HOUSTON -

The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo made a big staff announcement Friday. It has a new vice president and chief operating officer.

Dan Cheney will fill the position Leroy Shafer will be vacating when he retires after more than 40 years of service to HLSR.

Cheney currently serves as president and chief executive officer of the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

"Dan’s experience and accomplishments in the fairs, festivals and rodeo industries, coupled with his solid business acumen, will help drive the future success of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo," said Joel Cowley, the organization’s president. "He’ll be working with a committed, and dedicated staff and a workforce of more than 31,000 passionate volunteers. We welcome him to both our organization and to the nation’s fourth largest city."

"I am excited to join such a prestigious organization. The volunteer and staff effort at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is nothing short of extraordinary," said Cheney. "I am looking forward to applying my entertainment, marketing and finance experience to contribute to the organization’s continued success. I have a strong connection with the mission, as I was raised on a commercial cattle ranch and received a scholarship to attend college as a rodeo athlete. Promoting education and Western culture is my heritage."

Cheney will join the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as vice president and COO effective Oct. 1.