PRESS RELEASE from Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee

Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee Names Woody Johnson As National Finance Chair

MINNEAPOLIS SAINT PAUL, MINN. (July 18, 2008) – The Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee has named Robert Wood (Woody) Johnson IV to serve as National Finance Chair.  As the National Finance Chair, he will lead the effort to help raise money from across the country to put on a world-class convention.

Johnson, who has deep roots in Minnesota, is chairman and CEO of The Johnson Company, Inc. and chairman and CEO of the New York Jets.  His mother still has a family home in White Bear Lake.

“We are very pleased to have someone of Woody’s caliber to lead our national fundraising effort as we approach the goal line of the 2008 Republican National Convention,” said Doug Leatherdale, Chairman of the Board of the Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee. “Money raised by the Host Committee relieves the burden that would otherwise fall on government and taxpayers.  Woody’s leadership in the coming weeks will be extremely valuable as we prepare for this historic event.”

The Host Committee recently reached its goal of raising up to $39 million by July 15, as stipulated in its contract with the Committee on Arrangements for the Republican National Convention. The Host Committee will continue to raise funds to cover costs associated with the Convention such as rental of the Xcel Energy Center and RiverCenter; the costs of producing CivicFest; insurance, parking relocation and transportation; planning and implementing hospitality and events for media and delegates; and additional preparations to ensure delegates and visitors have a positive experience during their visit to Minneapolis Saint Paul.

“I’m honored to have been asked to serve as the National Finance Chair for the Host Committee,”  Johnson said.  “Ensuring the presidential nominating convention has the funds it needs to put on the best convention in history is critical to Minneapolis Saint Paul.  People will be pleasantly surprised by what the cities have to offer.  The Xcel Energy Center is a tremendous site for nominating a candidate to be the next President of the United States.”

The money raised and spent by the Host Committee will be fully detailed following the Convention in a report to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and the IRS, as required by law. In addition, Host Committees for Minneapolis Saint Paul and Denver will be audited by the FEC, which also is required by law.

About The Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee
The Minneapolis Saint Paul 2008 Host Committee is a non-partisan, 501c3 nonprofit, charged with promoting the commerce, image and prestige of Minneapolis Saint Paul and the entire region in preparation for the 2008 Republican National Convention. The Host Committee is made up of community leaders who are committed to educating people and businesses to come to Minnesota to work, live, play, visit and invest. For more information, visit

# # #