John Gibbons Obituary, Rhode Island Sports Commission Executive Director Has Passed Away

The Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau (PWCVB) shares heartbreaking news of the passing of John Gibbons, the esteemed Executive Director of the Rhode Island Sports Commission (RISC). Gibbons, a dedicated and passionate individual, played a pivotal role in driving economic growth by attracting major sports events to Rhode Island. With a heavy heart, the PWCVB and colleagues remember him as not only a skilled professional but also a cherished friend and loving family man. Let’s reflect on John Gibbons’ remarkable journey and the profound impact he made on Rhode Island’s sports industry.

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A Legacy of Dedication and Passion

John Gibbons joined the PWCVB in 2006, eventually rising to the position of Executive Director of the RISC in 2010. Throughout his tenure, he exemplified unparalleled dedication, utilizing his immense talent and boundless passion for sports to build a thriving program that brought millions of dollars into the state of Rhode Island. His visionary leadership and unwavering work ethic contributed to the development of a vibrant athletic environment in the region.

Promoting Rhode Island on a National Scale

As Executive Director of the RISC, Gibbons embarked on countless journeys across the country, representing Rhode Island and actively securing lucrative sports events for the state. His successful efforts included bringing prestigious tournaments such as the NCAA Men’s Basketball, Ice Hockey, Division III Wrestling, and Lacrosse Tournaments to Rhode Island in 2024 and 2025. Through his remarkable ability to forge strong relationships with clients, he solidified Rhode Island’s reputation as a premier destination for sports-related events and meetings, establishing the state as a powerhouse in the industry.

Fond Remembrances and Personal Loss

The sudden passing of John Gibbons has left a profound void in the hearts of those who knew him. Colleagues and friends at the PWCVB are devastated, reflecting on the loss of both a valued professional and a dear companion. Farouk Rajab, the chairman of the PWCVB Board of Directors, expressed disbelief and heartfelt sorrow, emphasizing the irreplaceable impact Gibbons had on their lives. The cherished memories and positive influence he left behind will forever be treasured.

Devotion to Family and Industry Recognition

In addition to his outstanding contributions to the sports industry, John Gibbons was deeply devoted to his loving wife, Amy, their three daughters, and their six grandchildren. Family was his true passion, and his genuine camaraderie and sense of humor endeared him to his colleagues. Gibbons was highly respected throughout the industry, receiving the prestigious Community Hospitality Ambassador of the Year Award from the Rhode Island Hospitality Association in 2022. This accolade recognized his exceptional ambassadorship for the hospitality sector within his community.

A Respected Leader and Treasured Friend

John Gibbons’ untimely passing leaves an indescribable void in the sports community and the lives of those who had the privilege of knowing him. Rhode Island has lost a remarkable visionary who worked tirelessly to elevate the state’s sports industry. As we bid farewell to a respected leader and treasured friend, let us find solace in the memories shared and the positive impact John Gibbons made on our lives. May he rest in eternal peace, knowing he left an enduring legacy in the hearts of many.

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