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Richard Fiore Obituary
RICHARD FIORE Richard Fiore, an innovator and visionary who brought about major changes in casino gaming worldwide and helped grow the sport of lacrosse in Nevada, passed away peacefully in his sleep Friday, Nov. 27, 2009. He was 50 years old. Rich was not only a successful businessman, but he also inspired all those around him. Above all else, he believed that "other things may change us, but we start and end with family." Rich was born Aug. 8, 1959, in Steubenville, Ohio. His family eventually moved to West Virginia, and in 1973 they relocated to Las Vegas, where he attended Valley High School. In college, Rich attended Taft Junior College in California, and was a member of Taft's national championship football team as a cornerback. In 1981, he began working as a junior artist with International Game Technology (IGT) in Reno. At IGT, Rich ascended the ranks to senior designer, and was credited with developing the first slant-top slot machine as well as the world-renowned Megabucks design. Looking for new challenges, he left IGT in 1992 and helped start the Idea Center in Las Vegas. As art director for the Idea Center, Rich created the printing method for slot machine glass, a technique that is still used today by slot machine manufacturers. Rich joined Mikohn Gaming Corporation in 1994, and after three years there he started Richard Fiore & Associates. After building his own company for two years, he became president of Sierra Design Group (SDG) in 1999. Rich's achievements there were recognized by the U.S. Congressional Committee, which honored him with the 2003 Nevada Businessman of the Year Award. That year, SDG was sold to Alliance Gaming (now Bally's Technology). He then went back to strengthening and diversifying his own company. Rich set as his goal obtaining a Nevada gaming license, not an easy task for an independent businessman. His diligence paid off as he was awarded a gaming license this past September. Also during that time, Rich took his passion for the sport of lacrosse - fueled by his son, Madison, who would go on to become the first native Nevadan to play lacrosse for a Division 1 college team - to the coaching ranks, volunteering to steer the Faith Lutheran High School team beginning in 2006. Rich led the Crusaders to the state title game in each of his first two years as head coach and reveled in the fact that he was helping young adults and preparing them for the next level of education. It was Rich who instituted the traditional post-game prayer at Faith. At Richard Fiore & Associates, he began branching out beyond the world of gaming and into the entertainment industry. At the time of his passing, Rich was chairman of the board at LXM Pro and working to create an X-Games type of lacrosse event featuring live music, a dance contest and more. He also had assumed the role of executive producer of "Crooked Arrows," Hollywood's first lacrosse-themed movie about a Native American high school lacrosse team coached by the tribal chairman's son, who has returned to the reservation to help the casino. His contributions at Faith Lutheran, where his daughter, Talyn also attended as a highly accomplished student both in academics and creative arts, included raising funds for a press box and new field turf at the stadium shared by the football and lacrosse teams. He was president of the Faith Lutheran Booster Club for three years and a member of The Crossing Christian Church. Madison remembers the time that his dad bought a Ferrari and took him for a spin. They were driving fast up Sahara, and a cop made a left turn in front of them. All he could do is look at Rich and Madison and shake his head. "We felt above the law that day," Madison says. Talyn remembers her dad taking her to see "Titanic" at the Village Square theater when she was six, and her dad telling her it was the "IT" movie theater in town. Before the sex scenes, her dad told Talyn, "let's go get popcorn!" They went to the Bellagio for dinner together prior to the movie and Talyn wore her best dress for the big event. Both kids describe their dad as "passionate, unique, a teacher, a motivator, an encourager, a problem solver, energetic and above all else, generous." Rich is survived by his wife, of 22 years, Loraine, who met her husband in Reno in 1987; son, Madison Fiore, 20, a sophomore at the University of Maryland; daughter, Talyn Spencer Fiore, 18, a freshman at the University of San Diego; mother, Mary Cieslak of Reno; father, Frank (Dick) Cieslak of Atlanta; a sister, Cochelle Scheiner of Reno; and three nephews, TJ, Tony and Joey Ulrich, all of Reno. Those wishing to pay their respects to Rich and his family may attend a viewing 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Palm Mortuary, 7400 W. Cheyenne Ave. There will be a memorial service celebrating Rich's life at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, at the Faith Lutheran High School Chapel and Performing Arts Center, 2015 S. Hualapai Way. Rich, the husband and father, will be deeply missed and never forgotten. We love you, honey. You have blessed our lives forever.
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