San Diego

Obama Speaks of Values in Keynote at San Diego Conference

People lined up to hear former President Barack Obama speak Monday at a conference held for people who develop talent in the workplace.

The former president spoke about values and change in his keynote for the Association for Talent Development (ATD) International Conference & Exposition at the San Diego Convention Center.

David Brown traveled from Nigeria for the conference and said it was obvious there were people in the crowd who were excited to hear from the former president. Some people in the audience screamed “We miss you!” according to Brown. 

“He almost feels like a dad. When he speaks, you want to listen,” San Jose resident Priscilla Kimbo said outside of the convention center.

Kimbo appreciated Obama's message of hope for the future of the nation.

For Brown, it was the leader's message of core values that resonated with him. 

“Be honest, work hard, be kind, be useful, carry your weight and be responsible,” Brown said reading from his notes.

“Those sounds like, ‘Oh so easy, easy stuff,’” Brown said. “But consistency is key.”

Alexis Breslin also referred to her notes. “I want to make sure I get it right,” she told NBC 7 while looking at her phone.

"'Don’t worry about what you want to be, worry about what you want to do,’” Breslin quoted the former president. 

“All good things come from the passion that somebody has,” she explained.

Gloria Knowlden traveled from Burlington, New Jersey for the conference and said Obama’s speech was one of the reasons she made the trip. She feels she shares the values the former president described.

“It was fantastic to hear him speak about those values and how he implemented them in his career,” Knowlden said.

Ibrahim Aldasoqi of Jordan traveled to San Diego not only for the ATD conference but specifically to see President Obama speak.

When the former president talked of coming from a middle-class or poor family and was able to reach the White House, that resonated with Aldasoqi.

“I learned if you have any plan or any dream, just keep going. It’s easy to reach your dream,” Aldasoqi said.

The attendees said there was no mention of specific policies or current events during the keynote event. 

At one point during the interview, the former president said something conference attendee Annette White Klososky felt was important. 

"He said he's worried when we let values go from our foundation and we don't really understand the facts," she recalled. 

The conference focused on professional development continues through May 9. 

Contact Us