“It’s an honor for me to serve as president of this tremendous organization,” said Baber. “I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and working with bowl volunteers and staff to ensure the growth of these two important events continues.”
The mission of the two bowl games is to create tourism, exposure, economic benefit and civic pride for San Diego and its citizens by producing the nation’s most exciting bowl games and festivals of events.
The 2007 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl featured a 52-34 Texas Longhorns’ victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils in front of 64,020 fans at Qualcomm Stadium. The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl saw the Utah Utes top the Navy Midshipmen 35-32 in front of 39,129 fans. Both games were televised on ESPN.
Baber, 67, is a native San Diegan who graduated from El Cajon High School. After four years of service in the United States Air Force, he attended and graduated from San Diego State College in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He then went to work Haskins & Sells. After 13 years there he transferred to Leaf & Cole, LLP, where he became a partner in 1987. Recently Baber sold his portion of the practice, though he remains with the firm as a consultant.
He first joined the Holiday Bowl effort in 1987 when he volunteered on the bowl’s bike tour committee. He joined the “RedCoats” (Holiday Bowl Committee) in 1989, then the board of directors in 2003. In his 20-plus years of service he has performed several roles including work with the pregame show, hole-in-one tournament, parade, finance and scholarship committees. For the last ten years he also has been a member of the bowl game’s team selection committee. In that time he has made more than 50 official visits to universities on behalf of the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
Baber resides in El Cajon with his wife of 41 years, Cecilia. Together they have three children and five grandchildren.
Other 2008 elected officers include: Barbara Warden, president-elect; Pete Litrenta, secretary; and Eric Graves, treasurer.