The Masquerade, presented by PNC Bank, has dazzled attendees for many years with top-tier entertainment and recognition of leading Indiana sports figures and community leaders who have made a significant impact, and the tradition continues on October 29, at the JW Marriott.
This year’s event will recognize Rick Fuson, Chief Operating Officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
The proceeds support Pacers Foundation and Simon Youth Foundation. Both foundations work to ensure youth in need, in Indiana and across the country, are given education and other opportunities to better their lives. To date, the Masquerade has raised nearly $6 million for the two organizations.
“On behalf of the Pacers Foundation and Simon Youth Foundation, both Cindy and I are very pleased to have Rick as our honoree this year,” said Deborah Simon, chair of the Simon Youth Foundation. “Rick is a true friend, and his leadership is so important to our foundations and the community.”
A lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Fuson is a graduate of Arlington High School and Indiana University. After beginning his business career at MacAllister Machinery, he joined the staff of Market Square Arena in 1984 as director of special events and was promoted the following year to vice president. Fuson helped oversee the design, construction, and the move of the Pacers organization to Conseco Fieldhouse. He was made executive senior vice president in 2001, and named chief operating officer in November, 2008, responsible for operation of all aspects of the business and facilities elements of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
Through the years, Fuson has been active in pursuing major events for Conseco Fieldhouse and the City of Indianapolis. He was a member of the Executive Committee for the 1991 World Gymnastics Championships, serving as chair of the opening ceremonies; he has been co-chair of special events for the NCAA Final Four in 1991, 1997 and 2000, and served on the Local Organizing Committee for the 2006 and 2010 NCAA Final Four.
Fuson produced the opening ceremonies of the 2001 World Police & Fire Games as well as the closing ceremonies of the Pan American Games in 1987. He has served on the Local Organizing Committee for the Big Ten Basketball Championships since 2002; FIBA World Basketball Championship in 2002; FINA World Swimming Championships in 2004; and presently serves on the 2012 Super Bowl Committee. Additionally, he serves on the board of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, Indianapolis Downtown Inc., Pacers Foundation (board chair) and is an advisor and former board member of the Indiana Sports Corp.
Fuson joins a distinguished roster of key local sports legends and community leaders recognized for their professional and civic contributions at the Masquerade. In previous years, Donnie Walsh, Clark Kellogg, Bobby “Slick” Leonard, Reggie Miller, Melvin and Herb Simon, the Hulman-George Family, Jeff Smulyan, Frank Hancock, and Steve Stitle have been honored.