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Mike Dino is the new chief executive of the Democratic National Convention's Host Committee:
"Our first task really is raising [$35 million] and building the foundation to be able to host the best event that Denver has ever seen," Dino said. "It's a big task, everybody knows this is the biggest thing to come to Denver in a heck of a long time."They've raised $23 million in pledges so far, but have a ways to go.
Dino served as executive director of the 1997 Summit of the Eight task force, managing a $4 million budget and activities for the meeting of leaders of industrialized nations. He also advised Webb on the completion of Denver International Airport, which opened in 1995.
Aside from raising the money, Dino said his other focus will be ensuring that the city and the Rocky Mountain region benefit from hosting the convention, both economically and through increased visibility.
"One of our big goals is to make sure that the city comes off shining as brightly as possible and the community feels proud off the effort that was put forth and the result that came about from hosting the convention, and that people who wanted to be a part of it were a part of it," he said. "A big part of our task is that we put a good plan in place that showcases the city as brightly as possible."
Dino was part of the effort to lure the Democratic convention to Denver in 2000, but said the timing wasn't right. Since then, the city has added hotel space and proven that the Pepsi Center is capable of hosting large events such as the convention.
"It's going to be the best convention they've ever had in their life," said Host Committee president and Denver Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth. "We have the best infrastructure, the best bid and more importantly we have wonderful people."