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Rob Rosano

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Director of Theater and Sales, 
Clay Center
Charleston, 34

Clay Center Director of Theater and Sales Rob Rosano meant to stay in West Virginia for a couple years but, seven years later, he shows no signs of leaving.

The Massachusetts native attended Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island for sports, entertainment and events management, graduating in 2003, then went to work at a 19-screen movie theater in Boston.

"Frankly, I sold out to make a couple bucks," Rosano said. "I was there about a year and realized I enjoyed working in theater and the arts as opposed to a movie theater. I've been fortunate since to work for small, nonprofit theaters."

He left corporate life for a company that ran two independent concert halls in Massachusetts: Cape Cod Melody Tent and South Shore Music Circus. Both operated as summer rock 'n' roll venues — "tremendous fun and a great learning experience." But when an adventure he'd planned for the 2005 annual layoff fell through, he went on Monster.com and came across the Clay Center job.

"I didn't know anything about West Virginia, but they brought me down and showed me around," he said. "I was blown away by the Clay Center itself and met a couple folks in the community and fell in love with it."

The best part of Rosano's job is working with booking agents across the country to bring great entertainment to the Clay Center.

Three things have kept Rosano in Charleston.

Great friends is one. Community engagement is another, especially his experience in Generation Charleston, which he co-chaired in 2010.

The third? "The opportunity to interact with the guests at a great show and see how much they enjoy the evening and know our programs and our venue made that happen. That gives me tremendous satisfaction," he said. "That's why I do what I do."