SRU grad has backstage pass to Republican National Convention


Kimberly Zevchek at republican national convention in cleveland

Kimberly Zevchek, a 2016 Slippery Rock University political science graduate, is working as a production runner in the finance department at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

July 18, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Cleveland, Ohio is known by many monikers: The North Coast, C-Town and The Mistake by the Lake to name just a few. But from today through July 21, the Rock and Roll Capital of the World will be recognized as the center of American politics as the city plays host to the 41st Republican National Convention.

2016 republican national convention logo

Joining the nearly 2,500 delegates, an estimated 15,000 media members and millions more watching Donald Trump's election as the party's presidential nominee, is Slippery Rock University alumna Kimberly Zevchek.

As a production runner for the Republican National Committee, the 2016 SRU political science graduate has a backstage pass to see history unfold.

"It is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity," said Zevchek, a native of nearby Brunswick, Ohio. "I am just so thrilled that I am able to be here."

Zevchek is one of 12 production runners for the RNC and the only one working in finance, assisting in the processing of payments to the multitude of vendors hired by the committee to serve the Quicken Loans Arena for the four-day event. She is also involved in securing hotel accommodations for committee workers.

The "Q," which is normally home to the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, temporarily modified its interior for the Grand Old Party, utilizing all available areas as accommodations. In fact, Zevchek's office is housed in the visiting team's shower room.

"They have put floors down and walls up so you don't feel like that's where you are or are reminded of it," she said with a laugh.

With heightened security awareness due to recent global and domestic events, Zevchek said police officers, security officials and Secret Service are everywhere. According the Washington Post, approximately 5,000 police officers will be on duty for the duration of the convention.

"I've never seen anything like it," Zevchek said. She had had two independent background checks run on her by the RNC's Committee on Arrangement and the Secret Service prior to the convention. "Everywhere you turn, there is security."

At the convention's climatic finish, when Trump will presumably accept his party's nomination, Zevchek will be right where she has from the beginning - backstage.

"Dealing with more finance stuff," she said. "My duties don't call for handling anything out on the floor. I'll just be in the back, working away."

Zevchek, who is taking a year off from further studies, plans to start law school in 2017.

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