MILWAUKEE – December 18, 2013 – The Wisconsin Center District today announced at its board of directors meeting that Richard Geyer, president and CEO, will retire on April 30. The Wisconsin Center District is a government body created under Wisconsin Statute in 1994 to fund, build and operate what are now the Wisconsin Center, U.S. Cellular Arena and the Milwaukee Theatre.
Geyer has been instrumental in bringing highly successful shows to Milwaukee such as The Rockettes and has worked with Broadway Across America ® to coordinate shows like The Lion King. He was also a Tony Awards® voter for almost 20 years and is a member of the Broadway League. Geyer was appointed president of the Wisconsin Center District in 1996 and brought many years of experience in the convention and entertainment business, especially in engineering and construction projects. He oversaw the completion of what was then the Midwest Airlines Center, which has become a preferred location for regional, state, and national business shows and conventions of all kinds.
“Dick Geyer has been the strong backbone of the Wisconsin Center District” said Franklyn Gimbel, Wisconsin Center District Board Chairman. “Through his work in developing the Wisconsin Center, growing the business activities of the U.S. Cellular Arena, and bringing new and unique events to the Milwaukee Theatre, Geyer has been a strong advocate for the city of Milwaukee. People who have attended events speak very glowingly because of the high standards Geyer has set for the facilities.”
He also consulted on arena projects, leading to executive roles in building, expanding, renovation and operating convention and assembly facilities in five states. In addition, Geyer has held numerous leadership roles in the International Association of Auditorium Managers, and is an advisor to Facilities & Event Management magazine.
An economic impact analysis, conducted by Chicago-based HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting (HVS), of the Wisconsin Center District presented earlier this year revealed that the Wisconsin Center District facilities generate a total of $355 million in annual economic impact, and of that total, $126 million is in new annual spending for the city of Milwaukee. In addition, in a study comparing the Wisconsin Center District economic impacts with similar Milwaukee venues, the Wisconsin Center District facilities economic impact is $497.8 million, more than twice the impact of other venues in the Milwaukee area. It also found that the spending associated with the Wisconsin Center District facilities supports more than 4,000 full-time jobs in Milwaukee.
The Wisconsin Center District board of directors will be putting together a search committee to locate a successor.