Gregory A. O’Dell currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia. Events DC owns and/or operates some of the national capital’s most iconic venues, including the Walter E. WashingtonConvention Center, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and the surrounding FestivalGrounds, the non-military functions of the DC Armory, the historic Carnegie Library at Mt.Vernon Square and the Gateway DC events pavilion in the city’s Congress Heights neighborhood. The organization also built and now serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States.
As president and CEO, Mr. O’Dell oversees Events DC’s three lines of business: Conventions andMeetings, Sports and Entertainment, and Special Events. His primary responsibilities include oversight of the creation and promotion of hospitality, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities that generate economic and community benefits for the residents and businesses ofDistrict of Columbia. He also manages Events DC’s development portfolio, with active projects that include a new multipurpose entertainment and sports arena on the campus of St.Elizabeths East in Congress Heights, the redevelopment of the RFK Stadium/Armory campus, a comprehensive streetscaping project around the 9-block exterior of the Convention Center and the redevelopment of the Carnegie Library inclusive of a primary tenant lease for Apple’s global flagship store.
As the convention and sports authority for the District, Events DC was created in 2009 throughthe merger of two former, independent quasi-governmental agencies – the WashingtonConvention Center Authority and the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. Mr. O’Dellhas the unique experience of having led both organizations as part of his public service in theDistrict of Columbia.
Prior to the merger, Mr. O’Dell served as chief executive officer and general manager of theWashington Convention Center Authority, where he was responsible for the operations of the2.3-million-square-foot Convention Center, an award-winning facility that sees approximatelyone million visitors each year and has generated almost $5 billion in direct delegate spendingsince opening in 2003. Mr. O’Dell was also responsible for the Authority’s development efforts,having led negotiations with the selected private developer and provided oversight throughoutthe project lifecycle of a $520 million public-private partnership for the 1,175-room, 37-suiteMarriott Marquis Washington, DC hotel. The Marriott Marquis, with a pedestrian connector to Updated 6/21/17/ssthe Convention Center, broke ground in November 2010 and opened in May 2014.
Before joining the Washington Convention Center Authority, Mr. O’Dell was the president and chief executive officer of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, where he led the project team that completed the $611 million, 41,546-seat and Silver LEED-certified NationalsPark. During his tenure at the Commission, Mr. O’Dell was also responsible for the operations and maintenance of the RFK stadium and campus, inclusive of hosting various events includingMajor League Baseball and Major League Soccer play, marketing and sales activities, and the contract and services management related to the hosting of events at RFK. Before heading up the Commission, he was the chief development officer for the Government of the District ofColumbia, where he was responsible for stimulating and promoting economic development within the District.
Preceding his move to District government, Mr. O’Dell worked for the former management andIT consulting firm BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting). While there, Mr. O’Dell advanced to senior manager and practice lead for Construction Advisory Services, responsible for construction and development services to both public and private clients. After leavingBearingPoint, he served as a principal and owner of the Clemens Consulting Group, where he continued to provide consulting services to clients throughout the lifecycle of their development projects.
A resident of Ward 6, Mr. O’Dell serves on the boards of the Professional ConventionManagement Association (PCMA); the Washington, DC Economic Partnership; DC SurfaceTransit, Inc.; the Downtown DC BID; Destination DC; Cultural Tourism DC; Children’s NationalMedical Center (Washington, DC); the Capitol Riverfront BID; the National Cherry BlossomFestival and the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC). He received a bachelor’s degree with double major in finance and government from Wofford College inSpartanburg, South Carolina.