Chicago Mayor Richard Daley earlier this month named John S. Gates as the new chairman of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority board.

Gates has served on the board since 2007 and was chair of its finance committee.

He is currently is chief executive officer of a private investment company PortaeCo. He was a co-founder of CenterPoint Properties Trust and served as its chief executive officer for 22 years.

“John Gates knows how to manage big projects and big organizations while maintaining a high quality of work and giving top priority to meeting customer needs,” Daley said in a statement. “I’m confident he will help Chicago stay competitive with other cities by promoting it as premier convention and tourism destination.”

Met Pier is seeking legislative authority to restructure a good chunk of its debt to counter the impact of faltering tourism-related tax collections that last year failed to fully cover debt service on its convention center expansion bonds, forcing it to tap its authority to use state sales taxes.

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