Little did Terry Madigan know at age 15, when he steered the South Pasadena Rose Parade float down Colorado Boulevard, that he would one day lead the Tournament of Roses Association as its President. Having followed in his brother’s footsteps in working on the City float, he got the call to serve as the observer/driver for the 1981 and 1982 Parades. Madigan describes that adventure as, “beyond my wildest dreams. I helped out with the float to get involved in the community and have something fun to do on New Year’s Eve. I never could have imagined being honored with this opportunity.”
Madigan was installed as the Tournament’s newest Vice President on Jan. 18, putting him in line to lead as its President for the 2026 Tournament of Roses. A member since 1993 and the chairperson of four committees in his tenure, Madigan will now be a member of the Tournament’s Executive Committee and will lead the Association for the 137th Rose Parade and 112th Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2026.
Madigan is a 6th generation native Californian, growing up in the San Gabriel Valley. His South Pasadena roots are deep, having first moved to the city from Alhambra in the 8th grade. He has now lived in South Pasadena since 2002 and currently resides in the city with his husband, Kevin Sommerfield.
On joining the Tournament, Madigan recalls, “I wanted to be even more a part of our community and my experience with the South Pasadena float from an early age instilled in me the desire to be part of the historic Tournament of Roses Association.” Madigan has led various committees at the Tournament including Judging, Parade Operations and Special Events. He describes fondly his service leading these committees but notes it doesn’t always go as planned.
“When you’re leading the Parade Operations team and a float doesn’t start,” he said, “you have to be ready. It is too late to come up with a plan at that point, you better have one in place. The Tournament excels in always being ready.”
Professionally, Madigan is a Certified Personal Chef and owner of Just No Thyme, a personal chef service serving the San Gabriel Valley, and has headed the local leadership of the United States Personal Chef Association. Previously, he had a career in the marketing and communications arena.
Madigan joins the Association’s senior leadership as Gerald Freeny takes over as the Tournament of Roses President. Freeny will lead the 130th Rose Parade on January 1, 2019 and has been a member of the Association since 1988.
President Freeney last week also announced the theme of the 2019 Parade as The Melody of Life, celebrating music as the universal language. Freeny shared, “Music has the power to not only bring us together but take us back to memories and moments as nothing else can. Rhythm, melody, harmony and color all come together to create the soundtrack that defines our lives.”
Freeny welcomed Madigan as the Tournament’s newest vice president, adding, “Terry’s service to the Tournament of Roses since 1993 has been exemplary. He has consistently led our dedicated volunteers in a manner which demonstrates that he is perfectly suited to continue to lead our organization.” Freeny continued, “As this year’s President, I look forward to working with Terry on our Executive Committee as he undertakes even greater leadership roles.”
Madigan is humbled by the honor bestowed on him, “I have spent the past 25 years watching our President put on the traditional red jacket and lead the Parade down Colorado Boulevard. It has not quite set in that one day it will be me putting on the red jacket. It will be the honor of my life to represent the 935 White Suiters who work so hard to put on this Parade.”
Though a few years away, Madigan will don that official red coat on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2025.
Ed Corey is the Chief Operating Officer for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.