By NEMS Daily Journal
Julia Viator is the newly hired director of the Lee County Agri-Center, a sprawling complex in Verona that hosts numerous events throughout the year. She comes to the Agri-Center amid discussions of its future and profitability. Built in the mid-1990s, the center has never been a profitable venture for the county, which owns and funds it. It lost more than $100,000 in one year alone. Viator hopes to change that, and she answered these questions from the Journal’s Emily Le Coz about her role and her plans.
Q: What do you do at the Agri-Center?
A: Since I have started working at the Ag center I have done everything from clean stalls, bathrooms and ceiling panels, learned to run a chainsaw, changed air filters and set up tables and chairs for events. I have gone before the Board of Supervisors with minor changes to events guidelines and partnered with the local 4-H in order to create an awareness of the need for volunteers. One of my many hats that I will be wearing will of course include event planning and marketing the AgriCenter.
Q: What is the Agri-Center’s biggest challenge right now?
A: Getting community involvement, manpower and the plumbing (fixed).
Q: Describe your vision of the AgriCenter 10 years from now.
A: I plan for the Agri-Center to be a self-sufficient entity that will be an asset to Lee County. The facility has endless potential and with the Board of Supervisors’ support we should be able to host annual events that include the fair as well community events such as concerts that appeal to all genres.