Jeff Bethke Elected Chairman of Mpea Board of Directors
Replaces Brett Hart After More Than 4 Years of Service
February 23, 2021 – It was announced today that Jeff Bethke, CEO of Ingenuity Advising, is the new Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). Bethke was appointed by the MPEA Board of Directors during the February 23rd board meeting. Brett Hart, whose term expired October 25, 2020, was appointed to be Chairman by the Board of Directors in October 2016.
“Jeff joins the Board at a critical time for the Authority,” said Larita Clark, CEO of MPEA. “As we prepare to re-open post-COVID, we welcome his vision and innovative spirt to the campus.”
“We thank Brett for his service, especially his willingness to stay on longer than his term to ensure a smooth transition,” continued Clark. “Brett’s steady leadership and guidance has been tremendous as we opened the Wintrust Arena, Marriott Marquis Chicago, breaking records for attendance and events. And, of course, guiding us through the past year of disruption.”
“I am honored to take on this role and thank the Board of Directors for their support” said Bethke, “The McCormick Square campus is critical to the economic health of Chicago, and the state of Illinois, I look forward to working with the campus leadership team as we welcome guests back to campus.”
“Jeff’s financial acumen and experience in leading DePaul through the recovery period following the last financial crisis will prove to be invaluable as McCormick Place reopens,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E.
Lightfoot, “As a part of the strong leadership team at MPEA, Jeff will help to generate thousands of jobs, millions in taxes, and a successful recovery through meetings and events. I want to extend a huge congratulations to Jeff on his new role and express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to Brett Hart for his years of leadership on the Board.”
“Jeff is a great addition to the MPEA Board of Directors,” said Governor JB Pritzker, “His experience bringing large projects to life will build upon the strong foundation in place under the leadership of Brett Hart. I thank Brett for his service and welcome Jeff to MPEA.”
Before launching Ingenuity Advising, a financial/operational consultancy assisting educational clients undertaking transformative change, Bethke had served as the executive vice president and chief financial officer of DePaul University. Chicago-based DePaul is the largest Catholic university in the United States and one of the nation’s largest private universities overall. Bethke is a board member of Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, a trustee and finance committee chair of DePaul College Preparatory High School, and vice chair of the Civic Federation.
Hart was appointed Chairman in October 2016. During his tenure, MPEA has experienced dramatic growth in its convention business, led the revitalization of the McCormick Square area and achieved financial stability. The Authority also opened the 10,000 seat Wintrust Arena and 1,200 room Marriott Marquis Chicago.
“It has been an honor to serve as the Chair of MPEA and I thank the Board of Directors for the opportunity and their extraordinary support of MPEA,” said Hart. “I congratulate Larita Clark and her management team and the Board of Directors for their leadership in creating thousands of jobs and making MPEA a key economic driver for the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois.”