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Randy Sampson Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Sampson honored at April 21 ceremony.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 5-5-2017

Mankato, Minn. – Randy Sampson (pictured) of Chanhassen, Minn., recently received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Sampson, who has served as president and CEO of Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., since 1994, was one of four 2017 alumni award winners. He was honored at an April 21 ceremony hosted by the Minnesota State Mankato Office of Alumni Relations. A YouTube video about Sampson’s career is available online.

Alumni Achievement Awards go to graduates who have achieved high rank or honor in their professions and have had a major impact on their communities.

Sampson, a 1980 Minnesota State Mankato graduate with a degree in accounting/finance, was recognized for his professional contributions to the region, state and beyond. In 1994, he and his father led a group of investors who purchased Canterbury Park, which had closed under its previous ownership in 1992.

Under Sampson’s leadership, the company steadily grew in revenues and profitability as it expanded its business operations. Revenues have increased from $17.6 million in 1995 to $52 million in 2016. Canterbury employs more than 1,000 people, including both full-time and seasonal, part-time employees, and in 2014 it was named one of the top 100 workplaces by the Star Tribune.

In 2016, Canterbury Park completed a corporate restructuring to facilitate the development of the underutilized portions of its 380-acre property in Shakopee. The restructuring separated the racetrack and entertainment business from the approximately 150 acres of land available for development by forming two subsidiaries, Canterbury Park Entertainment, LLC and Canterbury Development, LLC. The company is currently working on mixed-use development plans for Canterbury Commons, a unique place to live, stay, work and play.

Sampson has given back to Minnesota State Mankato as a College of Business Advisory Board member (2010-2014), served on the steering committee for the Big Ideas Campaign, and he hosts an annual College of Business Alumni gathering at Canterbury Park. In 2009, he received the Distinguished Business Person Award from the College of Business.

Sampson graduated from Hector (Minn.) High School in 1976 as the Class valedictorian. He is married with four children.

Those who want more information about the April 21 awards event may go to or call (507) 389-1515.

The mission of the Minnesota State University, Mankato Alumni Association is to engage alumni, friends and students in ways that benefit its members and Minnesota State Mankato through opportunities that stimulate a lifetime of interest, loyalty and support.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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