Milwaukee 2020 DNC Convention Committee
Press Release

Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee Announces Events & Production Staff

Host committee launches online portal for venues

By - Sep 4th, 2019 08:59 am

MILWAUKEE—The Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee today announced the addition of four new staff members: Kelly Gleeson, vice president of events and production, Dave Larson, senior director of hospitality, Emily Fye, director of events, and Noel Ortiz, events associate. The host committee also announced a new online portal for venues to register interest in hosting one of the 2,000 events that will take place leading up to and during the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

“I’m excited to welcome Kelly, Dave, Emily, and Noel to the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee,” said Liz Gilbert, president of the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee. “They share the host committee’s values of creating accessible, diverse, and intentionally inclusive spaces and experiences during the convention and throughout the months ahead. With nearly two decades of experience, Kelly has an outstanding track record of success executing major political, corporate, and nonprofit events across the country. Under her leadership, this team will help us put Milwaukee center-stage and ensure that visitors and convention-goers alike experience the best Democratic National Convention in history.”

“I’m honored to join the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee, a team committed to making the 2020 Democratic National Convention as meaningful as it is memorable,” said Kelly Gleeson, vice president of events and production. “We’ll work alongside the local hospitality industry to ensure people and businesses from diverse communities across Milwaukee get to build this event with us from the ground up. I look forward to working with the production team and the entire host committee to showcase this beautiful city and its friendly, hardworking people.”

Gleeson, Larson, Fye, and Ortiz join a growing force of Milwaukee-based staff responsible for funding, organizing, and hosting the Democratic National Convention. The events and production team will lead the host committee’s efforts communicating and coordinating with sites including hotels, restaurants, and event facilities, and will work to ensure visitors and delegates alike have the best experience possible.

Kelly Gleeson is an event professional with nearly two decades of experience planning, organizing, and executing major political, corporate and nonprofit events across the United States. From her time as Director of Advance for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Director of Events at the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), Kelly has planned and executed events on every scale across the United States. For the past several years, Kelly has owned and successfully operated KBG Events, with clients including Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, Washington Ireland Program, and the Milwaukee 2020 bid team. At the DGA, Kelly led a dedicated team and was responsible for organizing and implementing over 30 events annually, including intimate VIP dinners with national leaders such as President Barack Obama and many others. She designed and developed multi-day conferences and some of the most widely attended late-night parties at the Democratic National Convention. Before that, Kelly worked for four years for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, traveling weekly to nearly every state in the country, and working with high-level dignitaries and their offices, U.S. Capitol Police, and the Secret Service to ensure flawless events. Early in her career, Kelly served as Special Assistant to Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, both in the state office and on his successful reelection campaign. She is a native of Stevens Point and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse.

Dave Larson, who was raised in Greenfield, has been the Director of Convention Services at VISIT Milwaukee for the past 11 years. In his tenure, he and his team have worked on 3,500 events with more than 5 million attendees. He specializes in aligning national event needs with local Milwaukee resources. Dave is proud to further the hospitality industry through his work at ESPA and Destinations International and locally with the MATC Advisory Committee and Community Intervention Team.

Emily Fye most recently worked for a company in the Greater Milwaukee Area that is a leader in the trade show and events industry. Emily, who is from McFarland, attended the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Emily was a member of the nonprofit, student-run marketing firm on campus—Creative Marketing Unlimited—that establishes mutual relationships with local businesses in Wisconsin. During her time there, Emily focused on the coordination and execution of events.

Noel Ortiz served most recently as National Finance Associate at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and as Deputy National Finance Director for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. During the 2016 election cycle, Noel served on the finance team at Priorities USA. Noel was born and raised in Northern Virginia and graduated from Spelman College.

About the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee
The Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee is responsible for funding, organizing, and hosting the Democratic National Convention. Through community engagement, grassroots fundraising, and intentional inclusion, the Host Committee works to ensure that the convention builds capacity for and makes a lasting positive impact on Milwaukee and the surrounding region. This is not just a convention in Milwaukee, it’s a convention with Milwaukee. Learn more at, or follow the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Mentioned in This Press Release


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