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Sanford Center selects Swanson as exec director

Roger Swanson has been named executive director of The Sanford Center, VenuWorks President/CEO Steven L. Peters announced in a news release today.

Swanson, who has been acting as interim director since mid-October, takes over the permanent role Jan. 2.

Peters said Swanson's experience managing both convention centers and arenas, along with experience in ticketing and food and beverage, were important factors in selecting him for the position.

"Roger has had great success, not only in managing convention centers and arenas throughout North America, but also stepped up in corporate sales and sponsorship, personally being responsible for delivering over $6 million in sales in the last year alone," Peters said in the release. "He has proven experience in building audiences with venue-created events while attracting conventions and touring acts as well."

Swanson succeeds Robert LeBarron, who resigned in October.

"I appreciate VenuWorks' fast response to filling the executive director position during this transitional period," City Manager John Chattin said in the release. "Roger brings the kind of senior management experience that will serve us well as he assumes the leadership of the Sanford Center."

Swanson said he is eager to continue the success at the facility.

"With the addition of the upcoming new hotel project and being able to continue to build upon the past success of the facilities, we have a very exciting future ahead of us and I'm very happy to be part of the next stage," said Swanson, who has more than 25 years of facility management experience to the position.

The Sanford Center opened in October 2010.