Former Louisiana resident named executive director of Lamar-Dixon

Wade McIntyre

John Vogt, 58, a former resident of Louisiana who has been been involved in managing the operation of civic centers, performing arts centers and multi-purpose facilities, has been named executive director of the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.

Vogt, who is executive director of the Duplin County Events Center, a multi-purpose facility in Kenansville, N.C., said by phone Monday that he would be on the job in Gonzales May 24.

“I think it’s a magnificent facility, it’s extraordinary,” Vogt said of the 247-acre parish-owned Lamar-Dixon facility.

He said the Expo Center is “considerably larger” than the Kenansville facility which operated with a concrete arena floor and moved dirt in and out for livestock events.

Lamar-Dixon, he said, “presents all kinds of possibilties for interesting events.”

A native of Austin, Texas, Vogt is a former 17-year resident of Lousiana and a graduate of the Unversity of Louisiana-Monroe (now Northeast Louisiana Unversity). He charactertized coming back to Louisiana as a homecoming, as he has two children and grand-children in the Baton Rouge area.

Parish President Tommy Martinez conducted an interview with Vogt in Ascension Parish after he was initially interviewed by former parish CAO Cedric Grant in North Carolina.

At the Parish Council meeting May 6, Martinez said he was very pleased to have someone of Vogt’s caliber join the parish government team. He expressed confidence that the right person to run the Expo Center had been found.

Contructed in 1999, and valued today at over $50 million, Lamar-Dixon was purchased by Ascension Parish last summer for $7.5 million.

The Expo Center was formerly managed by SMG, but since that contract ended Oct. 31 last year, the parish has run the facility.