Tourism Diversity Matters Unites Leaders Across Sectors at The Collective Experience

Nationally Recognized DEI Advocate Jonathan D. Lovitz and Best-Selling Author and Philanthropist Steve Pemberton Named as Keynotes for the 2023 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference

ST. PAUL, MN, Sept 7, 2023—Tourism Diversity Matters (TDM) today announced its full conference agenda and speakers for The Collective Experience: 2023 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference in Philadelphia from October 23-24, 2023. TDM also announced the opening keynote is nationally recognized DEI advocate Jonathan D. Lovitz, Director of Public Affairs & Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and closing keynote is best-selling author, executive and philanthropist Steve Pemberton, Chief People Officer at Workhuman.

“We’re thrilled to announce our keynotes for The Collective Experience. As one of the nation’s top young leaders and economic development experts, Jonathan D. Lovitz understands first-hand how equity is the strongest driver of a modern economy,” said Greg DeShields, executive director of TDM. “He will undoubtedly reignite your passion and commitment toward investing in DEI.”

“Steve Pemberton’s story of perseverance and creating opportunities for others could not be more fitting to close our DEI conference,” added DeShields. “Steve was the first person in Walgreen’s 100-plus year history to hold the position of Chief Diversity Officer. His experience rising above obstacles to become a trailblazing corporate executive, diversity leader and relentless champion for others, will most certainly captivate attendees at our closing keynote.”

The Collective Experience gathers leaders across corporate, non-profit, government and academic sectors to exchange insights and concepts about diversity, equity and inclusion best practices. The 2023 conference will ignite inspiration and preparedness for today’s most pressing DEI issues with an impressive lineup of speakers, including:

  • Opening Keynote: Jonathan D. Lovitz, Director of Public Affairs & Senior Advisor, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Closing Keynote: Steve Pemberton, Author, A Chance in the World and Chief People Officer, Workhuman
  • CEO Roundtable Opening Speaker: Carsten Beck, Director & Futurist, Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies
  • Regional DEI leaders from Amtrak, PHL Diversity and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Temple University
  • Academic leaders from San Diego State University, University of Houston and Virginia State University
  • Executives from The Axelrod Firm, The Group Advertising, Pink Media, Travel Unity and more
  • Founders from Autism Travel Club, Ebony Expats, The Inclusive Learning Lab, Reed Development Group, The Root of Everything and more

These visionary leaders will share their insights and experiences, providing attendees with a unique perspective on inclusive economic development and empowerment, the future of work, global trends, creating opportunities for others and more. Acclaimed DEI leader Jennifer Rodríguez, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC) will emcee the conference.

The conference is designed for CEOs, corporate leaders, Chief Diversity Officers, government officials, and university-level educators and administrators seeking new innovative, forward-thinking diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies. Leadership tracks include:

  • The Academic Think Tank, October 23: a forum specifically designed for deans, directors, research faculty and DEI practitioners. Sessions will address topics including accessing a diverse talent pipeline, curriculum and staff
    development, diverse and inclusive performance metrics, and funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
  • DEI Thought Leadership, October 23: a platform designed for attendees to collaborate with influential individuals and experts in the field of DEI. Attendees will engage in a results-oriented discussion of today’s hard-hitting issues with a focus on future perspectives. Sessions will address a variety of positive change methods to create more inclusive and equitable organizations and communities.
  • CEO Roundtable, October 24: a gathering of chief executive officers (CEOs) from various companies and industries to discuss relevant issues openly and candidly. They share industry-specific knowledge, emerging trends and innovative approaches. CEOs can gain valuable insights and access to information that may help them make informed decisions and drive their organizations forward.
  • Breakout Sessions, October 24: expert-led sessions on DEI topics from small organizations and disabled communities to supplier diversity and organizational culture.

New this year is the inaugural Tourism Diversity Matters Diversity & Inclusion Awards Dinner on Monday, October 23. This year’s event, sponsored by Meet Boston, will honor the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As part of the evening program, Meet Boston President & CEO, Martha Sheridan will host a Fireside Chat featuring Leon W. Russell, Chair of the NAACP National Board of Directors, and Geoff Freeman, President & CEO of the U.S. Travel Association to discuss mutual desires to drive travel growth while addressing civil rights and social justice issues. The evening will begin with an opening reception starting at 5 p.m. EST, followed by dinner from 6-8:30 p.m. EST.

Full conference registration for The Collective Experience is $750, which includes access to the Awards Dinner as well as access to all other events, sessions and research. Individual tickets to the Awards Dinner can be purchased for $250; or a table of ten (10) for $1500. Registration is open

For more information about the conference, including a full list of speakers and panelists and to register, visit

WHAT: 2023 Diversity Equity & Inclusion Conference: The Collective Experience

WHEN: October 23-24, 2023 Day One: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST

Day Two: 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST

WHERE: Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing

201 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Special thanks to the 2023 Planning Committee and our sponsors.

Click the link below to register: