Press Releases

Cleveland 2016 Host Committee Announces Chief Operating Officer for 2016 Republican National Convention

Cleveland – Today the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee announced that Diane Downing, senior vice president and regional manager of corporate affairs for Huntington Bank, will serve as an executive-on-loan and join the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee leadership team as chief operating officer.

Downing will manage numerous operational aspects of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee in order to successfully fulfill the obligations and responsibilities required for the planning and execution of the Republican National Convention taking place in Cleveland July 18-21, 2016.

“On behalf of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, we are thrilled to welcome Diane to the team as a key member of the Host Committee and to also express our gratitude to Huntington Bank for allowing us to utilize her expertise. Diane’s wealth of knowledge and professional experience in operational and public sector leadership roles make her an integral part in planning and executing the best convention possible in 2016,” said Cleveland 2016 Host Committee President and CEO, David Gilbert.

“I am honored by the opportunity to assume the role of chief operating officer for the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee as we prepare to welcome the Republican National Convention. I am thankful for the support of Huntington Bank and I look forward to lending my skills and experience to achieve the Host Committee’s important mission. Together we will showcase Cleveland on the world stage as the premier destination and phenomenal city that we proudly call home,” said Downing.

“Huntington is deeply committed to the Cleveland community,” said interim Cleveland Regional President Renee Csuhran. “Diane’s knowledge and love of the Cleveland area will help to showcase all of the cultural, civic and entertainment attractions this city has to offer.”

As regional manager of corporate affairs for Huntington Bank in Cleveland, Downing develops strategies for expanding the bank’s community involvement, including increased investments and additional memberships on local boards. Previous to her experience at Huntington Bank, Downing served as the Cleveland district director for United States Senator George Voinovich, as vice president and stadium operations director for the Cleveland Browns, project manager for the construction of the new Cleveland Browns Stadium (now FirstEnergy Stadium), executive assistant for service under Mayor Michael White, deputy director of the Ohio Lottery, and in the office of Mayor George Voinovich.

An active member of the local community, Downing has been honored as a YWCA Woman of Achievement, a Crain’s Woman of Note, and a Girl Scout Woman of Distinction. She serves on multiple local civic boards including Cleveland Cuyahoga Port Authority, Gordon Square Arts District, the Centers for Families and Children, College Now, the Presidents’ Council, Laurel School, Beech Brook, In Counsel with Women, the Cleveland State University Foundation, the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State, and the Kym Sellers Foundation.

Also joining the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee as the senior project manager is Brittany Williams. Williams previously served as the Executive Director of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County. Her professional background includes fundraising and public relations along with an expertise in project management for both political and nonprofit organizations.

“The addition of both Diane and Brittany to the Host Committee adds a great deal of support and experience in managing many of the responsibilities and community issues that will be important to assuring a great convention is executed in 2016,” said Gilbert.

Media Contact: Jennifer Kramer, Destination Cleveland | 216.875.6635