This week, IAVM announced that Peggy Daidakis, the executive director at the Baltimore Convention Center, is the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient on behalf of IAVM’s Convention Centers/Exhibit Halls Committee. The award will be presented to Peggy this October 3-5, at the 2013 International Convention Center Conference (ICCC) to be held in Charlotte, NC. The award is presented to an individual recognized by their peers for outstanding contributions to both IAVM and the convention center industry.
For almost 40 years, Peggy Daidakis has served the city of Baltimore and for 20 has served as the Executive Director for the Baltimore Convention Center. She started her career as a public servant in 1973 while working in Mayor William Donald Schafer’s office. Peggy has been a part of every major redevelopment in Baltimore’s meetings and tourism history, beginning with the restoration of Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor. Her early roles involved representing the Mayor at community meetings and grew to the planning of festivals.
In 1978, Peggy was selected by the Mayor to put together a convention and visitors bureau’s office to sell the soon-to-be Baltimore Convention Center which would open August 9, 1979. Peggy’s first role at the new convention center was Account Executive, a perfect fit for her customer service skills. She worked her way up to Assistant Director in 1981 and was promoted to Executive Director in 1986. With a current staff of over 350 employees, Peggy goes out of her way to meet each and every employee and recognize them by their first name.
Peggy Daidakis became a true trailblazer in the meetings and conventions industry when, in 1986, she became one of the first women to manage and operate a convention center in the United States. Over her career she has garnered numerous acknowledgements and accolades including: 2011 winner of the Visit Baltimore honorary William Donald Schafer Award; the 1999 Professional of the Year by Southwestern Academy of Hospitality; and in 2008 Daidakis was named winner of the Women of Influence Award by industry publication, Venues Today Magazine. Most recently, Peggy was honored with the Convention Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders Award which, for three decades, has honored just 106 pioneers into its exclusive gathering of individuals who have shaped the industry through their pioneering contributions, influence, prolific achievements and altruistic spirit.
As Executive Director, Peggy makes it a priority to direct the Convention Center in a manner that demonstrates to clients that all Center staff and partners work as one team. Centerplate, the Baltimore Convention Center’s catering arm, awarded Peggy their Inaugural 2013 Promise Award. The award is given to the recipient for contributions made to the community to make the cities in which we live and work better, with the gift of their time and knowledge.
Peggy became an IAVM member in 1983. Within IAVM, Daidakis has held a variety of roles and shows exemplary leadership both in the convention center sector as well as within the leadership of the Association. In 1998, she was asked by the IAVM Board President to join the Board of Directors. She served for many years on the board before becoming Foundation Chair. She was presented with the IAVM Board of Trustees Recognition award in 2004/2005.
IAVM President and CEO Vicki Hawarden will be congratulating Peggy in person at ICCC along with previous Lifetime Achievement Winners. We encourage you to join us at the conference as well.
Register for ICCC today to congratulate Peggy in person – and shift your own career into the fast track to success. Who knows – you may be the next Lifetime Achievement Award Winner!