Cleveland Business Connects

For immediate release (October 6, 2017) Media Contact: Judy Abelman Email: Phone: 440.725.8861...

Medical Mutual, one of many downtown companies based near ground zero, prepares its employees for the upcoming RNC

By Mary Malik  |  Photo by Jim Baron

From July 18-21 more than 50,000 people, including delegates, media, and visitors, will descend upon Cleveland as part of the Republican National Convention. With much of the city focused on accommodating the influx of visitors, many businesses downtown are considering their own employees during convention week.

“We have just over 1,000 employees working in our downtown Cleveland headquarters at East 9th and Prospect in the Gateway District,” Jeff Williamson, vice president of corporate development for Medical Mutual of Ohio, says. “Our primary focus for the convention revolves around transportation and parking for our employees.”

Transportation, traffic, parking, and other logistical issues are matters that many downtown businesses are facing for not only convention week but also the days leading up to and after the event. The convention host committee says that the decision to remain open or to close for convention week is at the discretion of the businesses themselves.

“The consistent message delivered by local and national leadership has been that they want Cleveland to be ‘business as usual’ the week of the RNC,” Williamson says. “They have made some suggestions, such as starting shifts earlier in the morning, to allow for an earlier departure, or using public transportation to alleviate parking concerns. We are looking into many things to make the week easier on our employees.”

Medical Mutual has suburban locations in Beachwood and Strongsville. According to Williamson, Medical Mutual has retained the services of a bus company to provide transportation from these two locations to the downtown offices during the week of the RNC.

Security for the convention, particularly in areas around Quicken Loans Arena and FirstMerit Convention Center, may also affect businesses located near those venues. Williamson says Medical Mutual will be increasing security measures as a precaution throughout the convention.

“Due to the RNC’s high profile and size of the event, it receives a National Special Security Event (NSSE) designation,” Emily Lauer, senior director of PR/communications for the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, says. “As an NSSE, secret service, other federal agencies, and the city of Cleveland will together lead the effort to help ensure the safety and security of participants, attendees, and the community.”

According to Lauer, the security zone that will be set up around these areas is established by the city of Cleveland and the U.S. Secret Service. The perimeter will not be announced until just before the convention begins.

“The RTA is a very viable option for those coming into the city during convention week,” Lauer says. “While there will be some re-routes due to the security perimeter, no routes will be cut. For anyone who must be downtown during that time, using the RTA is a very convenient public transportation option.”

As a service oriented business, Medical Mutual of Ohio is one of those businesses whose employees must be available to customers.

“We have customer service departments at our downtown headquarters that handle phone calls from policyholders and health care professionals during the workday,” Williamson says. “Between busing them from suburban offices and public transportation, we hope to alleviate any concerns for our employees.” 

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