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DNC 2020 Host Committee names new leadership team following 'toxic work environment' firings

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Posted at 8:00 AM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 11:34:51-05

MILWAUKEE — The Democratic National Convention 2020 Host Committee has named a new leadership team following a 'toxic working environment' incident.

The committee announced that Raquel Filmanowicz will replace former president Liz Gilbert.

Filmanowicz was named as the committee's chief executive officer and has previously worked as director of community affairs for BMO Harris Bank. In her new role, Filmanowicz will oversee and guide the committee's fundraising operations, volunteer recruitment efforts and venue organization plans.

Paula Penebaker is joining the leadership team as the committee's chief operating officer. Penebaker will be responsible for administering operations of the host committee and staff.

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“For four days in July, the entire world will see firsthand what those of us here in Milwaukee have always known—this is an amazing city with wonderful people and vibrant communities,” said Filmanowicz in a press release. “The convention is a terrific opportunity for Milwaukee and our region to showcase our diversity, our inclusiveness, and all of our many strengths to 50,000 global visitors. I can't wait to get to work with the incredible Host Committee staff, who every day perform at the highest level, to secure the resources, recruit the volunteers, arrange the local venues, and partner with local vendors to make this convention the best in history.”

Former president, Liz Gilbert, was fired after being at the center of an investigation into alleged bullying and intimidation of female staff members. Those female staff members claimed Gilbert and former Chief of Staff Adam Alonso were creating a "toxic working environment."

Both of them were fired.

Filmanowicz and Penebaker start their new roles next week.

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