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Lori Healey McCormick Place
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McCormick Place Chief Resigns

Lori Healey, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, has submitted her resignation, effective Oct. 18. The agency, generally known as McPier, runs McCormick Place. Healey, 59, was a top lieutenant to former Mayor Richard M. Daley and later Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Among other jobs, she was the city’s planning director and an executive with the group formed to pursue Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. She became McPier CEO in April 2015.

McPier Chief Financial Officer Larita Clark will take over as acting CEO on a temporary basis while the agency looks for a permanent successor.

“I have been extremely privileged to serve the MPEA board,” Healey says. “Leaving the campus and the team will be bittersweet but I am extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish and deliver for our customers, and consequently for the taxpayers of the city and state.”

Healey’s departure is the latest of a series in which the heads of major city business-development have moved on. Public relations executive Glenn Eden was named to succeed Desiree Rogers as chairman of Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism- and convention-promotion agency, and Mellody Hobson succeeded Michael Sacks as vice chair of World Business Chicago, a public/private corporate recruitment unit. Mayor Lori Lightfoot chairs WBC, but almost all of its business runs through the vice chairman.

A spokeswoman for Lightfoot said Healey’s resignation was not requested. In a statement released by McPier, Lightfoot hailed her as a “tireless advocate” for Chicago and credited her with helping achieve “record growth in tourism” in recent years. However, the two did clash earlier this year when Healey tried to push a bill in Springfield to pay for construction of a new building on the McCormick Place campus by extending an existing restaurant tax that now covers downtown to a much broader part of the city, as far north as Irving Park, south to Pershing Road, from the lake west to Western Avenue. Lightfoot opposed that plan, saying it had been developed without her input, and it ended up dying.

This story originally appeared on https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg-hinz-politics

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