Pasadena Now - Pasadena’s Hard-Working Convention Center Starts New Fiscal Year with New Executive Director, New Initiatives
By: David Cross | Pasadena Now | Published: July 19, 2019
Time and patience pay off as Naz Sabripour has been named executive director of the Pasadena Convention Center, it was announced. Sabripour was elevated to the new position from her former spot as director of events and operations for the facility.
“I’ve been here 13 years, Naz has been here 12 years,” said Michael Ross, chief executive officer of the Pasadena Center Operating Company. “She has excelled at every level of the organization that she’s participated in and overseen. And I came to the conclusion that it was in the best interest of the company that she’d be promoted.”
Sabripour joined the Convention Center in 2007 in the role of senior event manager.
The Convention Center says it has hosted 4,700 events and 3.7 million attendees for events that span entertainment, consumer, medical, space exploration, and international conferences. Before she came to Pasadena, Sabripour was a sales and events manager at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
“I mean obviously I was thrilled (with the) promotion,” Sabripour said. “It’s something that I’ve desired early on in my career. So overall I’d say I have about 15 years plus experience within the convention center industry. It’s definitely a passion of mine, I think that gave me the ability to thrive and succeed in this industry.”
Sabripour said she would be adding some new duties in her new role.
“To continue managing our event management team, our operations team, set up tear down crew, public safety, guest services, engineering, overseeing the contracts of our service providers that we have in house, and continue to work alongside Mike Ross, and be involved with some of the capital improvement projects,” Sabripour said.
Ross said there are some important goals on the horizon.
“We just started our fiscal year, which was July 1st, so we anticipate having another banner and busy year,” he said. “We’ve got a number of new initiatives we’re working with, working with the Breeders’ Cup so we’re hoping to announce a big event with them that’ll come in November.”
“We also have a number of convention groups, but from a facilities standpoint, we’re looking at painting and waterproofing the Civic Auditorium, which is a huge undertaking,” Ross said. “We’re looking at the restoration and renovation of all six of our restrooms in our conference building. So again, we’ve got some big construction projects, along with just the day-to-day maintenance and keeping up on everything.
“In the new position, (Naz) will also be a lot more engaged with our board in terms of just being really part of the executive team, which includes the executive director of the CVB, our director of finance, and director of HR,” Ross said.
“We just celebrated our 10-year anniversary and have proven to be busier and busier and successful,” Ross said. “We bring a lot of people to town. We fill up a lot of hotel rooms. We provide great economic impact to the community. And one of the things, too, is the Civic Auditorium has really taken off in terms of the number of events. Whether it be the two long-running television shows “America’s Got Talent” that takes up about 10 weeks, along with a number of other shows; working with Live Nation and a number of our other promoters. And we just came off about 30 graduations. So, you know, it’s constantly trying to stay busy and bring quality events and individuals to the community.”