Hyde Park resident Martin Nesbitt is the latest addition to the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid committee’s board of directors, replacing former vice-chair of the Board of Trustees Valerie Jarrett, Chicago 2016 CEO Patrick G. Ryan announced Tuesday. Jarrett left the Chicago 2016 board to accept her current role as senior advisor to President Obama.
In addition to several business accomplishments, Nesbitt, a board member of the U of C Laboratory Schools, is well known in the city for his civic engagement. He has served as chairman of the board of the Chicago Housing Authority since 2006, and is a trustee of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
“Marty’s addition to our team comes with a great deal of excitement, and we know that he will help us succeed as we move into the final stages of our bid process,” said a spokesperson for Ryan and the Chicago 2016 board in an e-mail statement.
Nesbitt, a renowned entrepreneur in Chicago, is founder, president, and CEO of PRG Parking Management, also known as the Parking Spot, which operates off-airport parking facilities in the city.
Prior to founding of the Parking Spot, Nesbitt served as vice president of the Pritzker Realty Group, where he focused on new real estate investment opportunities, retail investments, and developments for the Pritzker Group.
Nesbitt’s expertise in strategic planning and operations is expected to boost Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Nesbitt has also been Obama’s close friend and basketball companion for years. Nesbitt most recently served as national treasurer for the Obama campaign. In 2000, Nesbitt served as the Finance Chairman of Obama’s unsuccessful congressional campaign.
“I don’t think me on the board adds anything to the president’s enthusiasm,” Nesbitt said in a press conference Tuesday. “He’s been a supporter of having the Olympics in Chicago from the very beginning.”
Obama’s high-profile support for a Chicago Olympics is expected to help the bid committee as it moves through its final stages. An International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission will visit Chicago in the beginning of April to review the bid and visit proposed Olympic venue sites.
Obama may join the IOC in Copenhagen October 2 for its final meeting to make the choice among the four 2016 Olympic host city finalists: Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid and Rio de Janiero.