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And the new Chairman of Chicago’s prestigious Magnificent Mile Association is…. United’s own president and CEO Richard “Rick” Simon

March 13, 2017 at 2:18 PM

The business savvy members of the Magnificent Mile Association (MMA) have voted. Richard “Rick” Simon is the association’s new Chairman. The Association is in charge of many high-profile events on the famed Magnificent Mile including the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival that drew approximately 800,000 visitors to the Mile in 2016. 

“The Magnificent Mile is the front door to Chicago for nearly all the visitors who come to our great city,” Simon said. “I’m very happy to be associated with this historic location and the people who are part of it.”

During his two-year term, Simon — business leader, retired marine and a former Chicago police officer — ricks_jpeg_photo1.jpgwill work with city officials, merchants and developers to maintain the bustling area’s attraction as a major tourism and shopping destination. A non-profit group, the MMA has 750 member companies and spearheads the promotion and preservation of the city’s famed Magnificent district, which is home to numerous high-end high-rises, major hotels and upscale retail shops. As such, it has long been a popular spot for trade show attendees in town for events at nearby McCormick Place.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 “In 2016, we estimate our district's hotel room night revenue alone approached $1.3 billion; and that generated more than $70 million in Chicago hotel tax revenue,” said outgoing Chairman John McCarthy. “Add in the results for our thriving medical, education, dining, shopping, and services communities and we show this district as a powerful job provider and economic engine for Chicago.”                                                                                                                             Simon is a familiar face and longtime colleague to trade show executives and convention venue executives who contract with United for trade show cleaning, security and other show services across the country. He is active in major industry associations and once served as the Chairman Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau now known as Choose Chicago. He is very involved with the International Association of Exhibition & Events (IAEE), the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), and the Exhibition Service Contractors Association (ESCA). Throughout his career, he has been recognized by his industry and peers with numerous awards and was named by Tradeshow Week as one of the most influential people in the trade show industry.  He is also the Chairman of the award-winning Trade Show Executive Magazine (TSE) and is the official host of TSE’s Gold 100 and Fastest 50 Awards & Summits. 

“Rick has been leading Chicago’s welcoming committee for the tens of millions of visitors that have come to Chicago for these events and who eventually visit our Magnificent Mile,” the MMA said in a statement when Simon’s chairmanship was announced in mid-February. “These groups generate sales and grow prospects for our member businesses. So, in a way, Rick Simon is constantly planning for our future.”

Locally, Simon is an active member of Gateway Green, The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, and The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association.

“I am proud to be a Chicagoan and have Chicago be the headquarters of United Service Companies. I believe in this city, it’s incredible potential and am very honored to have been elected to oversee the Magnificent Mile Association and build on the outstanding work John McCarthy and the MMA have already provided its members and the community,” said Simon. 


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