Well-known community leader Graylyn Swilley-Woods, Ph.D., returns to GMCVB
MIAMI, FL — The Greater Miami Conven-tion & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has appointed Graylyn Swilley-Woods, Ph.D., as the new director of the GMCVB’s Black Hospitality Initiative (BHI). In her new position, she will be responsible for leading BHI’s mission of advancing opportunities and increasing workforce participation for African Americans and Black people of African descent in Greater Miami and Miami Beach’s visitor industry through scholarships, talent development and job referral programs.
With more than 25 years of experience in community engagement, economic development and higher education, Swilley-Woods returns to the GMCVB to lead the BHI within the Multicultural and Tourism & Development Department (MTDD) following a previous tenure with the organization which spanned more than 10 years.
For the past decade, the GMCVB’s MTDD has showcased Greater Miami and Miami Beach’s multicultural neighborhoods, attractions and events to ensure they receive more travel market share, both locally and nationally.
“Dr. Swilley-Woods is renowned for her ex-pertise and leadership on multiculturalism,” stated David Whitaker, president and CEO of the GMCVB. “Students seeking careers in the hospitality and events industry have a champion who will focus her energies on nurturing and creating opportunity with the goal of creating a strong talent pipeline. Our commitment to the BHI with Graylyn at the helm underscores our ongoing goal to fuel and expand our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Senior Vice President of the MTDD Connie Kinnard, who spearheads the expanded department’s efforts and oversees the BHI said, “I look forward to welcoming back and working closely with Dr. Swilley-Woods. The department’s new alignment with the BHI and an expanded focus on education and workforce development coupled with Graylyn’s enthusiasm, will only elevate the overall diversity, equity and inclusion mission of our team and organization.”
Most recently, Swilley-Woods served as executive director of the Overtown Children and Youth Coalitions and president of Swilley Woods & Associates, where she provided leadership in organizational development, strategic planning, and project implementation.
As the past associate vice president of the GMCVB’s Multicultural Tourism Department and previous executive director of the Black Hospitality Initiative of Greater Miami, Swilley-Woods promoted the development and advancement of multicultural tourism and education.
She has received multiple accolades from local, state, and national organizations and institutions for her extensive work and training in several disciplines, including Urban Development, Africana Studies, Cultural Compassion, Heritage Tourism, Leadership and Organizational Diversity.
Swilley-Woods received her Ph.D. from Antioch University where her dissertation research focused on heritage community tourism sustainability in urban communities in Miami, Fla. She received a Master of Arts degree from The Ohio State University in Africana Studies, a Master of Arts in Leadership and Social Change at Antioch University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Swilley-Woods is married and is the mother of two sons.