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Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

Executive Profile: Joe Terzi

Joe Terzi


Name: Joseph Terzi.

Organization: San Diego Tourism Authority.

Titles: President and CEO.

No. of employees: 110.

Year founded: 1954.

Education: St. Johns University, Jamaica, N.Y.; Rider University, Lawrenceville, N.J. – B.S. marketing.

Birthplace: New York, N.Y.

Age: 63.

Current residence: Poway.

Family: Wife, Ann Marie; son, Bryan.

Joe Terzi is the president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, previously known as the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, or ConVis, a nonprofit 501C 6 corporation with a history dating back to 1954. The goal of the organization has remained constant over the decades, “to lead San Diego to be the most desirable destination and to drive visitor demand to economically benefit the San Diego region.”

Tourism is San Diego’s third largest industry, employing more than 160,000 San Diegans and generating over $8 billion in direct economic benefit. San Diego hosts 32 million visitors a year, making it one of the nation’s most popular travel destinations. The San Diego Tourism Authority continues to be recognized as one of the top Destination Marketing Organizations in the country.


Essential working philosophy: Be forward looking, value people and communicate clearly.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Maintain a healthy level of impatience and challenge the status-quo.

Guiding principles: Integrity, dependability: Mean what you say, and say what you mean.

Yardsticks of success: A true balanced scorecard; outstanding results, high levels of associate and customer engagement and satisfaction.

Goals yet to be achieved: Increase international recognition of San Diego as a must-visit West Coast destination.


Best professional decision: Working to create the Tourism Marketing District (TMD).

Toughest professional decision: Terminating associates that had given their best but were unable to achieve results.

Biggest missed opportunity: It will be if we are unable to build a new downtown multipurpose arena and keep the Chargers in San Diego.

Mentor: Geoff Ballotti, former president, Starwood Hotels. He taught me the importance of relationships and making a personal connection.

Word that describes you: What you see is what you get.


What you like best about your job: The opportunity to make a difference.

What you like least about your job: Politics that sometimes get in the way of making the right decisions.

Pet peeves: People who lack motivation, the “victim” mentality.

Most important lesson learned: In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing,” — Teddy Roosevelt.

Person most interested in meeting: President Obama. To get his perspective on why we have become a divided nation.

Three greatest passions: Golf, travel and maintaining a healthy balance in my life.

First choice for a new career: Professional golfer.


Favorite quote: “Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” — Albert Einstein.

Most influential book(s): “Reengineering the Corporation,” by Michael Hammer and James Champy; “Good to Great,” by Jim Collins.

Favorite status symbol: A new convertible.

Favorite restaurant: Cucina Urbana, on Fifth and Laurel.

Favorite place for business meetings: University Club.

Favorite vacation spots: Tuscany and Florence, Italy.

Favorite way to spend time: Playing golf with good friends.


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