Sharon Corrigan

Former Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan, center, will lead the Alliant Energy Center as interim director while the county conducts a nationwide search for a permanent director. 

Former Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan will serve as interim director of the Alliant Energy Center while the county conducts a nationwide search for a new permanent leader for the 164-acre campus on Madison’s south side.

Corrigan’s new role will run from Jan. 28 to May 15. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said he expects the search for a permanent director to take between two and four months.

“This is a facility that I’ve spent a lot of time paying attention to in my work on the county board because it provides so much to our community,” Corrigan said at a press conference Friday. “It’s an important gathering point in our community. It’s a place where we draw visitors from outside Dane County to come to Wisconsin and visit and it supports a lot of jobs in our community.”

Mark Clarke, the previous director of the Alliant Energy Center resigned Jan. 10 after serving in the role since 2012. Prior to his role at the Alliant, Clarke had served as the general manager of the World Dairy Expo since 2007.

“Ultimately, it was Mark’s decision to resign,” Parisi said.

The Alliant Energy Center is poised for change. Dane County is currently evaluating the future redevelopment of the campus, and the 2020 budget includes funding to re-design what expanding the 255,000 square foot Exhibition Hall could look like.

The Exhibition Hall currently hosts more than 500 events annually, including major conventions, conferences and trade shows.The expansion is expected to draw larger events.

“(Corrigan) brings a depth of knowledge and a unique skill set to this position that will serve the community well and keep the positive momentum of the Alliant Energy Center going strong,” Parisi said.

Corrigan announced her resignation from the Dane County Board of Supervisors Thursday. Her tenure included 10 years on the board, with six of them as chair.

“Last night as I said goodbye to the board, it was one of the hardest things I’ve done in that chair and as anyone who followed the board knows, we’ve done some hard things,” Corrigan said.

Last November, Corrigan announced she would not be running for re-election as the representative for District 26. Corrigan said the interim director position coincides with her plan to remain in the Dane County area until May.

It will be up to the new leadership on the board, Supervisors Paul Nelson, District 9; and Analiese Eicher, District 3, whether to appoint an interim supervisor for District 26.

Two candidates, Holly Hatcher and Kevin Cunningham, are running for Corrigan’s seat. The 2020 spring primary is on Feb. 18, with the spring election on April 7. 

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