By Anagelica Gonzalez
Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced the retirement of Baltimore Convention Center (BCC) Executive Director and long-time IAVM member Peggy Daidakis, effective September 1, 2022.
“I want to thank Peggy for her service to the City and its residents for 49 faithful years,” Scott said. “I am genuinely grateful for her leadership in marketing and serving tourists and conventioneers over the last 44 years. I know Baltimoreans will join me in congratulating Peggy for her exceptional service and wishing her the best in the next stage of her life’s journey.”
Daidakis joined the staff of Mayor William Donald Schaefer in 1973 and served in his administration for over four years. She began her career in the convention industry in 1978 when Schaefer assigned her to be part of the team that opened the BCC in 1979. In July of 1986, Daidakis was appointed by Mayor Clarence “Du” Burns as the first female director of a national convention center. She was instrumental in planning the BCC’s expansion, which tripled its size to be the largest public assembly meetings and exhibition venue in the State of Maryland. Daidakis oversees a full-time staff of more than 150 who welcome nearly 500,000 visitors to the Center each year.
“I am very proud of the service I have provided the residents of Baltimore and the hospitality industry,” Daidakis said. “I am appreciative of all the support I have received, and I am confident that I am leaving the Center in very capable hands.”
As for IAVM, Daidakis said, “I hope to stay involved in our industry in some way. I want to be available as a resource and mentor to young women, in particular, who may want to consider a career in venue management.”
In 2013, Daidakis was honored by the Convention Industry Council (CIC) as an inductee to the CIC Hall of Leaders, one of the highest honors in the hospitality industry. That same year, she also received the International Association of Venue Managers’ Convention Center Leader of the Year Award. The BCC serves as a model to facilities around the country and has been honored to receive numerous industry awards for excellence.
“On behalf of the Baltimore Convention & Tourism Board, I want to extend heartfelt thanks to Peggy Daidakis for nearly 50 years of service to the city of Baltimore,” said Chuck Tildon, Board Chair. “Peggy is a dear friend, a passionate supporter of our city and has been the driving force behind the Baltimore Convention Center since her appointment to Executive Director in 1986. She has led the convention center to new heights, including overseeing its expansion into the largest meeting space in the State and nurturing a team of professionals who will take up the mantle and continue to build on her success. As the first female leader of a national convention center, Peggy’s contributions to the hospitality industry extend far beyond the city of Baltimore. She will be missed but we wish her all the best on her next journey and thank her for her vision, leadership and passion through the past 49 years.”
Deputy Mayor Ted Carter will work with the Department of Human Resources to identify Daidakis’ successor.
Anagelica Gonzalez is Marketing & Communications Manager at the Baltimore Convention Center.