In 2016, Mayor Jim Kenney appointed Sheila Hess to the positon of City Representative for the City of Philadelphia. The Office of the City Representative, the ceremonial and special events department which serves as Philadelphia’s events production, public relations and hospitality-tourism arm. Her foray into civic service in her beloved city is a dream come true. As a difference-maker, she relishes the opportunity to “tell the City’s story,” connecting the perfect union of projects and people.
With pride, passion and purpose, Sheila, 48, currently serves on a variety of non-profit boards where she has earned a reputation as a stellar coalition builder and compassionate, energetic advocate for the disadvantaged and underserved. She is active with the Advisory Board of Back on My Feet Philadelphia; the board of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia; the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Philadelphia; Visit Philly, Historic Philadelphia, Inc., the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, Historic Philadelphia, PHLCVB Executive Committee, the World Heritage Branding Committee, the Marian Anderson Award; and Fred’s Footsteps, a nonprofit established by the family of the late President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross G. Fred DiBona Jr. She is a former board member and now a devoted 18-year ambassador for Variety -- The Children’s Charity -- her charity of choice for the 2017 PhillyMan Magazine “Woman of the Month” issue. Sheila joined the city after an accomplished 24-year career at Independence Blue Cross (IBC), where she proudly served as Director of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation & Community Affairs. She was responsible for the company’s charitable $65 million private foundation. She also effectively pioneered the heralded Blue Crew Corporate Volunteer Program supervising 3,000 individuals.
Sheila is the recipient of the 2016 Philadelphia Pinnacle Award from her alma mater, St. Maria Goretti High School in South Philadelphia. She was recognized as one of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2007 and earned the distinction as one of the city’s “Top 101 Emerging Connectors” by LEADERSHIP Philadelphia. She is a Temple University graduate and recipient of the Diamond Excellence Award presented by Temple University Young Alumni in 2010. In 2016, she garnered national attention from ESPN Radio, WDAS Radio’s Women To Watch program and Cosmopolitan magazine.
Sheila is a lifelong resident of South Philadelphia, where she currently resides with her husband Michael and enjoys “people watching” from the comfort of her front step – a true time-honored South Philly experience.