Key behind-the-scenes convention organizers

Jim Morrill

The Charlotte Observer

Sep 5, 2011

Travis Dredd

Travis Dredd. Photo by T. Ortega Gaines

Travis Dredd, 40

Who he is: Chief of staff for the Democratic National Convention Committee.

Where he's from: Los Angeles.

What he's doing: When he's not unpacking boxes and setting up offices, he's in meetings - lots of them. Working directly under convention CEO Steve Kerrigan, he oversees teams handling everything from delegate housing to security to the overhaul of Time Warner Cable Arena.

A staff of a couple of dozen will grow to 200.

"The main focus right now is just building a team to get all the things done that we're trying to put together."

How he got here: The former Marine has been in and out of politics for over a decade.

He worked on the presidential campaigns of Democrats Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, sandwiching in a stint as legislative aide to Sen. Diane Feinstein of California.

In 2004, he was executive director of the inaugural X Prize Cup, a space flight competition in the New Mexico desert.

He managed operations inside Denver's Pepsi Center at the 2008 Democratic convention. After the election he went to the U.S. Energy Department as senior adviser to Secretary Steven Chu, a job he held until this summer.

What's next: He'll be in Chicago this week for a Democratic National Committee meeting. There, convention organizers will hold a lottery which, like a pro sports draft, will determine the order in which state delegations choose their hotels.

Later this month, organizers will request proposals from contractors for temporary renovations of the arena. Work will begin next summer.

His next race: This month he plans to run a 200-mile relay race through the Potomac valley. His team name: "12 Faceless Bureaucrats."

Dan Murrey, 46

Who he is: Executive director Charlotte Host Committee.

Why you know him: He served a term as Mecklenburg County commissioner before losing his re-election race last fall.

He's a Davidson College graduate with a medical degree and a masters in public policy from Harvard. A spine surgeon, he's on leave as CEO of OrthoCarolina.

What he's doing: Building a staff, creating budgets, reaching out.

"The first several months of anything like this is really a lot of behind-the-scenes planning and coordinating."

What his staff is doing: Last week they released a vendor directory designed to help local businesses land a piece of what's expected to be more than $150 million in spending on the convention.

They're also raising the nearly $37 million the DNCC will spend on the convention and drawing plans for as many as 10,000 volunteers needed once the convention begins.

What drives him: "We don't just want to put on the last convention, we want to put on something innovative and connected and really representative of this place."

What's surprised him: The public reception.

"I know a lot of people's political affiliations and it doesn't seem to matter ... One of the things that sets us apart is how people pitch in, and how you just can't do well, you have to do good."

What keeps him up at night? "Caffeine."

Dockery Clark, 51

Who she is: Chief of staff for the 2012 host committee.

Where she's from: Greensboro. She majored in economics at UNC Chapel Hill.

Why you might know her: She worked for the Bank of America from 1993 to 2004 as a senior vice president and Sports Marketing and Global Sponsorship Executive. One accomplishment: She brought top golfer Annika Sorenstam to the 2003 Bank of America Colonial - the first woman in a half-century to play on the men's PGA Tour.

In 2005, Sports Illustrated named Clark the number five "most powerful women in golf," just ahead of a young Michelle Wie.

She also negotiated multi-million sponsorships with other sports including NASCAR, Major League Baseball and the NFL.

How she got into sports marketing: A competitive tennis player herself, her first job out of college was with the World Championship Tennis circuit, founded by Lamar Hunt.

What she did after leaving Charlotte in 2005: She moved to Milwaukee and then Chicago as head of sports marketing for Miller-Coors.

In 2010, she moved to Colorado Springs as chief marketing officer for Professional Bull Riders. She was there when Dan Murrey offered her the job back in Charlotte.

"I had the trifecta of the 'B's cornered. I went from banking to beer to bulls."

On translating her marketing experience to politics: She calls the convention "the Super Bowl of politics."

"If you think about what makes a successful business, it's all about product management ... It's about telling the story about Charlotte we want told. ... I've never known Charlotte not to be forward-thinking and progressive about where we want to go and how to get there. It's fun to be part of that."

Why she's a good fit: "I've got experience in a lot of different areas ... I've always had a sense of confidence I could accomplish whatever I set out to do."

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