Inside these posts: McPier

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David Mosena named chairman of McPier

David Mosena, a former chief of staff to Mayor Richard Daley who currently is president and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry, was elected Wednesday as the new chairman of the agency that runs McCormick Place and Navy Pier.

Mosena’s was selected unanimously by the newly appointed interim board of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the state-city agency known as McPier that owns and operates the convention complex and the pier.

Prior to joining the museum in 1997, Mosena served as president of the Chicago Transit Authority. He also has served as the city’s aviation commissioner and its planning commissioner. Get the full story »

Fight on for O’Brien’s restaurants, businesses

O'Brien's Restaurant on Wells Street in Old Town. (José M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune)

A private business feud between the founder of O’Brien’s, a longtime Old Town restaurant, and his son has escalated into a lawsuit, throwing into question control of the family’s businesses.

Daniel O’Brien Sr. accuses his son, Peter O’Brien, in the suit filed Thursday of improperly gaining control of the various family businesses, including real estate, nursing homes and a golf course in New Buffalo, Mich., called Whittaker Woods. He seeks the return of stock holdings and other monetary damages.

The two got into a dispute last year over an undisclosed issue at the golf course and have been unable to resolve their differences, the suit said.

“After 33 years of working with his father, Peter is obviously very disappointed that his father chose to file a lawsuit over what is essentially a family matter,” Peter’s attorney, Richard Prendergast, said in a statement. “Unfortunately the complaint is filled with factual inaccuracies concerning events Dan O’Brien has either forgotten or chosen to mischaracterize.”

Prendergast said his client will “vigorously defend” the allegations against him.

The allegations stem from estate planning Daniel O’Brien started in the early 1990s to transfer ownership of the businesses to his heirs that would minimize estate taxes when he and wife, Mary, died. In 1994, they formed several limited partnerships and corporations and gave Peter, one of their six children who was most involved in the businesses, minority ownership interests in them, the suit said. Three of their children have died.

The parents’ goal of the estate planning was to transfer ownership of the businesses over time but not control until they died, the suit said. Peter handled most of his parents’ legal affairs as their fiduciary, the suit said.

“Only recently, in early 2009, Dan discovered that Peter grossly abused that trust by causing Dan and Mary to execute written instruments that gratuitously transferred legal control of the family businesses to Peter,” the suit said.

The 86-year-old father alleges that Peter, 54, fraudulently concealed the “true nature” of the documents that transferred control. Prendergast denied the fraud claim.

“Claims that Peter engaged in any of kind of fraudulent or deceptive behavior are demonstrably false and when all of the facts come out it will be clear that all allegations of misconduct are baseless,” Prendergast said.

Peter O’Brien is a well-known businessman in Chicago. He has served on various boards, including the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.

Quinn makes his 3 picks for McPier board

Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday named two attorneys and an organized labor representative to the interim board of the agency that operates McCormick Place and Navy Pier.

The appointees are:

Carmen H. Lonstein, a partner in the Chicago office of Baker & McKenzie, chairs the firm’s financial restructuring, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy practice group in North America. She is on the board of the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. Get the full story »

Housewares show moves to renew with Chicago

By Kathy Bergen
Less than 24 hours after the McCormick Place overhaul package became law, the International Home + Housewares Show decided to pursue a new long-term contract at the convention center.

The International Housewares Association’s board voted today to move forward with the negotiations, said Phil Brandl, president of the Rosemont-based organization.

Get the full story »

Housewares show turns up heat on Quinn

Houseware-Web.jpgJames K. McCusker, Viante Home Products Company, demonstrates his company’s new coffee maker at The International Home and Housewares Show at McCormick Place in 2009. (Bradley Piper/Chicago Tribune)

By Kathy Bergen
Top executives with the International Home + Housewares Show fired off an email to Gov. Pat Quinn today, saying they could not recommend Chicago as the show’s venue for 2012 and beyond when their board meets later this week unless the governor signs the McCormick Place overhaul legislation.

“The lack of signature to this bill will ultimately send us and other vitally important trade show business elsewhere,” the email stated. It was signed by Phil Brandl, president of the International Housewares Association, and Mia Rampersad, the group’s vice president/trade shows. The association’s show has been a cornerstone of the city’s convention business since 1939.

Quinn is expected to make a decision on the bill within days. Sources expect he will sign it, but will try to attach some changes as well.

Trade show organizers expect Quinn to sign bill

By Kathy Bergen
Some of Chicago’s biggest trade show organizers emerged from a meeting
with Gov. Pat Quinn this afternoon expecting that he’ll sign the
McCormick Place overhaul bill. But they believe Quinn may try for some
modifications, perhaps in an add-on bill.

The bill, which passed both houses of the General Assembly by wide
margins, “is not anything we’ll see vetoed by the governor,” said Steve
Drew, a point person for the radiologists convention.

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Quinn to meet with trade shows on overhaul bill

By Kathy Bergen | Gov. Pat Quinn, who has been deliberating on whether to sign McCormick Place overhaul legislation, will meet with some of Chicago’s top trade show organizers Thursday afternoon, less than 48 hours before the start of the restaurant industry’s high-profile show, sources said Tuesday.

Whether Quinn will inform them that he intends to sign the legislation, which show managers are pushing for, or will just solicit their views was unclear. Quinn’s office declined to comment.

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State eyes naming rights, fee hikes to help McPier

By Kathy Bergen | The agency that runs McCormick Place and Navy Pier could look to
corporate America and to the traveling public for additional revenue
streams — if legislators go along with proposals being discussed this week
in Springfield.

Lawmakers are considering letting the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition
Authority, or McPier, sell naming rights to its facilities.
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds would go into an incentive fund for
luring new trade shows, and 75 percent would go toward paying off
facility expansion bonds. An estimate on potential proceeds was
unavailable Tuesday afternoon.

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Jim Reilly to advise legislative panel on McPier

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.

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Madigan legislation to study McPier passes House

By Kathy Bergen
Ray Long
| SPRINGFIELD—Speaker Michael Madigan today easily pushed through the House a measure to study how to improve the financial position and efficiency of the agency overseeing McCormick Place and Navy Pier.

The measure, which sets up a legislative panel to come up with recommendations by April 30 on how to make McPier profitable, went to the Senate on a 113-0 vote.

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