As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, we want to highlight the women behind Philadelphia’s Amazon HQ2 bid!  These women are leaders in their fields and their collective expertise drove the success of the core and creative teams behind the bid.

Paula Butler

EVP & Vice President Communications

Visit Philly developed the HQ2 bid team’s approach to targeting those living in Seattle and working for Amazon with image-building messages about Philadelphia.

“Each organization that contributed to this effort has a unique mission and approach, and together we were able to develop a sell for Philadelphia that could be applied beyond Amazon.”

Lauren Cox
City of Philadelphia

Communications Director, Department of Commerce

Lauren Cox supported the communication efforts around the HQ2 bid, along with Lauren Hitt and Stephanie Waters from the Mayor’s Office.  When reflecting upon her involvement with HQ2, Lauren recognizes the power of women behind the operations.

“Playing a role in a project of this scale, one that could impact Philadlephia’s trajectory for decades was both humbling and exciting. Working with such a talented group of people – particularly the strong women who were leading so many aspects of the process – showed me just how much the people and organizations in Philadelphia care about the future of our city.”

Deborah Diamond
Campus Philly


Campus Philly focused on the talent side of the bid soliciting feedback from college students about how they would respond to Amazon HQ2 in Philadelphia and connecting with Philadelphia colleges and universities to learn more about their industry partnerships to serve as examples to Amazon.

“I’ve never seen Philadelphia organizations collaborate so well together and I do wonder whether women-led teams lend themselves to greater collaboration. In my experience, women are also real doers, oriented towards making their lists and checking things off. This team had to get a lot done very quickly and women are really good at that.”

Anne Fadullon
City of Philadelphia

Director of Planning & Development

Anne Fadullon’s team at the Department of Planning and Development provided input on the site selection of the impact on Philadelphia’s housing market and neighborhoods, should Amazon choose Philadelphia as HQ2.

“The Department of Planning and Development was an important voice in the process due to its mission to oversee the overall growth and development in the City. That being said, we realized the importance of team and that for Philadelphia to be truly heard in this endeavor all of the voices working on this project needed to come together and speak as one.”

Julie Coker Graham

President & CEO

The PHLCVB helped make the case of why Philadelphia by provided marketing and social media support.

“Participating in the Amazon bid process helped us uncover a new narrative for Philadelphia. As the primary sales and marketing arm for the PA Convention Center and the organization charged with positioning Philadelphia globally, we are always looking for creative ways to tell Philadelphia’s story.  The Amazon bid process enabled us to do that while also connecting us to new partners that can assist us in positioning Philadelphia as a premier U.S. destination.”

Sylvie Gallier Howard
City of Philadelphia

First Deputy Commerce Director

Sylvie Gallier Howard served as the staff co-lead for the Core Team in partnership with Anne Bovaird Nevins of PIDC.

“As an almost lifelong Philadelphian, the Amazon bid process really helped to illustrate how far Philadelphia has come and how much we have to offer as a city. The outpouring of support and ideas was tremendous; it was thrilling to see all that Philly pride!”

Meryl Levitz

President & CEO

Visit Philadelphia contributed to the overall effort of HQ2, with specific emphasis on establishing Philadelphia as a place to live, work and play, by applying work in image building for Philadelphia through advertising and social media to those living in Seattle and working for Amazon.

“The process demonstrated how effective we could all be in working together,  applying our specific talents and experience toward a worthy goal — building business for Philadelphia. And attracting more businesses to Philadelphia is in the best interest of each organization that was involved in the effort.”

Esther Needham

Project Manager

Esther Needham acted as project manager and one of the analysts for the creation of the story maps which are embedded in the Philadelphia Delivers website.

“When the final videos, website, and story maps came together, they were powerful. My team and I were proud to have been a part of something that so vividly reflected the city we love.”

Anne Bovaird Nevins

Chief Strategy & Communications Officer

Anne Bovaird Nevins served as the staff co-lead for the Core Team in partnership with Sylvie Gallier Howard of the Commerce Department. Anne was very excited about the collaboration that came out of the HQ2 bid.

“One of the most exciting things to me about the Amazon HQ2 bid was the new level of collaboration among the key partner organizations (PIDC, the City of Philadelphia, Select Greater Philadelphia, Visit Philadelphia, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Campus Philly)  that was fostered by this process. We’re continuing to leverage that positive energy for other initiatives we can do together moving forward. And, I am especially proud that an all-Philly, all-small business, really diverse team did all the creative work for the Philadelphia Delivers campaign!”

Leigh Peele
The Tactile Group

Digital Project Manager

Leigh Peele managed the production of the Philadelphia Delivers website.

“It was exciting to work on a project with national exposure and potentially high local impact, and [the team had] to complete it in such a short time frame.”

Rakia Reynolds
Skai Blue Media

Founder & CEO

Rakia Reynolds served as the creative director, overseeing creative elements of the Philadelphia’s HQ2 bid.

“Being a part of a such dynamic group of diverse talent, with such different perspectives from across the city, was exciting and rewarding! From the teams at PIDC, Tactile Group, Leveler Media, and the City of Philadelphia, to the entrepreneurs and change-makers of the city that we had the opportunity to work with, the process of bringing such a multifaceted group together to create something that showed all that we loved about Philadelphia was a highlight.”

Angela Val

Chief Administration Officer

The PHLCVB helped make the case of why Philadelphia by providing marketing and social media support.

“The Amazon bid process enabled us to tell Philadelphia’s story in a new way. The partners we connected with through this process have helped in positioning Philadelphia as a premier US destination.”