Former D96 board member to lead Auditorium Theatre

Rich Regan will take on new role Oct. 1

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By Bob Skolnik

Contributing Reporter

Riverside resident Rich Regan was hired last week as the new chief executive officer of the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago. Regan was selected after a national search for a new CEO and will start his new job on Oct. 1.

Regan, 50, a former member of the Riverside Elementary School District 96 Board of Education and now a member of the Triton College Board of Trustees, currently works as the vice president and general manager of events and presentations at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. From 1999 to 2006, Regan worked as the general manager of the Auditorium Theatre.

"I am honored to return to the Auditorium Theatre, one of the most iconic buildings in Chicago and the place that ignited my passion for historic restoration, as the CEO," said Regan in a press release issued by the Auditorium Theatre. "I am thrilled to come back at such an exciting time, and I look forward to working with the dedicated staff and board of this National Historic Landmark. It is a privilege to serve this legendary institution in this capacity."

The Auditorium Theatre, designed by renowned architectural firm Adler and Sullivan, was built in 1889.

"We are thrilled to bring Rich back to the Auditorium Theatre to serve as the theater's chief executive officer," said Ann Nash, chairwoman of the Auditorium Theatre Board of Directors, in the press release. "To have someone who is so familiar with the theater step into this leadership role at such an opportune time in the theatre's history is invaluable. We know that Rich will quickly begin working to expand our programming, increase our community engagement and fulfill our vision of serving the city of Chicago and beyond as the 'Theatre for the People.'"

As general manager of the Auditorium Theatre in the early 2000s Regan oversaw a $14 million restoration and renovation of the theater.

The president of Roosevelt University also praised Regan's appointment.

"I am delighted that Rich will be leading the executive team of our beautiful Auditorium Theatre," said Roosevelt University President Ali Malekzadeh. "As someone with more than 25 years of successful experience in his field, he brings a wealth of experience to this position. I look forward to working with him as he envisions and leads the next chapter of the Auditorium Theatre's story."

The Auditorium Theatre is resident home of the Joffrey Ballet Company and hosts a variety of cultural and entertainment events. 

Prior to coming to the Auditorium Theatre in 1999, Regan worked for the Nederlander Company where, among other jobs, he was the general manager of the Alpine Valley Music Theater. Regan was appointed to the Riverside School District 96 school board in 2014 and elected to a full four-year term in 2015.

 He served as the chairman of the school board's finance committee. Earlier this year he was elected to the Triton College Board of Trustees.

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