Palace Theatres’ Peter Ramsey named Citizen of the Year by Greater Manchester Chamber

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MANCHESTER, NH – The Greater Manchester Chamber (GMC) has announced Peter Ramsey, President & CEO of the Palace Theatres, as its next Citizen of the Year.

Ramsey will be honored on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. during the GMC’s first-ever virtual Citizen of the Year Celebration. This virtual event, presented by Eastern Bank, will be a new and innovative opportunity for Chamber members, Palace Theatre supporters, and friends, family, and colleagues of Ramsey to tune-in, celebrate his accomplishments, and his dedication to our city.

For 20 years, Peter Ramsey’s name has been synonymous with the historic Palace Theatre’s success. Ramsey has been called “Manchester’s Song and Dance” man because of his life-long love of live theatre and music. Ramsey was hired as the President & CEO of the Palace Theatre Trust of Manchester, NH to reopen the dark theatre in the summer of 1999 after it had closed due to financial hardship. Today, the Palace generates more than $6.8 million annually in economic activity for the city of Manchester, NH.

Ramsey grew up in New London next to a summer theatre, which instilled in him a love for show business at a young age. A longtime resident of New Hampshire, Ramsey has spent the last 25 years in Manchester.

“His love of theatre, his passion for New Hampshire and his desire to improve Manchester make him the perfect person for the job of Palace Theatres President & CEO,” said Mark LaPrade, Principal at BerryDunn and Ramsey’s nominator.

In addition to the historic Palace Theatre, the Palace Theatres now includes The Spotlight Room, Forever Emma Studios and The Rex Theatre. Always a visionary, Peter saw the opportunity to re-open the Rex Theatre, originally a movie theatre until 1989, as a way to bring more than 50,000 people to downtown Manchester a year, expand the Palace Theatre’s footprint and extend its reach to new audiences. With successful capital campaigns, the procurement of sponsorships, donations, endowments and grants, Ramsey has established the Palace Theatres’ reputation as a premiere arts organization. His leadership, vision, and understanding of show business make him an exemplary citizen who has forever changed the history of the Place Theatres, an organization that is loved and cherished state-wide.

“There is no doubt in my mind Peter Ramsey has made a measurable impact on the lives of Manchester residents and visitors,” said Joyce Craig, Mayor of Manchester. “His commitment to increasing access to the arts and working to ensure young people have opportunities to experience and participate in theatre is exceptional. The Rex Theatre is already beginning to establish itself as a performance destination in New Hampshire.”

Peter Ramsey, Greater Manchester Chamber’s 2020 Citizen of the Year.

Ramsey’s commitment to community involvement extends outside of his role with the Palace Theatre. He has served numerous terms as a member of the NH House of Representatives, serves on the NH Tourism Council, and was a founding member of the NH Professional Theatre Association. He has served as Co-Chairman of Intown Manchester Management, Inc., and was a member of the City of Manchester Arts Commission for many years. Ramsey served on the Keene State College Alumni Board of Trustees for eight years, and over the course of 30 years, served as either a head coach or assistant head coach for the soccer programs at Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire College and the University of New Hampshire.

Ramsey is a constant supporter of his team, always crediting them to the Palace Theatres’ overall success.

“As a Palace Theatre board member for the past two years, my respect for Peter has increased further. He has built a truly impressive senior management team that has a unique comradery with each person being stellar in their role. They clearly love working with Peter, resulting in excellent outcomes. It’s clear that Peter respects and appreciates this talent,” said Sharron McCarthy, CEO of Girls Inc. New Hampshire.

One of Ramsey’s most impactful actions was the creation of the Palace Theatre’s Youth Theatre Program. In 2019 alone, the Palace welcomed approximately 570 children through the doors of the youth camp programs. Ramsey is incredibly passionate about youth theatre as it helps to build confidence in children and creates future generations of performers and audience members alike.

“It is with Peter’s leadership that the Palace has seen growth with the recent openings of the Rex Theatre, and the Youth Theatre, which will provide an enormous venue of culture that appeals to the young population and the surrounding areas,” said Howard Brodsky, Chairman & CEO of CCA Global Partners. “His energy and caring in such a consistent way is uncommon to find in a leader. He is a collaborative individual that you can find making culture come alive, which makes the city come alive.”

For his outstanding service to the arts and his community, Ramsey has received numerous awards, including the Granite State Award from the University of New Hampshire for his exceptional contributions to the State of NH and the Good Samaritan award for the media and arts from Pastoral Services of Manchester. He was recently acknowledged by the NH Business Review’s “New Hampshire 200” as one of the 200 most influential business leaders in the state. He has also produced the highly acclaimed NH Theatre awards.

“Peter is among the key builders of our city’s future,” said Mike Skelton, President & CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber. “Peter’s broad vision connects and integrates his work to Manchester’s other critical assets – business, education, and recreational. We are thrilled to be presenting Peter Ramsey with the Citizen of the Year Award.”

Since 1954, the Greater Manchester Chamber has presented one outstanding individual the Citizen of the Year Award. This exceptional group of community leaders has been paramount in shaping the GMC’s agenda and the community. The Citizen of the Year award recognizes an individual with significant leadership and citizenship in the community, while demonstrating exemplary vision, civic pride and commitment to the betterment of society. To be nominated, the individual should live in the greater Manchester area and his or her activities should be centered in the same area. Recognition is given for leadership and performance in several areas of community service over a period of years.

Peter Ramsey will be recognized as the Citizen of the Year at the Greater Manchester Chamber’s virtual Citizen of the Year Celebration, presented by Eastern Bank, on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Those who register to join the “watch party,” at will be emailed a link to tune-in. Enhanced ticket options are available. 

For more information, contact Corinne Breton at

In addition to honoring Ramsey and his amazing leadership, the event will also serve as a vehicle for the community to support the Palace Theatres at time of great challenge for the organization. We have no doubt that our generous community will lend a hand in the recovery of performing arts in Manchester. Your sponsorship and support of this event will help make this possible and we’re excited to share the details soon! For more information about sponsorships, email Heather Avella at


Incorporated in 1911, the Greater Manchester Chamber (GMC) is the largest business organization in New Hampshire, focusing its efforts primarily on Manchester and the surrounding communities of Auburn, Bedford, Candia, Derry, Goffstown, Hooksett, Litchfield, Londonderry, and Merrimack. It is the Chamber’s mission to be the voice of business, shaping economic success to enhance the quality of life in Greater Manchester. For more information visit


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Greater Manchester Chamber