Chicago business leaders to watch in 2011
Some are leading transitions. Others are helping break new ground. And all of these Chicago-area executives are worth keeping an eye on in 2011, as compiled by the Chicago Tribune's business staff
January 8, 2011
By Kathy Bergen
Why we are watching: The state-mandated overhaul of the city's convention business has been moving fast, and state and city officials expect to quickly see signs of revitalization. Welsh was brought in at a base salary of $390,000, with the potential to make nearly a half-million dollars if goals are met. He starts next month and will be under pressure to land new trade shows, conventions, meetings and public events to fill McCormick Place, plus the city's hotels, restaurants and taxis.
Coming from the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, Welsh has a reputation as a high-energy, gregarious executive with a fierce competitive streak. He's aiming to sharpen the bureau's sales team, to go after more corporate and sports-related events and to push hard for more funding from public and private sources.
As for the high expectations, Welsh said, “That's why I came here. … Within a reasonable period of time, the results will speak for themselves.”