President Obama signals to as many as 11,000 people as he arrives for talk at San Diego Convention Center.
President Obama signals to as many as 11,000 people as he arrives for 2018 talk at San Diego Convention Center. Photo via ATD

San Diego’s annual Latino business-media-actor-athlete talkfest known as L’ATTITUDE has landed corporate CEOs, Hollywood celebrities, Cabinet secretaries, governors and members of Congress.

This year they’re boasting the big enchilada: Barack Obama.

The 44th president will be interviewed in person at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at the bayfront Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Obama’s chat on stage with event co-founder Gary Acosta won’t be live-streamed, organizers said. It is live only.

“The conversation will be about various topics related to Latinos,” an event spokesman told Times of San Diego.

The spokesman says more than 1,000 will attend, and tickets starting at $600 were still available Wednesday.

Obama’s speaking fee has been reported as $400,000, but his pay for the San Diego event is likely less. Organizers announced his appearance in late-June on social media.

The fifth annual L’ATTITUDE labels itself the “premier Latino business event centered on demonstrating the economic and sociopolitical value of U.S. Latinos in the New Mainstream Economy.”

Organizers also will unveil “an exclusive first look at a new GDP report that reveals the enormous economic potential of U.S. Latinos, who are now the equivalent of the economy of the world’s fourth-largest nation.”

Also planned:

  • Match-Up, a showcase for highly competitive Latino-led startups that culminates with the awarding of the Latino Startup of the Year. This high-stakes competition brings out the best of each entrepreneur, attracts long-term investors, and offers valuable visibility. Companies will be funded with $15 million in capital based on this competition.
  • The L’ATTITUDE Classic “legends exhibition basketball game” at 5 p.m. Sunday featuring coach and former NBA star Manu Ginobili, musician Alex Sensation and urban music star La Gabi, and a contest featuring Veritas Academy of Santa Fe Springs vs. Arizona Compass National Basketball Team of Chandler.
  • And Luis A. Miranda Jr. giving a presentation on a new fund for Latino candidates running for office.

Co-founded in 2018 by business executive Sol Trujillo and NAHREP CEO Acosta, this year’s event includes more than 125 speakers including Broadway’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and his father, Luis, Gloria Estefan and Sen. Alex Padilla of California.

Others include presidents and CEOs of top companies, such as NIKE, Bank of America, Sony Pictures, Target and Nielsen.

“The L’ in our name represents the rich and vibrant perspective of Latinas and Latinos,” organizers said in previous year. “Our goal is to give all Americans the advantage of seeing the world through a wider lens, which comes from understanding and living in more than culture.”

Another year’s blurb: “It’s an experience and the largest single gathering of New Mainstream Americans in our country. It is the national ‘who’s who’ of business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and influencers, and a unique platform where deals get done, investments are made, reports are introduced and networking happens.”

Obama’s last major visit to San Diego was in May 2018, when he packed cavernous halls G and H at the San Diego Convention Center for the Association for Talent Development event.

He said democracy isn’t something that happens automatically.

“It is something that has to be nurtured and practiced,” he said. “And our kids are watching what we do. If they see, well, adults aren’t honest or they make excuses or they try to get out of stuff …. over time, we’ll pay a price for that.”


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Ellen Bullock