11/24/2015 Commissioner of Agriculture Announces New Colorado State Fair General Manager

November 24, 2015
Contact:  Christi Lightcap, (303) 869-9005, Christi.Lightcap@state.co.us
Commissioner of Agriculture Announces New Colorado State Fair General Manager
PUEBLO, Colo. – Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown, has named Sarah Cummings, of Penngrove, California, as the Colorado State Fair General Manager. She assumes her new role on January 19, 2016.
“I am thrilled that Ms. Cummings will be steering the Colorado State Fair,” said Commissioner Brown. “I am confident in her ability to direct the activities of the Fair in a manner that will honor our mission of supporting youth and agriculture while continuing to improve its financial position.”
“Agriculture is the heartbeat of the Colorado State Fair and I consider the 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) programs a priority in my new role. I’m excited to begin a new chapter of my career in Pueblo and look forward to further developing the fairgrounds on a year-round basis,” said Cummings.
Cummings is the current CEO of the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds and Event Center in Petaluma, California. She supervises the activities of the fair and event center while overseeing the budget, contract negotiations, and daily management of the 65-acre facility. She also coordinates with a 9-member board of directors. Cummings was previously the CEO of the Salinas Valley Fair in King City, California, where she managed the daily running of the fairgrounds while working with a 17-member board of directors and a 19-member foundation board. Her fair management experience dates back to 2007 when held the role of the Deputy Manager of Monterey County Fair in Monterey, California. Cummings has a degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where she majored in Recreations, Parks, and Tourism Administration with an emphasis in Special Event Coordinating and Fair Management.
Cummings replaces Chris Wiseman, who has been serving at the Fair in Pueblo since 1996 and became the General Manager in 2004. Wiseman accepted the Deputy Commissioner position at CDA in April 2015. He has been serving both roles until his replacement was hired.
“The Colorado State Fair has been more than a job to me; it’s been a passion that I will, no doubt, miss. But my current role as Deputy Commissioner has been challenging and extremely rewarding. I look forward to working with Ms. Cummings and am confident she’ll be a great addition to the State Fair team,” said Wiseman.
In part, the duties of the Colorado State Fair General Manager include:
  • Responsibility for the efficient production of the annual 11-day Colorado State Fair with a focus on customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Effectively manage the year round operations of the 100 acre state fairgrounds with 57 permanent building structures.
  • Manage and balance an $8 million budget with an eye toward budget efficiencies, including development and management of the 5-year budget plans.
  • Develop and implement plans to increase facility use outside of the annual State Fair event.
The 144th Colorado State Fair will be held August 26-September 5th, 2016. The Fairgrounds provides nearly $34 million in economic activity to Colorado throughout the year; $29 million of that activity is driven by the annual State Fair event. In addition to showcasing Colorado agriculture, the annual event features one of the country’s largest traveling carnivals, artwork, crafts, food competitions, thrilling rodeo action, a wide variety of food and merchandise booths and a Fiesta Day honoring Colorado's ties to the Hispanic culture.  For more information, visit www.coloradostatefair.com.
Editor’s Note: A Colorado State Fair fact sheet is attached.