Mike Dino, right, chief executive of the host committee for the 2008... (Post / Lyn Alweis)

There is the money. The Denver committee charged with raising $55 million in private donations to bring the 2008 Democratic National Convention to town needs a lot of money.

But there are also the people.

The newly installed top officer of Denver's host committee stressed Thursday that he wants to organize quickly enough to manage the thousands of volunteers asking to help.

"It's a big task," said Mike Dino, who was formally announced as the host committee's chief executive at a news conference Thursday.

"Everybody knows this is the biggest thing to come to town in a heck of a long time."

The Denver native and longtime Democratic strategist said he wanted the expected 10,000 volunteers to find a place.

"We don't want to lose sight of the fact that we want to elect a Democratic candidate for president," Dino said. But when it's time to take down the bunting and sweep out the confetti, Dino said he hopes volunteers "feel like it was very worthwhile."

Achieving such organization is no easy thing, Dino said. Sitting in the host committee office, which is not much bigger than that of a small-town insurance agent, the mild-mannered strategist already seemed a little taxed.

The committee has been promised - but hasn't yet banked - $23 million in cash and communications and other services.

Threats from the local stagehands union chapter to strike during the festivities at the convention's site, the Pepsi Center, where employees aren't unionized, haven't been resolved.

Dino said it also would be a challenge to work with the national Democrats to make sure Denver and Colorado aren't lost in the crush of boosting the nominee on his or her run for president.

Still, "a big goal is that the city comes off shining as brightly as possible" in August 2008, he said.

Details of Dino's salary weren't available. A policy director for the law offices of Patton Boggs, Dino said he will work part time until January, when he plans to shift to conventioneering full time.

Staff writer Chuck Plunkett can be reached at 303-954-1333 or cplunkett@denverpost.com.