Newsmaker Q&A: New Stampede head takes the reins
Question: Why choose to come to be part of the Greeley Stampede?
Answer: I've been looking for a way to get back into the rodeo and the western industry ever since I left the New Mexico State Fair. I was at the New Mexico State Fair for four years, where I worked as an event coordinator and sponsorship and promotions director.
I also have friends in Northern Colorado and I would visit them and I just loved it here.
I knew I liked the rodeo culture when I had the opportunity to work at the state fair as my first career right out of college. I love the sense of community and the people and felt like it really matched my personal upbringing. I grew up on a small ranch in Northern Idaho so the rodeo was a good fit for me. The Greeley Stampede also has an awesome reputation. This will be my first year actually getting to go and I'm really looking forward to it. So far I've been so impressed with the committee and the Greeley community as a whole.
Q: What changes can we look for under your management?
A: I can't tell you yet. I've only been here two weeks. So far, I've spent time getting a handle on things and seeing where my strengths can add value to the event.
Q: What are your strengths?
A: My experience is in leadership and promotion, and in community engagement, due to my time with United Way of Southern New Mexico.
Q: What are the biggest problems you're going to tackle as part of Stampede leadership?
A: I'm really not sure yet. I'm just learning about the organization and the event still. I can't say off the top of my head. But I know that we're looking to be more engaged with the community as a whole throughout the year.
The Stampede is a member of the Greeley community and has previously done events throughout the year. We also have the Stampede Foundation, which does a lot year-round. So we are looking for more opportunities like that that are happening even when the rodeo isn't.
Q: The rodeo has ended several years in financial turmoil. What will you do to ensure it doesn't slip back into the red?
A: The committee has been working on tightening up everything. They have made excellent business decisions and actually finished the last year ahead. They're really doing well right now.
Q: Do you have any fears or concerns associated with being the first woman in the role? How will having a woman in a position formerly only held by a man change the management dynamic and the rodeo in general?
A: No, I don't have any concerns. I really don't think that that is that big of a deal. I don't think the fact that I'm a female will matter. I grew up on the ranch working with the boys and am used to that. I think that I being the person that I am and having the skills that I have will lend itself to improving the rodeo as a whole, not because I am a woman.
- Maggie Shafer
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