Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Expo Center hires GM

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Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto announced this week that a general manager has been hired for the Expo Center.

Hutto said Wilson County resident Zendal Murphy's first day on the job was Monday. He formerly worked with Toshiba, and also managed another company in DeKalb County.

The job listing was posted 45 days ago and for the last few weeks, Hutto said he worked with a selection committee to find the best fit. The selection committee used is the same one that hired Expo Center Marketing Director Charity Toombs.

"He will work alongside Charity," Hutto said, before discussing future events.

Hutto said that the Expo Center has gained national recognition thanks to hosting the National Jr. High Rodeo this year.

"Landing something of that magnitude in our area (has brought national recognition)," he said, noting that they have a two-year contract with the rodeo.

"I would say the rodeo, in itself, is a marathon - not a sprint. It is a two-year contract," Hutto explained. "There were a lot of things that had to be done (to the Ag Center). We took a look at the two years, as far as assets and expenditures."

Hutto's comments come after recent numbers which show although the National Junior High Rodeo Finals posted a net loss for its first year, revenues are expected to exceed $100,000. Much of the reason for the loss in its first year were attributed to renovations and improvements made at the Ag Center, as well as the $142,000 rental of the marketplace tent.

He said that the improvements made to the Ag Center, such as added 900 campsites, will help to attract events as they move forward.

Hutto added several events are coming to the Expo Center, and while he deferred to the Expo Center crew on exact names, he did say an international safari club would be on the list.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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Charity Toombs, Expo Center, hiring, James E. Ward Ag Center, National Jr. High Rodeo Finals, Randall Hutto, revenue, rodeo, Wilson County Fairgrounds, Zendal Murphy
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