Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officials announced today that the organization’s president and chief executive officer, Skip Wagner, has accepted a position as the president and CEO of the 12th Man Foundation at Texas A&M University. Current chief operating officer, Leroy Shafer, has been named interim president and CEO of the Show.
“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is extremely proud of the growth and innovations that have occurred during Skip’s tenure at the Show,” said R. H. “Steve” Stevens, Show chairman of the board.
Wagner served the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo from 1992 to 2000 as assistant to the general manager, primarily focused on grounds entertainment, operations and fundraising aspects of the event. After a three-year stint as president and general manager of the Oklahoma State Fair in Oklahoma City, Wagner returned to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2004, and was elected as president and CEO in 2005.
The Show has seen much growth under the presidency of Wagner, including reaching 2.5 million in total attendance, operating revenue of more than $115 million, and a commitment of more than $24.6 million to the youth of Texas. The volunteer base has grown from 17,000 to more than 28,000, and a strong staff has been established to carry the Show throughout the year.
Moving forward, Shafer will serve as interim president and CEO.
“With nearly 40 years of experience at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Leroy will do a superb job guiding the Show as our appointed search committee looks for the most suitable person to lead us into the future,” Stevens said. “Leroy has been a constant at the Show since 1973, and I have no doubt that he will be able to lead this organization, its volunteers and staff.”
Shafer began at the Show in 1973 as the assistant manager for public relations. In 1981, he was named assistant general manager, responsible for all marketing operations. He was named chief presentation and operations officer in 2004, and served in that capacity until he was elected as chief operating officer in 2005.
After a record-breaking year, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has already started planning for 2014, and will continue to be the largest charitable organization of its kind, and the largest livestock show and most innovative rodeo, providing top-notch musical entertainment, all at affordable prices.