Source: Dane County, Wis. press release
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today that he has chosen Mark Clarke, General Manager of World Dairy Expo, as his new Executive Director for Dane County’s Alliant Energy Center (AEC).
Clarke has managed World Dairy Expo, one of the largest industry trade shows in the entire world, for the past five years. Prior to that he managed a local bio-tech firm and has significant experience in sales, marketing, and public relations. Through his work with World Dairy Expo and as General Manager of the Dane County Fair, Clarke has extensive knowledge of the AEC grounds and facilities.
“With the exciting changes in store for these grounds and his incredible success in growing World Dairy Expo, Mark is the right choice to manage our Alliant Energy Center,” Parisi said. “As a long time customer of our facility, Mark knows the AEC’s enormous economic impact and its limitless potential to become an even greater regional destination for families.”
One of Clarke’s first tasks will be managing the upcoming construction of new barn facilities on the AEC grounds to meet the needs of growing shows like World Dairy Expo and the Midwest Horse Fair. Parisi’s 2013 budget includes $1.3 million for architecture, design, and demolition work that, pending state and other private dollars, is slated to begin next year.
During Clarke’s tenure with World Dairy Expo, the show has risen from the 47th to the 23rd largest trade show in North America. The five-day dairy industry showcase has a state wide economic impact of $50 million and brings over 3,000 international guests from 90 different countries to Dane County each year. This year’s show realized one of the largest crowds in recent history with nearly 72,000 total visitors.
Clarke will succeed the previous AEC Director Bill DiCarlo, who served in that capacity for 14 years. Kevin Gould, former Chief Financial Officer for the AEC, has been serving as Interim AEC Director since June of this year.
Pending final approval by the Dane County Board, Clarke’s official start date would be December 10th.