County Executive Names Mark Clarke Director of County’s Alliant Energy Center
November 19, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
Current General Manager of World Dairy Expo Brings Extensive Experience, Knowledge of Trade Show Industry to Dane County
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.
“I am honored that the County Executive and the Board of Supervisors have put their trust in me to move this very important part of Dane County to the next level,” said Clarke. “I’m looking forward to working with the staff at AEC and realizing the options and potential ahead of us to bring more business to Dane County.”
Before joining World Dairy Expo, Clarke spent nearly 5 years as a manager for the local agriculture company BouMatic. While at BouMatic, Clarke managed the company’s $40 million agriculture equipment product portfolio, trade shows, and product sales and marketing.
Clarke also serves on the County Executive’s Alliant Energy Center Task Force, a group charged with evaluating the center to provide recommendations that will maintain the facility’s positive contribution to Dane County and the region.
The Alliant Energy Center grounds consists of 164 acres and includes the Exhibition Hall, Dane County Coliseum, and the agricultural facilities the county, state, and private partners like World Dairy and the Midwest Horse Fair are looking to replace starting next year. The AEC hosts more than 500 events each year that draw an estimated 1 million visitors and has an annual economic impact of $88 million.
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.
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