Visit Philadelphia president and CEO Jeff Guaracino has died at the age of 48. He served as head of the CVB since 2018. He died on Dec. 28 from cancer, according to the agency.
Guaracino was previously the vice president of communications for Visit Philadelphia and is known for creative ad campaigns that drew diverse groups of visitors to the city, such as "Philly's more fun when you sleep over" and "Get your history straight and your nightlife gay." He was an advocate of the LGBTQ+ community and wrote two books about gay travel marketing.
Guaracino had also served as president and CEO of Welcome America, Inc., which promotes Philadelphia and American history, and plans citywide events like the Wawa Welcome America Fourth of July celebration. Prior to that, he was the executive director and CEO of the Atlantic City Alliance and led the city's tourism industry in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
"Jeff was a beloved family member, partner and friend, as well as a passionate leader, avid traveler, celebrated author, teacher, mentor and role model," said Visit Philadelphia in a statement on Wednesday. "His fun spirit and strong sense of self were with him until the end."