Born in a log cabin in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., Rich Singer moved, at the age of four, to more modest accommodations in suburban Chicagoland, the only metropolitan area named like a theme park.
Rich received a Bachelors and a Masters of Science in Parks and Recreation Administration from Western Illinois University. This was an eight year trek. Rich is fond of saying, “Junior year was the best three years of my life.” It is worth noting that this comment only pertains to the portions of that time period that he remembers.
After receiving his masters, Rich took the Performing Arts Advisor position at WIU. In this capacity he booked, produced, and promoted popular performing artists in the 8,200 seat Western Hall. Singer quickly tired of scraping potato salad off the rock stars’ dressing room ceilings and left Macomb, the only American city named as the possessive form of a hair grooming aid.
His next move was to the University of South Carolina in Columbia. At the University he created a new performing arts series. The Carolina Cultural Series sold more than 2,800 season tickets in the 3,300 seat Township Auditorium. The high point of Rich’s stay at the University of South Carolina was listening in as stagehands swapped obscene jokes with Marcel Marceau through a French/English interpreter.
From South Carolina, Rich moved to Davenport, Iowa, the only American city named after a piece of living room furniture. In Davenport, he oversaw the opening of the new RiverCenter convention center and the renovation of the 2,400 seat art deco movie palace, the Adler Theatre.
The performing arts series that Rich developed for the Adler Theatre sold out on a season ticket basis in its first year. Seeing only a potential downhill slide after this victory, Rich promptly left town for Modesto, California, the only American City named after a personality flaw.
In Modesto, Rich opened the Modesto Centre Plaza convention/community center. While in Modesto Rich also became responsible for the City’s minor league ball park, three golf courses and two museums.
Sensing that golf management was seriously cutting into his desk time, Rich decided to move to San Diego, California, the only city in the United States that does not have weather. Here he joined the San Diego Convention Center Corporation as a Vice President. In this capacity he managed the San Diego Concourse and Civic Theatre.
Tiring of near perfect weather and Little League teams sponsored by plastic surgeons, Rich moved on to Tucson, AZ, the Dry Heat Capital of the United States. In Tucson Rich serves as the Director of the Tucson Convention Center. The center is composed of meeting and exhibit space plus a 9,500 seat arena, and two theaters with 2,350 and 535 seats.
In 1991, Rich passed a rigorous battery of tests to become recognized by the International Association of Assembly Managers as a Certified Facilities Executive. This certification recognizes professional knowledge of the management of convention centers, performing arts facilities, stadiums, arenas, and auditoriums.
He currently serves as an Instructor at the IAAM Public Assembly Facility Management School.
In 1995, with only modest annual contributions over the years, he received the Western Illinois University Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Administration Department Distinguished Alumni Award. Because of the lengthy title of this award there was no room on the plaque for his name.
Rich is simultaneously loved and tolerated by his wife Nancy, son Owen, daughter Gibson, and dog, Timmy, but not necessarily in that order.
His loftiest career goal is to retire.