welcomed the FIFA delegation to Philadelphia last month. Maria has served in similar capacities for other historic events including the 2015 World Meeting of Families, 2016 DNC and the 2017 NFL Draft.

Maria is also the founder of Get Your Rear in Gear Philadelphia, an annual race that works to raise both research funds and awareness of colon cancer. To date, the 4-mile run has raised more than $3 million for colorectal cancer education, research, and screening efforts in the Philadelphia region. Maria and the organization are preparing to host their 14th annual event in March 2022.

Maria is also Mom to the cutest French Bulldog. Above is Brandi on her first day of school.