Jim Reilly to advise legislative panel on McPier

Posted Feb. 26, 2010 at 4:50 p.m.

By Kathy Bergen | Chicago trade show industry veteran Jim Reilly has been tapped to be the lead adviser to the legislative panel that is expected to be formed to study how to make McCormick Place more competitive with convention centers in rival cities.

Currently chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority, Reilly previously served as chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates McCormick Place, and as head of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, which books business into the massive convention hall.

“He will be advising the Legislature on the best course of action to clean up that mess,” said Steve Brown, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, who this week pushed a measure through the House to create the panel. The bill still needs Senate approval.

The analysis by this panel would be in addition to an assessment expected to be conducted by a soon-to-be-named interim board of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, also known as McPier. The Legislature recently ousted the existing board.

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