New Board to Oversee Popular Chicago Attraction

January 05, 2011

Chicago’s largest tourist attraction will now be run by a not-for-profit organization.

The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), which owns Navy Pier and McCormick Place, today unveiled a plan that involved leasing Navy Pier to a newly formed not-for-profit corporation.

Shot of Navy PierThe new agency was created in response to MPEA Trustee Jim Reilly’s recent report on the future of Navy Pier.

Reilly wrote that Navy Pier “needs a champion, a voice speaking and advocating only for Navy Pier.”

MPEA will retain ownership of Navy Pier and will provide capital for redevelopment. With this long-term lease, the new agency will be able to make key decisions on operations, maintenance and revitalization, though MPEA will still have to approve major changes to the Pier.

This arrangement is similar to other set-ups where not-for-profit organizations manage institutions on public land, like Lincoln Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Thirteen Chicago civic leaders have agreed to serve on the non-profit corporation’s first board of directors, including:

* Sarah Nava Garvey: A retired senior executive for the Boeing Company, a member of the MPEA Interim Board and the Civic Federation Board and chair of the Shedd Aquarium; she will serve as Transitional Chair for the new board.

* Patrick F. Daly: Founder and CEO of The Daly Group, a Chicago-based group of real estate development, brokerage and construction management companies who served on the MPEA Board for 17 years; he will serve as Traditional Co-chair.

* Marc Brooks, CEO, MKMB Corp.

* Nora Daley, Director of Outreach, Metropolis 2020

* Roberto Herencia, Director, SKBHC Holdings, Inc.

* Donna LaPietra, Kurtis Productions

* Terry Peterson, Vice President/Rush Medical Center and Chairman, Chicago Transit Board

* John Schmidt, Partner, Mayer Brown

* Kurt A. Summers, Jr., Chief of Staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

* Kelly R. Welsh, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Northern Trust

* Andrea Zopp, President, Chicago Urban League

McCormick Place and Navy Pier are tremendously valuable public assets for the people of Chicago and Illinois, and this new structure ensures that each is governed with an eye toward achieving its own mission and purpose,” said Garvey.

“Revitalization of the Pier will demand a singular focus to achieve all that the Pier can be for the city, the state and millions of annual visitors. This is the right thing to do at the right time, and I look forward to working with this outstanding and diverse group of civic leaders to take on this exciting and critical challenge.”

Can’t wait to see the new, improved Navy Pier.


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