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Greg O’Dell: D.C.’s Unconventional Convention Man is on the Job



Gregg O'Dell - YouTube

*Greg O’Dell was a successful businessman and consultant who never thought he would work for the government. He didn’t want to deal with red tape and bureaucracy. But about a dozen years ago, Washington, D.C., officials talked him into going to work for the city.

O’Dell still isn’t sure how then-Mayor Adrian Fenty got him to agree.

“I tell people jokingly that I don’t know that I ever said yes,” said O’Dell. But apparently the officials were not trying to hear no.

He sold his consulting company and went to work for him.

“I found myself going over to the other side—the dark side,” said O’Dell. “I thought I would do it for a couple of years and go back to the private sector.”

Not only does O’Dell still work for Washington D.C., but he has moved up several rungs. From his first job as the city’s chief development officer, he moved to CEO of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, then CEO of the Washington Convention and Center Authority.

The two agencies were combined into Events DC. And in 2009, O’Dell became CEO of that agency, a position he still holds. His duties include managing the city’s massive convention center, and overseeing operation of Nationals Park, the home of the city’s major league baseball team, and RFK Stadium, where its professional soccer team plays. He also oversees major events such as the Marine Corps Marathon.

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There was no clue in O’Dell’s upbringing or his education that he would end up as a high government official in Washington. D.C. His father worked for AT&T and moved around a lot; he grew up in Connecticut, North Carolina and Georgia.

He went to Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. While he majored in finance and government in college, he never went beyond a bachelor’s degree.

“I contemplated many times going back and getting my MBA,” O’Dell said. He even applied for a few programs but never followed through. “Without fail, whenever that happened another opportunity came about that I decided to pursue,” he said, adding: “I don’t regret it.”

He credits much of his success to his parents, who instilled a lot of values in him and his brother and sister. “My mother was a nurse for more than 30 years so it was ingrained in her to look out for other people. My father epitomized hard work. He worked for AT&T for many years and had multiple jobs over the years. He was hard-working and disciplined,” O’Dell said. Experience and “hard knocks” have made up for his lack of an advanced degree, he said.

His experience has given him a new outlook. “It gave me a better appreciation for the work that public officials do every day,” said O’Dell, who is 50 years old. “I think there’s a tremendous amount of—discredit is too strong, but they get a bad rap. Public servants work tirelessly. It kind of opened my eyes.”

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MJD_3368One thing that he finds rewarding is his ability to affect public policy. As a private businessman, O’Dell has managed large development projects—first as a senior manager at KPMG, and also principal in Clemons Consulting Group. But he has more control over the impact of projects he manages now. The city recently built a $69 million sports and entertainment arena in Ward 8, an area that is 92 percent black and has a poverty rate almost twice as high as the city’s overall rate.

“Right now, for the operations team more than 50 percent of the team comes from the community,” O’Dell said. “I’m more proud of that than any bricks-and-mortar project we could talk about.”

He continues to work closely with the District of Columbia government. In early May, O’Dell worked with Mayor Muriel Bowser to convert the convention center into an alternate care site to support the District’s COVID-19 medical surge response. O’Dell and his team won high praise from Bowser as well as from federal officials for their cooperation.

“We are very grateful for all of our local and federal partners who worked quickly to get this site ready to go in just a few weeks,” the mayor said.

Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which led the conversion of a convention center hall into a facility that could accommodate 437 beds, called the convention center staff a “great partner.”

O’Dell does not know what his future holds but he knows what it doesn’t hold—running for office. A former college basketball player, he is 6’5″ with an outgoing personality—the kind of person who jokes around with security guards as he makes his rounds in the convention center. When asked if he will run for office, O’Dell has a ready answer: “Not for all the tea in China.” He has grown comfortable in the public arena but not so comfortable that he wants to get in any deeper.

“I know my strengths and weaknesses and I know what I’m comfortable doing,” he said. “Know your strengths but also know what you enjoy doing. I just felt [a political office] was not right for me, was not something I enjoy doing, so that’s why I resisted.”

He may get that MBA some day, but for now he’s good. “I feel like I’ve been fortunate,” he said. “I feel like I’ve been able to work on many large-scale initiatives. There’s no better education than that.”

(Edited by Robert George and Adrienne N. Wartts)

The post Greg O’Dell: D.C.’s unconventional convention man appeared first on Zenger News.



Ways to Get Personalized Number Plates in 2020



Car Reg Personalized Number Plate

Car Reg Personalized Number Plate

*Subsequent to burning through hundreds or even thousands on an individual enlistment number, numerous individuals seldom feel that if the actual number plates in their vehicle were rectified, their pride and joy would not go down so quick. ۔ The plates in the past number were penetrated and fixed to the vehicle with self-tapping screws, with the coming of plastic guards and twofold sided tape plates, they are currently typically stuck in the vehicle. There are favorable circumstances and drawbacks to the two techniques which will be examined.

Boring the plates and fixing them with screws requires great solid climbing however some of the time the screw head can change the state of the enlistment number on the off chance that they go down close or in any number, water can likewise go into the openings and time Just as isolating intelligent and acrylic, destroying the number plate. Here you can find glorious personalized number plates at CarReg Personalised Number Plates Providers.

Individual number plates

With regards to picking an individual number plate, there are 1000 words to look over. The majority of us pick enrollment numbers which implies something to us. In any case, we likewise anticipate the cost of the favored number plate to increment. Furthermore, frequently we are astounded that it didn’t ascend as high as we suspected.

Things being what they are, the reason do a few (apparently comparative) individual number plates outnumber others? Picking cautiously can have a significant effect.

Here are hints when personalising an individual number plate:

Purchase your preferred best number plate

In the event that you are purchasing a private enrollment number with a speculation center, this is significant. Except if you have a deal, odds are it’s a valid justification if it’s modest. There are many coordinating number plates available or very few likely purchasers … or on the other hand both! This could mean a log jam in deals.

Purchase low digits

Regardless of whether purchasing a prefix number plate, an additional number plate, or an obsolete number plate, pick low digits. The numbers are similarly acceptable. On the off chance that your financial plan permits just 3 digits or more, pick a number that has more tasteful allure. For example, 777, 100, or 101 are. Numbers like 18, 21, 30, and 40 have some allure since they speak to significant birthday celebrations. Try not to pick 27 since it is your date of birth.

Car Reg Personalized Number Plate

Purchase the underlying number plate

On the off chance that you are purchasing a prefix number plate, purchase as near the letter An as could be expected under the circumstances. There are a few exemptions for this standard, for example, ‘H1’ which speaks to ‘Greetings’ or ‘X5’ which shows the BMW model. Other well known choices are X11 or X111 as they can be seen as Roman numerals. Try not to pick 27 since it’s your birthday. All things considered, in the event that one picks a number or 11 numbers, they are accessible.

Prior to deciding

Looking at the numerous individual number plates on your site prior to deciding. Analyze number plate costs, as they can differ fundamentally. It will help you with regards to your great worth.

Limit the squint factor (TM) Boost quality

In the event that you intend to make a name or word, attempt to ensure you are not depending on deliberately positioned fixes or tapes. It’s not cool, and it’s not lawful. Likewise do whatever it takes not to depend on such a large number of letters rather than numbers. For instance, the G88 lean towards the OLF B160 LFX (where 6 and 0 assistance structure the word ‘GOLF’). In the subsequent model, the letter and the number remain, and the objective word is lost in the center.

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27 More Black Ex-Franchisees Join Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against McDonald’s



McDonald's Franchisees Darryl Byrd & James F. Byrd
McDonald's Franchisees Darryl Byrd & James F

McDonald’s Franchisees Darryl Byrd & James F. Byrd

*MIAMI – Twenty-seven new plaintiffs, all former Black McDonald’s franchisees, joined an ongoing federal lawsuit against the fast-food chain claiming the company engaged in systemic discrimination and denied them the same opportunities as White franchisees.

The new amended complaint now has 77 named plaintiffs in the lawsuit originally filed by 52 Black former franchisees on Sept. 1, 2020.

The claims now include nearly 300 stores with compensatory damages that average between

$4 million and $5 million per store, exclusive of punitive damages.

The plaintiffs allege McDonald’s sold itself as a recruiter and developer of Black talent, profited from its Black consumer base and maintained a two-tier system that pigeonholed unsuspecting Black owners and assigned them horrible locations guaranteed to fail.

This suit comes on the heels of a federal class action lawsuit filed October 29 by current Black franchisees.

“McDonald’s is now fighting a four-front legal war. They are being sued by current and former Black operators, Black employees and senior executives,” said James L. Ferraro, the lead attorney for both the current and former franchisee lawsuits. “As the pool of plaintiffs grow, there will be more pressure on the company to dispense with the public relations ploys and focus on how it can help its Black employees and franchisees.”

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At the same time there are calls for state pension funds to drop McDonald’s stock. States like New York, California, Ohio and Florida have massive investments in McDonald’s. In Tennessee, Rep. Joe Towns has requested Treasurer David H. Lillard to divest the state’s holdings and reallocate the money toward companies “practicing good corporate citizenship.”

Ferraro said all these challenges are coming together because the company has turned a blind eye to obvious racial problems while promoting its public image.

McDonald’s once boasted a high of 377 Black franchisees in 1998. That number now stands at 186 even though McDonald’s has increased its stores from 15,086 to 36,059. The cash flow gap for Black franchisees more than tripled from 2010 to 2019, per National Black McDonald’s

Operators Association (“NBMOA”) data.

Plaintiffs’ average annual sales of $2 million was more than $700,000 under McDonald’s national average of $2.7 million between 2011 and 2016 and $900,000 under the national average of $2.9 million in 2019.

The lawsuit claims McDonald’s was ruthless in steering Black operators toward the oldest, most decrepit stores in the toughest neighborhoods routinely rejected by Whites franchisees. This severely limited opportunities for expansion and growth, and far too often set in place a chain of events – low cash flow, decreased equity, debt and bankruptcy – that led to financial ruin.

The plaintiffs argue McDonald’s violated federal civil rights laws by:

  • Excluding Black franchisees from the same growth opportunities found at safer, higher- volume, lower-cost stores offered to Whites.
  • Retaliating against Black franchisees for rejecting strong-arm offers to continue operations in crime-ridden
  • Denying Black franchisees meaningful assistance during financial hardships while White franchisees were routinely given such
  • Failing to provide any legitimate business reasons for repeated denials of franchise opportunities over many
  • Unfairly grading the operations of Black restaurants, which resulted in poor internal reviews, effectively pushing Black franchisees out of the McDonald’s system by denying them the eligibility for growth and favorable franchise
  • Providing misleading projections which induced Black franchisees to purchase undesirable franchises.

The amended complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division. To download the complaint, click here.

Direct media inquiries to [email protected] /





Florence Anthony
[email protected]


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Black Billionaire (Robert Smith) Has to Pay Back $140M After Admitting to Tax Evasion / VIDEO



Robert F. Smith

*Robert Smith, the richest Black person in America, will have to give a hefty amount of his wealth back to the IRS.

According to reports, the amount is almost $140 million based on tax evasion tactics that Smith has admitted to using after he was exposed following a four-year U.S. tax investigation by The Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Services.  Smith, 57, has been cooperative with the two powerful government agencies.

Forbes magazine recently published on its online platform that Smith avoided prosecution because he agreed to cooperate in a case against Houston businessman Robert Brockman, who has been accused of using a number of entities in the Caribbean to hide $2 billion in income.

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Robert F. Smith

Robert F. Smith

For his own part, Smith is not running away from the wrongdoing of evading taxes.   He said over a three-year period, he failed to file accurate reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, known as FBARs.

Smith , who is CEO of  the private equity firm Vista Equity Partners based in Texas, has been called a brilliant businessman, chemical engineer, and investor.  His net worth has been estimated at $7 billion.

For the most part, Smith has been flying under the radar because his name was not a household name, per se.  Yet, he was picked up by public radar in 2019, when he gave the commencement speech at Morehouse College in Atlanta.  During the speech, he shocked all in attendance, especially the college’s graduating class, when he promised to pay off each graduate’s student loan debt.  It was estimated to total $34 million.


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