by News Bureau on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 16, 2012 — David Ross, the first and only director of the Show Me Center for 25 years at Southeast Missouri State University, has announced his retirement, effective May 31.
Ross was hired in January 1987 to guide the building through its grand opening and beyond. Bob Cerchio, assistant director of the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts at the River Campus, will serve as interim director while a national search is conducted.
“It is time to hand the reins over to someone else to guide the Show Me Center through the next 25 years,” Ross said. “I hope that whoever that becomes, they enjoy it as much as I have. Twenty-five years is a long time for a management team to be in place. It’s time for a new era, to bring in fresh ideas to guide this extraordinary facility into the future.”
The Show Me Center is a cooperative venture between the City of Cape Girardeau and Southeast Missouri State University. The more than 7,000-seat, 32,000-square-foot facility is located at 1333 N. Sprigg Street. Over the last 25 years, the multi-use arena has hosted United States presidents, world class entertainment and concerts, championship sporting events, trade shows and many quality events for the southeast Missouri regional community. The facility is also the home court for Southeast’s men’s and women’s basketball.
“We appreciate David’s long tenure, dedication and passion for the Show Me Center,” said Cape Girardeau City Manager Scott Meyer. “The first quarter century of the facility was marked by great moments in the entertainment history of the City of Cape Girardeau,” he said, recounting events and entertainers who have performed at the Show Me Center over the years, including Bob Hope, Bill Cosby, monster trucks and numerous athletic events. “It just shows how important that partnership is and has been to the vitality of this city.”
In 2005-2006, Ross served as the president of the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), a global association of public and private facility managers. He used his platform and theme of “Making a Difference” to communicate the principles of education and professionalism to members of the IAVM, and served as a spokesman for the managers of small venues and those from small markets around the world.
Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration at Southeast Missouri State University, said “The Show Me Center wouldn’t be the premiere venue it is today if it wasn’t for David’s leadership. He is nationally known in the industry, and the University and community are so fortunate that he’s given us 25 years of dedication and hard work. We can’t thank him enough for the countless hours he has spent bringing top entertainment acts, speakers and athletic events to not only our University students, but the entire region.”
Ross said, “I want to thank all of the Show Me Center employees for their hard work and dedication. Without the work they did – including all past and current employees — none of our success would have been possible. I know they will continue to be successful in the future.”
Ross says he plans to stay in Cape Girardeau and enjoy the many fine golf courses in the area. His future plans include traveling with his wife, Sue, and doing consulting work within the facility management business.
“I’ve learned that happiness is a moving target that changes over time,” he said. “Instead of working 60 to 85 hours per week, I will start spending more time with my family and other leisurely pursuits.”