July 14, 2024


Than a Food Fitter

Fairgrounds hires new CEO as it readies for return of August fair

3 min read


When the 1st Ventura County Fair in 3 yrs opens August 3, rebounding from the pandemic, it will be led by a new CEO.

Stacy Rianda, deputy supervisor of the Fresno Fairgrounds, has been hired as the best administrator for the seaside fairgrounds in Ventura, honest leaders introduced June 6.

She succeeds Barbara Quaid, the very long-time CEO who announced her retirement two several years ago but continued operating component-time. Quaid, 73, of Ventura, will perform together with Rianda for the duration of this year’s reasonable ahead of ending her employment that commenced 41 years back as a fairgrounds receptionist.

“It will often be portion of my lifestyle,” Quaid explained Thursday. “I could not have asked for a better position to work.”

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Rianda has labored as deputy supervisor at the Big Fresno Truthful for 21 decades, performing as a co-CEO for the earlier two-plus a long time. Leah Lacayo, president of the Ventura County Fairgrounds Board of Directors, cited Rianda’s management capabilities and her encounter at crafting grants for funding the Fresno County reasonable, which attracts 600,000 persons a yr.

“She has the practical experience to choose us to bigger heights,” Lacayo stated. “We hope with her management we can increase earnings and attendance.”

The previous good, in 2019, drew about 300,000 men and women. COVID-19 compelled fairgrounds leaders to terminate the final two fairs and quickly stop lots of of leased occasions that introduced in revenue. A full-time fairground staff members of 40 was lessened to about a 50 %-dozen.

The fairgrounds survived by leasing space for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations and for drive-in concerts. Earlier this yr, a poker on line casino moved to the fairground’s Derby Club, which also properties satellite wagering.

Fairgrounds just about everywhere scrambled. In 2020, the Fresno County truthful was replaced by a foodstuff celebration in which people drove up to concession booths to get their repair on corndogs and other reasonable food items.

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“When you’re in the mass collecting business and you cannot have a mass accumulating, it is unquestionably a substantial blow to your base line,” Rianda reported in a telephone interview Thursday.

Noting she even now demands to evaluate wants in Ventura County, Rianda talked about the value of seeking for sponsorships and other sources to get treatment of deferred maintenance and other requirements that have piled up for the duration of the pandemic.

She’ll begin her new task July 6, obtaining a income of at least $120,000. Lacayo claimed the specific compensation is nonetheless currently being negotiated with the state Department of Meals and Agriculture.

“I’m enthusiastic to get there and consider this fair to the upcoming level,” Rianda mentioned.

Her using the services of was announced June 6 just after a shut-doorway fairgrounds board dialogue.

Ventura County Fairgrounds CEO Barbara Quaid, shown at the right in this pre-pandemic file photo, officially retired two years ago but continued to work part time.

Ventura County Fairgrounds CEO Barbara Quaid, revealed at the proper in this pre-pandemic file picture, formally retired two several years in the past but ongoing to operate component time.

This year’s fair runs Aug. 3 by means of Aug. 14. The grandstand enjoyment will probable be introduced afterwards this month. Short term personnel are being employed and advance tickets are offered on the fairgrounds’ web-site. Concessionaires have been contracted and carnival ideas are “quite considerably in put,” Quaid said.

The first Ventura County Fair in three years will begin its 12-day run on Aug. 3.

The 1st Ventura County Fair in 3 years will begin its 12-working day operate on Aug. 3.

COVID-19 remains unpredictable. If transmission ranges surge drastically and indoor mask mandates return, the fairgrounds will observe them. If that doesn’t materialize, persons will make their own selections, while masks will be available, Quaid reported.

“We’re all psyched about the fair this 12 months,” she claimed. “We know it’s likely to be a little bit of a challenge. We really do not know what to expect.”

Quaid begun volunteering at the fairgrounds 50 decades back and has served as CEO considering that 2005. She mentioned it’s doable she’ll carry on to volunteer at the fairgrounds immediately after her position ends.

Lacayo hopes that happens.

“We love Barbara,” she claimed. “We think she’s done a wonderful position.”

Tom Kisken covers wellbeing care and other news for the Ventura County Star. Reach him at [email protected] or 805-437-0255.

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This posting at first appeared on Ventura County Star: New CEO employed as Ventura County Fair rebounds from COVID-19 pandemic


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