March 19, 2010

Mayor Daley Appoints Chair, Three Other Members To Reorganized Metropolitan Pier And Exposition Authority Board

Part of Mayor's Ongoing Commitment to Restore Chicago's Competitive Edge As a Convention and Tourism Destination
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Richard M. Daley today re-appointed John Gates as chair and appointed three new members of the interim board of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), which was re-organized by legislation passed earlier this year by the Illinois General Assembly.

“During the toughest economy that most of us can remember, we have a responsibility to do all we can to stimulate our economic recovery. And that means doing what's needed, now, to restore Chicago's competitive edge in the convention and tourism industry," said Mayor Daley.

The Mayor of Chicago appoints the chairman and three members of the new 7-member interim board and the Governor of Illinois appoints three members. Previously the board, which is responsible for attracting trade shows, conventions and public events to Chicago and for managing McCormick Place and Navy Pier, had 13 members.

The interim board will serve until a new permanent board is created by the General Assembly. The board will issue a report to the General Assembly’s newly established Joint Committee on the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority by April 30, 2010. The Committee is co-chaired by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.

Mayor Daley's appointments are:

  • John S. Gates, chair. Gates was appointed chair of the previous MPEA board by Daley October 15, 2009, and had served as a board member since 2007. He is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PortaeCo, a private investment company. In addition, he serves on the boards of several public sector, private and not-for-profit institutions.

     André Rice, board member. Rice is president of Muller & Monroe Asset Management, which he founded in 1999. He is a board member of the
    Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, to which he was also appointed by Daley.

  • Bruce V. Rauner, board member. Rauner is Chairman of GTCR Golder Rauner, a venture capital and private equity firm. He serves on the boards of civic and philanthropic organizations including the Renaissance Schools Fund. He is Chairman of the Education Committee of the Civic Committee and Chairman of the Chicago Public Education Fund.
  • Sheila O'Grady, board member. O’Grady is president of the Illinois Restaurant Association a non-profit trade association representing the industry. She also serves as the President of the Board of Directors of SOS Children’s Villages of Illinois and is a former chief of staff to Mayor Daley.

“The worst economic recession in seventy years has brought into focus the competitive disadvantages of the Chicago convention industry. We must act -- and act now -to change the way we do business so that Chicago is a premiere destination around the world for the convention, trade and tourism industry," Daley said.

“We've already taken important steps to reform how we conduct our convention business to make us more competitive, but we must do even more and I think these individuals have the background and leadership experience to implement strong, creative solutions that will take our convention industry to the next level.”

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