FastFive – June 2017
Bonnie Grant
Executive Director, PHL Life Sciences
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

1. What story in our industry impacted you the most in 2016 and why??
Truly, seeing Hillary Clinton nominated, as the first female candidate for the President of the United States, inspiring women everywhere, will stay with me as long as I live. But in the industry of meetings and conventions, my city was the host destination of the Democratic National Convention where she was nominated. The DNC pushed Philadelphia into the national and international spotlight and showed the world how we can host a great party. Making it a “summer to remember,” the DNC was followed by the American Association of Clinical Chemistry annual meeting, the second largest convention of that year for Philadelphia.

2. What advice would you give your younger self?
I would say enjoy your body, it is a beautiful thing, and you need to appreciate it. I would say you do not need to worry, everything will work out. I would say the pain and joy you experienced during childbirth is nothing compared to the pain and joy you will experience during the journey of parenthood.

3. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Two guilty pleasures I enjoy are consuming an entire pint of Pineapple Coconut Häagen-Dazs ice cream, when I am by myself; and drinking Baily’s Irish Cream while eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich when I am hanging out with friends.

4. What does your current “just get it done” playlist look like?
I love performing in local theater and I have been fortunate to get several lead roles in plays I dreamed about: Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf; Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Terry Glimmer in Side Man; Mrs. Warren in Mrs. Warren’s Profession; Maxine in Night of the Iguana, to name a few. I have a bucket list that includes Amanda in The Glass Menagerie; Queen Eleanor in The Lion in Winter; Bella in Lost in Yonkers; Violet in August: Osage County – also to name a few.

5. What’s your favorite book?
I have always loved Girls Like Us, the coming of age story of Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon (I am a fan of all three), the walls they had to kick down, the loves that influenced their lives and their journeys as artists. I am also a big romance novel fan, having every one of Judith McNaught’s books. Same story each time, no matter the character or era, but it did not matter because it always had the same effect on me – endlessly captivated by the idea of romance.

About Bonnie

Bonnie Grant joined the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) in April, 2008, as Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences Congress (PHLLifeSciences), responsible for marketing Greater Philadelphia, ranked one of the largest life sciences sectors in the country, as “America’s Life Sciences Meetings Destination.”

Representing our region’s public, private and academic entities, members of PHLLIfeSciences assist PHLCVB with sales, on-site services and sponsorship efforts to attract conventions, meetings and new business, as well as promoting the region’s premier attractions in history, medicine, science, arts, culture and entertainment, all making for a unique and memorable Philadelphia convention experience.

Bonnie was appointed to serve on the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) Medical Meetings Task Force, beginning in January, 2016. In October, 2012, Bonnie was awarded the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Life Sciences Award in the “Best Consultant” category.

Bonnie served for 11 years in the City of Philadelphia as Deputy City Representative for the City of Philadelphia under the administrations of Mayors Edward G. Rendell and John F. Street, charged with promoting Philadelphia as a world-class destination, and in the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation. She has also served as director of communications and spokesperson for Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition; the Philadelphia Eagles; and Chestnut Hill College.

Bonnie is past president of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA), and serves on the boards of PPRA, Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health (Secretary), and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. She is past board member of The Wellness Community of Philadelphia (now The Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia). A writer and actor, she has also served on the boards of Plays and Players Theater and Random Acts of Theater. She holds a BFA from Tyler School of Art and a Master’s in Journalism from Temple University.