Big Fresno Fair board launches search for permanent CEO

The hunt is underway for the next person to lead the Big Fresno Fair.

The hunt is underway for the next person to lead the Big Fresno Fair. 

The Big Fresno Fair Board of Directors announced Tuesday that the search for the next CEO has officially started. 


The California Department of Food and Agriculture, Fairs and Expositions Branch is working with the fair board to conduct the search. 

Longtime fair CEO John Alkire retired in September 2020, and deputy managers Stacy Rianda and Lauri King took over in the interim. 

Rianda and King saw the fair through the tumultuous 2020 year that forced the event into a drive-thru format because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The duo then navigated the fair back to its in-person event last October. 

“The Board is pleased that the fair has returned to its robust level of year-round activity,” said Chuck Riojas, board president, in a statement. 

“We are confident that with this search, we will determine the right person to lead the fair into the future.” 

As stated in the job description, the next CEO will have a monthly salary starting at $10,064 to $12,336 and benefits that include health, dental and vision plans with family coverage, annual vacation and sick leave, life insurance and access to the California Public Employees Retirement System. 

Candidates should have a college degree along with at least five years of advanced experience in the fair industry or a management role. 

Knowledge and experience developing and managing an $8 million-plus budget and fiscal responsibility is a plus, as well as knowledge and experience in facility management and maintenance. 

Candidates should also have working knowledge of Fire, Life Safety, EEOC, OSHA and ADA rules and regulations. 

The fair is scheduled for October 5-16, and the board did not say when it expects to make a hire by.

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