Ready for the Rodeo

The new Cloverdale Rodeo GM brings years of experience to the job.

Barrel racing is always a popular attraction at the Cloverdale Rodeo.

When it comes to finding someone qualified to oversee an event the size of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair – plus day-to-day operations of the Cloverdale Fairgrounds – the list of potential candidates would seem a fairly select group.

But those are qualities Mike MacSorely has in spades.

A former vice president of operations for the Pacific National Exhibition with more than 20 years experience in the event industry, MacSorely is the new general manager of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association.

So new, in fact, his first day on the job was Monday.

Reached on his mobile phone as he oriented himself on the expansive fairgrounds, home to eight facilities that host more than 700 events each year, MacSorely sounded upbeat and excited about his new job.

“I’ve been here six hours and I’ve met some really great people who seem very dedicated,” he said.

“One of the big things I want to do is make sure people know we’re an all-year operation,” he said, adding he is still getting acquainted with all of events and groups that take place at the fairgrounds, such as the weekly Cloverdale flea market, a long-standing Sunday tradition that remains a big draw.

He’s also looking forward to getting to know more of the team of dedicated volunteers who grow into an army by the time the May long weekend rolls around each year to host the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.

But most of all he’s looking forward to getting back into this line of work. “Once you do events, it gets into your blood,” he said. “It’s just exciting.”

He was with the PNE for 14 years, most recently as the vice president of operations, a role that included acting as the PNE’s liaison for the 2010 Winter Olympics in addition to overseeing the exhibition each year.

Unlike many of his new colleagues in Cloverdale, he can’t ride a horse. Well, he doesn’t ride, to be more precise. “I’m allergic to horses. I have to be careful.”

Planning is already underway for the 67th annual Cloverdale Rodeo and 124th Country Fair, slated for May 17 to 20, 2013.

One of MacSorely’s goals is to ensure visitors really feel like they’re visiting a rodeo, something he hopes will be evident the minute they enter the fairgrounds.

“I just want to make sure that when you think of Cloverdale and the Rodeo, you feel great pride in it.”

He fills a seat left vacant since June.

“Mike brings a wealth of high caliber experience in the events and facility management sectors, and we’re looking forward to having his expertise in moving our association forward,” association president Shannon Claypool said. “Mike’s experience will help make the association, and event, stronger.”