Greg DeShields currently serves as the Executive Director at PHLDiversity a business development division of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. As Executive Director of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau PHLDiversity, Greg is responsible for developing and implementing plans, strategies and initiatives specifically designed to raise Philadelphia’s image as a diverse multicultural destination leading to hotel room nights and economic impact for the region.
Greg is a Graduate of Johnson & Wales University Providence, Rhode Island, with an A.S. Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management; and B.S. Degree in Hospitality Management. Professional Development Leadership Graduate: Institute for Diversity Certification, Urban League of Philadelphia, Leadership Forum, Leadership Philadelphia, and Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange.
Greg received the: 2020 Meetings Today Trendsetter (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Education), 2020 Funtime Magazine, Philadelphia Icon Award, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer, Diversity & Inclusion Awards Outstanding Association, voted 2019 Meeting Trends Top Influencers Meetings Industry, 2019 Philadelphia Tribune Most Influential African American Leaders and recipient Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association 2019 Winds of Change Award.
Greg’s professional affiliations include: President SKAL Philadelphia Chapter, board member Boy Scouts of American Cradle of Liberty, Center City District, Center City Proprietors Association, COMHAR Inc., Greater Philadelphia Hispanic, African American, Asian-American and LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and Philadelphia Award. His professional certifications include Society of Diversity – Certified Diversity Executive (CDE), American Hotel & Lodging Association, Educational Institute – Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) and Asian American Hotel Owners Association – Certified Hotel Owner CHO)
Greg is a longtime Tourism and Hospitality professional, native Philadelphian with a passion for his work and dedicated to giving back to the next generation of hospitality leaders. In 2007, at Temple University School of Sport Tourism and Hospitality Management, Greg and the DeShields family generously formed the Delores W. DeShields Endowed Scholarship, the single largest contribution to the school at that time. The Delores W. DeShields Endowed Scholarship has provided financial support for over fifteen graduating seniors from the School of Sport Tourism and Hospitality Management as they embark upon their careers in the Tourism and Hospitality industry.
Greg volunteers as a career advisor, project consultant and guest speaker for students at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management, Montgomery County Community College, Temple University School of Sport Tourism and Hospitality Management and Fox School of Business. In 2010 Greg served as advisor, launching Temple University School of Sport Tourism and Hospitality Management inaugural chapter of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality student chapter. The recognized chapter continues to provide promising minority students access to internship and job placement in the hospitality industry.
Greg is a committed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practitioner advancing DEI, producing the 2016, 2019 and 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Conference dedicated to the exchange of insights and concepts about diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices. The goal is to provide a learning forum focused on diverse and inclusive strategies that can influence corporate social responsibility, create fair treatment, access, and advancement for all eliminating barriers. The aim is to establish interactive cross-cultural comprehension by producing critical dialogue and exchanging knowledge of effective tactics.
Currently, as a volunteer Greg serves as Chair for the City of Philadelphia’s Complete Count Committee LGBTQ+ subcommittee. One of 19 subcommittees created to execute methods of publicizing the importance of the census to members of the city’s LGBTQ+ community. The Complete Count Committee advises Philly Counts 2020, which leads Philadelphia’s grassroots engagement efforts to increase awareness and participation in the 2020 Census, particularly in communities that have been historically underrepresented in the count.
Greg’s recent publications:
August 2020 Generocity Philadelphia Social Impact News Black Philanthropy and the Divine Nine
July 2020 Meetings Today Magazine How to Recruit Underrepresented Professionals for the Next Generation of Leaders
June 2020 Meetings Today Magazine Critical Value of Diversity and Inclusion
April 2020 Philadelphia Gay News We’re here, we’re queer, we count in the 2020 Census!
April 2019 Philly Ad News Minimizing Unconscious Bias with Deliberate Diversity & Inclusion Strategies