Cleveland Med Mart Continues to Firm Up Its Senior Management Team

April 22, 2012

With the opening of the Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center just more than a year away (July 2013), the venue is keeping up the momentum by adding more members to its senior management team. 

Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc., the partner with Ohio’s Cuyahoga County on the $450 million project, named Jim Bennett as senior vice president and Brian Milner as Director of operations.

Bennett and Milner will begin their duties immediately.

Bennett, who has been a resident of Cleveland since 1982, will bring his more than 40 years of experience as a management consultant and senior line manager with McKinsey & Company and KeyCorp and board leader in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors to provide the overall leadership and direction for Cleveland MMCC.

Bennett also brings strong management and medical industry expertise to the project. He will work closely with vice president and general manager Brian Casey and the Cleveland MMCC team.

“I am privileged to be part of the team that is working to make this exciting new community asset a driver of our hospitality industry in the years ahead,” Bennett said.

He added, “I’ve been encouraged and energized by the support and commitment of everyone involved – the County leadership, Cleveland’s healthcare community, a number of civic organizations, the business community, and my new colleagues at MMPI in Chicago and here at Cleveland MMCC.”

Milner brings more than two decades of facility management experience to Cleveland MMCC, including a lengthy career overseeing a nationwide portfolio of facilities with ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment.

Milner will develop the staffing and operational aspects of the operations department, including the implementation of operations strategies, policies and practices.

County Executive Ed FitzGerald praised the addition of the two executives as "a strong indication of the increasing momentum of the Medical Mart project and the continuing commitment of MMPI to make the project a success."

He added, "The addition of Mr. Milner and particularly Jim Bennett, who brings 40 years of high-level management experience and long commitment to the Cleveland community, is an indication of the dedication of all parties involved to creating the best product possible."

MMPI also announced the establishment of an Industry Advisory Board to provide a medical industry and customer perspective on the activities and tenants that would make the facility attractive to permanent showroom tenants and healthcare industry-related meetings and trade shows.

“Our long-range plan has always been to continue strengthening our team as Cleveland MMCC progresses toward opening in 2013,” said Mark Falanga, MMPI president.

He added, “At the senior management level, this process started last year with the hiring of Brian Casey as general manager. It continued when Craig Thompson joined Tony Prusak on our sales team four months ago. Now, we’re delighted to add two additional senior people with a combined six decades of proven industry experience to our staff and to announce the establishment of an Industry Advisory Board to further strengthen our Cleveland operations.”

The Cleveland MMCC Industry Advisory Board includes executives from industry leaders such as Cisco, GE HealthCare, IBM, Invacare, Johnson & Johnson, Philips Healthcare, STERIS, Stryker, Smith & Nephew and Foundation Medical Partners.

The project will include a 100,000 square foot medical mart, with an adjoining 230,000 square foot convention center.

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