World Dairy Expo's Board of Directors announced Oct. 16 that Mark Clarke will succeed Tom McKittrick as general manager effective Nov. 12.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, he holds a degree in animal science with a production management emphasis. Clarke has served for the past four years as a product manager at BouMatic. Working out of the company's Madison office, he managed their milk harvest equipment product portfolio while creating and executing marketing and sales strategies for new and existing products for the global dairy equipment company.
Prior to that, he served for six years as general manager of Pharming Health Care, Inc., a state-of-the-art, biotech transgenic facility based in DeForest. Clarke began his dairy industry career as an independent sales and marketing representative, working for ABS Global for nine years.
As he takes over the reins of the world's premier dairy cattle and commercial trade show, his past experience will serve him well. World Dairy Expo Board President Roger Ripley notes, "Our new general manager has varied experience in both the cattle and commercial industries. He's also worked in the biotechnology field. His skills in people management, financial oversight and planning, negotiations and government and legislative interaction make him an ideal candidate for this position. He is an energetic idea person, a team player and a real family person."
Clarke resides in DeForest, with his wife Michele, son Brandon, 11, and daughter Mikayla, 6.
Clarke will be the fifth person to serve as general manager in World Dairy Expo's 41 year history. Bruce Walter managed the first show in 1967. Bev Craig led the organization for the next 12 years. Brad Rugg was named General Manager from 1980 to 1987 and Tom McKittrick, who resigned in August, was the chief executive for the past 19 years. World Dairy Expo is a non-profit organization. Its for-profit subsidiary, WDE Management Inc., provides management services to the Dane County Fair, the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge and the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association.
"Building Bridges, Making Connections" is the theme for World Dairy Expo 2008, which will take place Sept. 30, through Oct. 4 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.