New CEO Takes Reins at Chicago's McCormick Place, Navy Pier

Chicago -- Juan Ochoa, head of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for the past 10 years, on Tuesday was named chief executive of the public authority that operates the McCormick Place convention center and Navy Pier event and recreation park.

Ochoa's appointment by Governor Rod Blagojevich to head the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) was effective immediately and coincided with the resignation of Leticia Peralta Davis.

Reports surfaced late last month that Davis, the first woman to head MPEA, wanted to leave the authority and return to private business. Prior to her March 2003 appointment by Blagojevich as CEO of the authority, Davis was founder and president of Davis Financial Inc., a financial advisory firm.

About Ochoa, who has served as an advisor and fund-raiser for the governor, Blagojevich said, "His experience and success with growing the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will be valuable as we work to make Chicago the convention destination it should be."

One of the nation's largest convention centers, McCormick Place consists of three buildings that combined contain 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space and 112 meeting rooms. The McCormick Place West expansion is expected to open this fall, with about 825,000 square feet of exhibit, meeting, and function space combined.

For more news on recent developments that could affect your plans, get MeetingNews' weekly e-newsletter to your inbox.