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.

More on Michael Dino/Mike Dino...

Staff writer Chuck Plunkett can be reached at 303-954-1333 or

Democratic Convention 2008 Denver Colorado

Democratic Convention 2008 Denver Colorado


Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee
410 17th Street, Suite 1215  |  Denver
Chief Executive Officer Mike Dino/Michael Dino

(announced Feb. 15, 2007)  Senior Policy

Advisor at Patton Boggs LLP in Denver.  Advisor to Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter and congressional candidate Ed Perlmutter in 2006.

Campaign chair for John Hickenlooper's campaign for Mayor of Denver in 2003.  Former senior aide to Denver Mayor Wellington Webb; managed intergovernmental and political affairs, as well as transportation policy issues.

M.B.A. from University of Colorado, 1988.  B.A. from Regis University, 1986.

More on Michael Dino/Mike Dino...


Director of Operations Paul Lhevine
(late July 2006)  Managed Wellington Webb's campaign for DNC chairman following the 2004 campaign.  Headed Coalition for a Better Colorado in Fall 2004.  Worked for The Kenney Group, Denver-based consulting firm.  Campaign manager for John Hickenlooper's successful campaign for Mayor in 2003.  Ran Diana DeGette's re-election campaign in the CO 1st CD, Jan-Nov. 2002, and earlier served as her aide in DC for transportation, environment and energy.  In 2000 he ran Marsha Folson's campaign in the AL 4th CD.  Assistant director of the New Politics Program at the National Civic League.  Democratic nominee for Colorado House District 10 in 1996; obtained 46% of the vote.  President of the Colorado Young Democrats.  He is a graduate of Colorado College, 1990.
CFO and Finance Director Melissa Koenigsberg
(announced March 6, 2007 "implementing and managing a comprehensive fundraising plan to raise the $40 million in cash [and $15 million in in-kind necessary to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.")  Finance director for Martin O'Malley's successful 2006 gubernatorial race in Maryland.  National finance director for Ken Salazar's 2004 U.S. Senate campaign.  Southeast regional finance director for Sen. John Edwards' 2004 presidential bid.  State finance director for Max Cleland’s 2002 Senate re-election campaign in Georgia.  Degree in international relations from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Director of Development Mollie Brundage
Press Contact / Deputy Director of Development Rachel (Kleinman) Gordon
Gordon came to the host committee from Capitol Hill where she worked for Congresman Mike Ross (AR-04) for five years, most recently as his communications director.  Degree in political science from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.


Michael Dino / Mike Dino Denver 2008Michael Dino / Mike Dino
Senior Policy Advisor
Municipal Representation
Public Policy and Lobbying
Transportation and Infrastructure

1801 California Street
Suite 4900
Denver, Colorado 80202
T: 303-894-6143  F: 303-894-9239

Michael Dino represents corporate clients who interact extensively with government. He focuses on procurement and business development activities, network and relationship building, and crisis management.

Mr. Dino also works with public sector clients, including local governments and transportation agencies, on issues involving federal appropriations, transportation planning and funding, public safety, and resource planning and development.

As a former senior aide to Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, Mr. Dino managed intergovernmental and political affairs, as well as transportation policy issues. While working for the mayor he served as:

  • Executive Director of Denver’s 1997 Summit of the Eight (G-7) Task Force where he planned and managed Summit activities and a $4 million budget.
  • Advisor to Mayor Wellington E. Webb on the completion of Denver International Airport, which has operated successfully since 1995.
  • An instrumental leader in the redevelopment of Lowry Air Force Base, which is a national model for military base-closures and re-use planning and development.
  • A key player in developing the Metro Mayors’ Caucus – a consortium of Denver-area mayors working together for greater community cooperation.

Mr. Dino is also a political campaign expert, having been a top executive or advisor in local, state, and national campaigns. In 2003, he was the campaign chair for Denver’s mayor, John Hickenlooper.  In 2006, he was a campaign advisor to Colorado governor Bill Ritter and Congressman Ed Perlmutter.

In addition to public policy interests, Mr. Dino is active in international affairs through the German Marshall Fund. In 2005, he was one of 50 people from the United States and Europe selected by Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) to participate in an intercontinental policy discussion.

Professional Affiliations:
Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States (2001)
YMCA of Metro Denver – Past Chair
Colorado Non-Profit Loan Fund – Board Member
Denver Fire Department Foundation – Board Member
University of Colorado, Assistive Technology Advisory Board – Member

Denver Host Committee CEO Shares Plans, Concerns

By CBS4 special projects producer Vicki Hildner

Mike Dino/Michael Dino - 2008 Denver Host Committee CEO Shares Plans, Concerns

Jim Benemann - Reporting


There are 17 months and counting until the nation's leading Democrats descend on Denver for their 2008 convention. Recently the city's host committee named Mike Dino as its new CEO. CBS4's Jim Benemann interviewed Dino and found that he's got a definite plan to sell the city and state.

DENVER (CBS4) - As an aide to former mayor Wellington Webb, Mike Dino headed the Summit of the Eight Task Force, which brought leaders of the world's most powerful industrialized countries to meet in Denver. He says that job prepared him to take over as CEO of the Denver 2008 Host Committee.

"I think I got a good sense on how to work with folks in Washington DC well," Dino told Benemann. "I understand the security elements of dignitaries of this sort coming to this town."

Dino points with pride to the Platte Valley staging area for the convention. When he first got involved with city government back in 1991, that was a valley of railroad tracks and warehouses. Today it has apartment developments, condominiums, restaurants, Elitch Gardens and of course, the Pepsi Center, where the Democrats will gather in August of 2008.

Dino said he believes one of the big challenges will be convincing locals to come downtown and rub elbows with the Democratic delegates. Since the Taste of Colorado begins on the Friday after the convention ends, he envisions making it a celebratory event for the effort that was made in producing the convention.

"Yes," he laughs, "I suppose you could see the nominee with a big turkey drumstick, going after that turkey drumstick vote."

This is the first time a national convention has come to town in 100 years, but Dino also believes this will not be the last national convention to come to town.

"I think the Republicans will notice how well it goes here for the Democrats in hosting it and they'll want to be here 4 years from now."

Dino said he knows whether it's Democrats or Republicans, they key thing for any convention is selling the city and state so that people come back sometime in the future and spend more money here.