Putting Charlotte on Center Stage at the Democratic National Convention- Charlotte’s Ballantyne Breakfast Club

Jennifer Roberts & Tim Newman

Even though city leaders appeared at the bi-monthly meeting of the Ballantyne Breakfast Club, Charlotte politics were not on the agenda! This meeting was to discuss the impact of putting Charlotte on the World’s stage during the DNC – Democratic Nation Convention in 2012. Charlotte City Councilman, Warren Cooksey introduced the guest speakers:

Jennifer Roberts – Chairperson, Mecklenburg County Commission

Tim Newman – CEO – Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority

Bob Morgan – President of Charlotte Chamber of Commerce

Michael Smith – President & CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners

Mohammad Jenatian – President of Greater Charlotte Hospitality & Tourism Alliance

The question posed was “How are we getting ready for the DNC?”

Jennifer Roberts spoke first regarding working with the DNC committee from Washington, addressing such physical needs as reconfiguring the whole interior of the Time Warner Arena down to sealing manhole covers on the streets where the President and other VIPS will be crossing over to insure tight security.

Tim Newman stated that the CRV would be the “invisible hand”, making sure all logistics were met. The DNC Committee will be arriving in Charlotte during the next 30-60 days. By mid-summer, Newman hopes to have all committees such as the hosting committee (raising money) and logistics committee (security, hotel, event space) in place. Newmanexpects 30,000 – 35,000 peopleto be in town for the DNC convention.

Center City Partners' Michael Smith

Micheal Smith shared that he had visited Denver, hosts ofthe last DNC to gain insight from their experience with the DNC. An interesting statistic about Denver’s DNC : there was a new parade every 30 minutes between 9am-3pm over a 3 day period – talk about a coordinating nightmare! Michael emphasized his goal was to make sure Charlotte’s citizens know what is happening during the convention – communication was key. This is a celebration for Charlotte and he hoped our residents would participate. Money will be raised nationwide to attend the convention which will be invested in our city.

Bob Morgan agreed with Smith, stating he wanted all of Charlotte to participate. Morgan further stated the Charlotte Chamber’s job was find ways to help everyone else to be successful during the DNC and to maximize exposure of Charlotte, stating “The eyes of the world will be upon us!” He will be meeting with visiting CEOs and the like to promote Charlotte.

Bob Morgan and Mohammad Jenatian

Mohammad Jenatian said his group’s job was to educate people about tourism and travel destinations in Charlotte. We no longer have to justify ourselves to potential groups to have their convention in Charlotte, Jenatian added. We can handle it and there is a lot to do!

We cannot underestimate the “world” exposure of Charlotte. Even though we have had larger conventions such as the 190,000 attendees of the National Rifle Association, this is a great opportunity to attract new businesses to Charlotte and future conventions. Stay tuned for more “Buzz” on Charlotte’s Democratic National Convention!

By | 2011-07-08T18:37:45+00:00 April 9th, 2011|Ballantyne And Beyond, Democratic National Convention|