Robert Friend 2024
Robert Friend, District 7980
Rotary Club of Madison (CT)
Robert Friend brings thirty-five years of professional leadership in nonprofit and commercial performing arts, sports, and technology industries with a successful track record in strategic marketing, fundraising, sales, and financial business operations.
He resides in Madison, Connecticut with his wife, Maribel, who is a Vice President of Auditing for Citi. They have three children, Alyssa (23) a graduate of the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and currently residing in Madrid, Spain; Brianna (22) a graduate of the University of Mississippi and currently residing in New Orleans; and, Teddy (20) who is a Junior at Emerson College in Boston majoring in Journalism.

Robert currently serves as President of Live Entertainment Solutions Group, a consulting firm delivering long-term, sustainable growth to the entertainment and performing arts industry. His clients include Eventgroove where he serves as a solutions consultant driving global growth through the company’s integrated platform for events, fundraising, and eCommerce management. 

Robert’s extensive entertainment background spans over three decades. He most recently served as Vice President of Business Development, Strategy, and Consulting for Patron Technology, developing and implementing global market strategies through its PatronManager and PatronInsight solutions to drive sales, intelligence, and revenue growth to live performance venues and museums. 

In the performing arts, Robert has served in executive positions with two nationally acclaimed Tony Award-winning theatres, the La Jolla Playhouse and the Long Wharf Theatre, as well as the Historic Garde Arts Center. He recently completed 20 years as an adjunct for Brooklyn College’s graduate training program in performing arts management.
Robert is a twenty-one-year Rotarian and has been active in District activities for over a decade. He had the honor of serving under District Foundation Chair Mac Leask as Foundation Grants Reporting Coordinator and District Grants Steward Chair. While president of the Madison Rotary Club in 2008-09, he led a highly successful Global Grant in the Dominican Republic, and was extensively involved helping to direct the District “Boots-on-the-Ground” Foundation program to drive success in District Foundation Giving.

Robert served as Assistant District Governor in Area 8 for seven years working to elevate club engagement and growth in all areas of club operations. During his tenure, the area successfully held collaborative programs in service, membership, and foundation initiatives, which brought together all Clubs in the area for initiatives that actively engaged and grew the Rotary story.
In 2017, then District Governor-Elect Trish Pearson aligned the DG Track around a 3-year Public Image and Communications initiative to raise the scope and engagement of our Club communities. Robert agreed to serve as Chair of the District Public Image Committee and engaged a team of business marketing and media professionals that initiated a curriculum to grow the District's Rotary storytelling initiative. Robert was awarded the District 7980 Don Adams Award as Outstanding Rotarian for the 2017-18 Rotary year.
In summer 2020, Robert joined the Zone 32 Public Image team as an Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator (ARPIC). And, most recently, PDG Peter Schultz of District 5060 asked Robert to Co-Chair the Entertainment and Technology Committees for the upcoming Zones 28 and 32 Gala and Fundraiser to take place on February 23, 2022.

Robert is a graduate of Boston's Emerson College and actively serves on the college's Board of Trustees. He serves as Board member of the Shoreline Arts Alliance in Southern Connecticut and is a past Board member of the League of Historic American Theatres and the International Ticketing Association.