[Virtual] YPC Meet the C-Suite Featuring Neil Frauenglass, Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Philadelphia
— Ben Goebel, Program Manager, International Professional Program, The Welcoming Center, and YPC Advisory Board Member
On October 6, 2021, we were fortunate to have Neil Frauenglass, the Chief Marketing Officer of Visit Philadelphia, participate in a conversation with YPC Board Member Basil Jackson. To stay in the theme of the attractiveness of Philadelphia, we started this conversation with a question to all attendees: What is something that we all like doing in the city? Every participant answered their favorite places and a great list of restaurants and activities to try came out of this.
Neil’s Journey to Philadelphia
Neil shared about his own personal journey to Philadelphia. He studied at Ithica College. Before graduating, he had an opportunity to work at McCann in New York, one of the largest ad agencies in the US. He stayed there for a few years but his real desire was to work in fashion. However, he found out it was difficult to get a job in that specific field without prior experience. After perseverance, he finally was able to work at Ann Taylor. After a couple of years working in fashion, it was ultimately not as appealing as the thrill of working with an ad agency where he could work on different topics and with different brands all year long.
When a previous partner at McCann asked him to come back, he decided to go back, although it would mean working day in and day out. It ended up being five exhausting years.
He then moved to Philadelphia, living on the oldest, and most historic, street in the city. He said that his involvement in the community, which led him to his job now, was instrumental. When moving to Elfreth’s Alley, he realized the alley and museum didn’t have a website and offered his services to the association managing the alley. He created a website, joined the board, and now is its president. Neil also owned a small store in Old City and, from that, got involved and became interested in the neighborhood’s well-being. He started by creating a community group and then worked with city officials to improve the area.
His Thoughts on Mentorship
When it comes to mentorship, his advice was that it should be organic, but acknowledged that some people benefit from the structure that formal programs provide. The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia has a great mentorship program called Pay It Forward, which pairs young professionals with leaders from Chamber member companies to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. Applications are currently open for those looking to get involved.
His Take on Professional Growth
He also mentioned that getting a new job doesn’t necessarily mean moving to a new company. Even though millennials tend to change jobs at a higher rate than previous generations, we can find new roles in the same company and not necessarily look for opportunities outside of it.
Neil’s Biggest Challenge during Quarantine
Neil’s personal struggle during the pandemic was to find work-life balance. Working from home didn’t mean being free from burnout. For Visit Philadelphia, who’s role in the city is to attract visitors, the pandemic was a real challenge as most international travel was forbidden and Americans were themselves wary. Visit Philadelphia has never been more focused on visitation, which drives jobs in the city and helps grow the economy.
His Last Piece of Advice
His last piece of advice was to make sure we help the economy by letting everyone know that Philadelphia is clean, vibrant, safe, and secure!