Julie Coker
Julie Coker

The top tourism executive for the Philadelphia region will take over the private, non-profit San Diego Tourism Authority in March.

The authority announced Friday its board has chosen Julie Coker to be the next president and chief executive officer, succeeding Joe Terzi, who announced his retirement in 2019 after 10 years in the role.

“We are excited to welcome Julie, a recognized leader in the tourism sector with an extensive background in hospitality and CVB management,” said Daniel Kuperschmid, chair of the authority’s board. “Julie brings both skill and expertise along with a fresh perspective and passion for the destination.”

Coker, who became president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2015, has more than 30 years of hospitality industry experience, including 21 years with Hyatt Hotels.

“This was an incredibly tough decision, but the opportunity to round-out my skill set by leading a premier West Coast destination was something I had to explore,” Coker said.

Terzi plans to work on on the Yes for a Better San Diego! campaign to expand the San Diego Convention Center and on initiatives for Balboa Park.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.