After 35 years, 'visionary' behind downtown Raleigh's transformation to retire
Posted November 17, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Roger Krupa. Although many may not know his name, thousands have appreciated his work in downtown Raleigh.
After 35 years leading a team responsible for the evolution of downtown, Krupa, the director of the Raleigh Convention Center and Performing Arts Complex, will be retiring at the end of 2015.
Krupa, who oversees the Raleigh Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center and the Red Hat Amphitheater, isn't keen on taking credit for reshaping the City of Oaks.
"It was enjoyable building them, but they are Raleigh's now," he said.
Krupa said his team was always looking for ways to improve Raleigh.
"Whenever an idea would come out that would be sort of new and different, I'd go back to my office and somebody would say, 'How do we do that?'" Krupa said.
More often than not, Krupa's team would turn the wow into now. The convention center, which opened in 2008, has 500,000 square feet of space that houses 19 meeting rooms and a grand ballroom. There is also a four-star, 400-room Marriott hotel next door.
Doug Grissom, the assistant director of the Raleigh Convention Center, said Krupa's knowledge was key to his success.
"Roger is the institutional knowledge of so much that has gone on. He was behind the scenes of the International Festival, the Auto Expo, the North Carolina Theater," Grissom said.
Krupa's innovative thinking led to a partnership with the city's Visitors Bureau. In 2005, the groups began working together to pre-book the convention center.
Loren Gold, the executive vice president of the Greater Raleigh Convention Bureau, called Krupa a visionary.
"He definitely falls in that camp, very much a visionary," Gold said. "Very much a strategist, someone who I think is really a champion of his people."
Krupa won't take credit for much of what he's helped accomplish, saying only he was the "boots on the street."
Krupa's last day is Dec. 31. An interim director will fill his position until a permanent successor is hired.