A few people examine a wall of hanging photos of Convention Center community activities

Convention Center Unveils Art Exhibit and Honors Team at 30th Anniversary Celebration

Hundreds of San Diego Convention Center staff, partners and stakeholders gathered on Thursday, October 24th to celebrate our 30th anniversary. The luncheon honored the people who have contributed in their many diverse roles to three decades of success as the region’s premier gathering place.
Before the program, guests enjoyed an art exhibit that displayed the story of the Convention Center. One part of the exhibit highlighted staff, partners and customers while another showed our history and involvement in our local community. It also featured an interactive wall in which guests wrote their own personal Convention Center stories on small hanging cards.
"These are the people that offer the highest service in the industry," said Rippetoe.
A small group of people stand near a wall that reads

The exhibit was accompanied by a video shown at the start of the luncheon and introduced by Xema Jacobson, Chair of the Board of Directors for the San Diego Convention Center. The video features testimonials from customers that describe all the reasons they love having their event in San Diego – the city, the building, the attractions, but most of all, the people who work here.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke, highlighting that over the last 30 years, the Convention Center has drawn more than 23 million people from across the globe to San Diego and that the total impact on our regional economy is more than 23.2 billion dollars.

Port of San Diego Chairman Gary Bonelli discussed our regional partnership. “The San Diego Convention Center has been a great partner on many fronts, with our Port tenant hotels, restaurants and shops benefitting from its many visitors,” he said. “They’ve been a part of the Port’s Green Business Network for many years and are an excellent environmental champion of San Diego Bay and the tidelands.”

Rip Rippetoe, President and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center thanked our clients who create life-changing events, bringing hundreds of visitors to enjoy our city and invest in our community.

President and CEO Rip Rippetoe speaking at podium on stage.

He recognized our business partners, especially the San Diego Tourism Authority, who markets the building and the San Diego experience that our guests enjoy. San Diego just ranked the number 1 most popular destination for meetings and conferences in the 2020 Global Destination Index.

Rippetoe gave tribute to the CEO of the Tourism Authority, Joe Terzi, who has announced his retirement this year, for his contribution to the industry.  Terzi instilled pride in the luncheon attendees by sharing his experience that San Diego is the most desirable destination in the business.

The final round of appreciation was for the staff and partners, many who have been in the building for over two decades and build small cities every week.

"These are the people that offer the highest service in the industry," said Rippetoe. "They lead our commitment to sustainability and continually innovate to ensure the most efficient operations, 24 hours a day."

Audience members who are part of the Convention Center team standing and applauding.

Audience members who are part of our team then stood, beginning with those who have been with us for all 30 years, and slowly growing to include, each person who has contributed to our success.

The event closed with a special surprise. Roosevelt Carter, one of our Security Services Representatives, performed a song that he composed to bring what we do together with our world-class destination.

The next celebration for our 30th anniversary will continue with a free community event on December 8th from 4PM – 8PM.   We will be hosting a watch party for the Parade of Lights with the fitting theme: Comic-Con on the Bay. We’ll have local entertainment, holiday-themed food and beverage, and free parking courtesy of the Port of San Diego.

Authored by Alec Church

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  • San Diego Convention Center
    111 W Harbor Drive
    San Diego, CA 92101
  • 619.525.5000