Beginning in 1974, Shafer directed the marketing and presentation of music concerts at the Show. Under his direction in 1981, the first large-screen replay system in stadium sports was introduced for the concerts and rodeo performances in the Astrodome. In the mid-80s, Shafer was instrumental in developing a series of surveys and computer programs to analyze the audience draw and customer satisfaction quotients for concert artists at the Show. Those programs, rewritten and refined many times, still serve as a basis for signing Show concert talent.
He has been active in youth and community efforts, supporting and working with the 4-H and FFA organizations on local and state levels. Shafer has served on numerous committees and task forces supporting sports stadium referendums and convention and trade show facility construction in Houston. He developed a student intern program that has benefited hundreds of students at Texas A&M University. He served as chairman of the Houston South Main Alliance from 2005 to 2007, and he currently serves on its executive committee.
Shafer has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in technical journalism from Iowa State University. In 2006, Shafer was awarded the Texas A&M University Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications Alumni Excellence Award. He is a member of the Former Journalism Student Association Hall of Fame.
He served in the U.S. Army (active and reserve) from 1969 to 1989. He completed one tour of duty as a helicopter pilot with the 12th Combat Aviation Group, Republic of Vietnam (1970-71). He commanded the 75th Maneuver Area Command Aviation Detachment in Houston from 1981 – 1986.
Shafer and his wife, Nancy, have been married for more than 40 years.
“I continue to be excited and humbled to work with this great organization that supports youth, education and the agricultural community while providing affordable family entertainment to the general public,” said Shafer.