Fair bestows lifetime honor on employee

DEL MAR — The 22nd District Agricultural Association at its Oct. 11 meeting honored Luis Valdivia, its Hispanic information officer, for his lifetime achievement award from the San Diego Ad Club.
Valdivia began working at the Del Mar Fairgrounds as a seasonal employee on May 1, 2006, to coordinate the marketing department’s Hispanic outreach efforts for the San Diego County Fair.
He was asked to continue working to support other fairgrounds events, such as professional bull riding, the Scream Zone, Holiday of Lights and the Del Mar National Horse Show.
Valdivia has created Facebook and YouTube accounts to communicate with, and provide information to, Spanish-speaking patrons of fairgrounds events.
Officials from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club asked him for assistance with the horse race meet in 2010.
Since then, he has been working to increase Hispanic attendance at the racetrack.
Valdivia began writing a bilingual column for Tijuana Magazine in 1982 when he was 17.
Since then he has been an active member of the San Diego/Tijuana business and marketing community, speaking at conferences and writing and translating articles between languages.
In 1989, he joined Medicis Communications, a cross-border Hispanic marketing firm with offices in Tijuana, Baja California and San Diego.
During his time there his accounts included the San Diego Padres, Petco Park and the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
“We realized a number of years ago we were not reaching out to the Hispanic community,” said Tim Fennell, fairgrounds chief executive officer. “We were very fortunate to get him on board.”
Valdivia also received a lifetime achievement award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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