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Guest Speakers

Jill Albanese CFE,

IAFE Keynote Speaker

Competitive Exhibits 101 & Beyond!, jill Albanese, CFE, Director of Competitive Exhibits, Wisconsin State Fair
No matter what you call it at your Fair - competitive exhibits, home economics, creative arts or still exhibits - this area is the cornerstone of the family Fair tradition. This session is a pep rally for competitive exhibits, in which we will explore how culinary, textiles, photography, arts and horticulture create a Fair fun destination for both exhibitors and Fair guests.
In this workshop we will look at the fundamentals of competitive exhibits and explore a few new ideas you could try at your Fair. Whoo hoo for competitive exhibits!


California’s New Fair Funding Model

In 2011, the California state budget completely eliminated all funding for the states 78 Fair Network, plunging the entire system into the worst crisis since the Great Depression. Overnight, California fairs went from being the most well-funded in North America, to zero- funding. For the next 6 years the network, led by the California Affairs Alliance, a subsidiary of the Western Fairs Association, struggled to find emergency funding for the network while seeking long-term Solutions.

On October 14th , 2017, California’s Governor signed legislation that will generate tens of millions of dollars in new California fair funding in the years ahead. The new funding structure is set to be underway in 2019. However, there are continuing challenges and policy decisions on the horizon. This program will provide an overview of the new funding structure, and then operate as a workshop with questions and answers in order to see ways in which this new model may or may not apply to the Washington Fairs Network.

Presented by Stephen Chambers, Retired Western Fairs Association, Executive Director
This program will be Thursday, October 18th at 3:00 pm at our WSFA Convention.


Stephen Chambers retired from the Western Fairs Association in March of 2018 after serving over 30 years as their Executive Director. Western Fairs Association represents over 150 Fairs in the Western United States and Canada as well as over 450 Fair related businesses known as service members. During his tenure he also oversaw the development of the California Fairs Alliance, the advocacy arm of the California Fair Network. Chambers is known for his expertise in Fair Funding, Fair related Legislative issues, and Fair Governance issues. Chambers has
visited over 400 fairs in progress, and has spoken at many Fair Association meetings. In his retirement he resides in Elk Grove California with his wife Susan, his dog Sandy, and a variety of feral cats and slow racehorses.
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