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CEO and President Joel Cowley is leaving Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

HOUSTON – The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Tuesday announced CEO and President Joel Cowley is leaving the organization after 15 years to pursue an opportunity in the agricultural industry.

“I am incredibly thankful to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Executive Committee for the opportunity to serve this organization for the past 15 years, seven as president and CEO,” said Cowley. “Our volunteers and staff have reached incredible milestones over this period and, with the continued support of the community, I am confident that the best is yet to come.”

Cowley began his service to Rodeo Houston in 2005 as the Executive Director of Agricultural Exhibits and Competitions, and was promoted to president and CEO in 2013.

“While I will remain a lifelong supporter of the rodeo and its mission of promoting agriculture and supporting education, I will be pursuing an opportunity that has a direct impact on the agricultural industry,” said Cowley. “In doing so, I hope to provide the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with an even better story to tell about advancements in the critically important field of agriculture.”

Cowley’s last day is May 22.

Chris Boleman has been named the new rodeo CEO and president, and will assume the role on Monday, May 25.

Prior to serving in the role of chief mission officer since August, Boleman served as executive director of the Agricultural Educational Competitions and Exhibits Division beginning in 2017.

In 2019, Boleman took a lead role in the reorganization structure of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

“When hiring Chris three years ago, it was done with potential succession in mind,” said Cowley. “I can think of no one better to lead this great organization into the future.”


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