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Local News

Chairman: GM job at Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet has attracted interest

A crowd gathers outside at the Rialto Square Theatre for a performance Dec. 21, 2014. Rialto Square Theatre board Chairman Dan Vera said he is encouraged by the people who have reached out to him regarding the open general manager position at the theater.
A crowd gathers outside at the Rialto Square Theatre for a performance Dec. 21, 2014. Rialto Square Theatre board Chairman Dan Vera said he is encouraged by the people who have reached out to him regarding the open general manager position at the theater.

JOLIET – Rialto Square Theatre board Chairman Dan Vera said there is interest in the general manager’s job.

The job became available a week ago when the board approved a separation agreement with Randy Green, who came under fire when the theater fell behind on $120,000 in payroll taxes dating as far back as November.

The position has not been posted yet, and Rialto management still is trying to get its financial situation under control. But Vera said he has been receiving inquiries from people in the theater business.

“There’s a number of people out there who are interested in the position and asking for more information about what we’re looking for,” Vera said Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Vera planned to discuss the job requirements with members of the Rialto’s foundation board, the major fundraising arm for the theater. He said the plan still is to fill the job “ASAP,” as he said at the April 6 Rialto board meeting, when Green officially was let go.

“That’s what I said, and I meant it,” Vera said.

Before the job is posted, Vera said, he wants “everybody on the same page” on what qualifications the next general manager should have.

The job can be expected to be challenging.

In addition to the latest financial problems at the Rialto, the theater has struggled for years to make ends meet.

The theater and adjacent office space are overseen by the state-created Will County Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, which Vera chairs. Unlike similar civic center authorities, the authority does not have any tax dollars dedicated to its operations and depends on a $600,000 stipend from the city of Joliet to help fund the Rialto.

But the people who have been calling know the ropes, Vera said.

“I’m very encouraged by the inquiries and the interest I’ve received,” he said. “These are people who are already in the business that are general managers or executive directors of other performing arts centers.”

In the meantime, the payroll taxes have been paid with money from the city’s annual stipend. Vera said the Rialto is chipping away at a backlog in vendor bills. And, Vera said, the Rialto will be able to satisfy the city’s insistence that the three month’s severance in Green’s separation agreement not come out of the city stipend.

“That money has been identified,” he said, noting it will come from interest earnings generated by the foundation.

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