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Rest of the Story: Clarke to Lead Alliant Energy Center
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 11/20/2012

It was announced last week that the general manager of World Dairy Expo would be stepping down soon for another management position; and now we finally know what that job is. Starting December 10, Mark Clarke will be the new executive director of Dane County's Alliant Energy Center--which is the home facility for WDE. Clarke has lead the dairy show for the past five years and has been credited for boosting the show's attendance both locally and internationally.

"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."

One of Clarke's first duties will be to manage the upcoming construction of new barn facilities on the grounds, which is a vital part of events like World Dairy Expo and the Midwest Horse Fair. Alliant Energy Center consists of 164 acres and includes the Exhibition Hall, Dane County Coliseum, and the agricultural facilities for county, state and private events. The center hosts more than 500 events each year that draw an estimated one million visitors and has an annual economic impact of $88 million.

"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," said Dane Co. Executive Joe Parisi. "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."

Since Clarke took over as head of World Dairy Expo in 2007, the show has risen from the 47th to the 23rd largest trade show in North America. The five-day dairy event 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--with the 2012 expo being the largest in history.

Clarke will succeed the previous AEC Director Bill DiCarlo, who served in that capacity for 14 years.

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