March 8, 2023
A changing of the guard is occurring at the Minnesota State Fair. Renee Alexander takes over as the new CEO, replacing retiring CEO Jerry Hammer.
Alexander is not new to the Minnesota State Fair, with more than 20 years at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, including 13 years as deputy general manager and playing a key role on the state fair’s senior management team.
Alexander originally worked in entertainment and marketing at the Minnesota State Fair from 1989 through 1994 and returned to the Great Minnesota Get-Together in 2005. She currently oversees all of the fair’s entertainment programs, including booking and producing Grandstand events, and has won multiple entertainment industry awards. She also leads the state fair’s educational programming, marketing and communications, media relations, web and publications, archives and ticketing departments. As an integral member of state fair leadership, she’s involved in every facet of the state fair’s vast operation. Her successes on many levels have earned her a high profile locally and nationally in the world of fairs, festivals, entertainment and event management.
“This is a large role to fill, and we’re confident that Renee is a qualified and proven leader,” says Joe Scapanski, state fair board president. “The Great Minnesota Get-Together is world-famous for its tradition of excellence. We’re looking forward to Renee’s vision of maintaining that tradition and building on the state fair’s amazing legacy.”
“My commitment to the Minnesota State Fair extends well beyond this merely being a job,” Alexander says “I love this institution and all that it stands for — a showcase of the very best of our state, a place where amazing memories are created and where ‘The Great Minnesota Get-Together’ is more than a slogan; it drives our mission. I believe my work in this industry and my unique experience will serve us well as I take on the tremendous responsibility of leading this incredible organization.”
“Renee is perfect for the job,” Hammer says. “She has a deep understanding and appreciation for the state fair’s powerful impact here in Minnesota and beyond. She knows what it takes to keep the shine on our state treasure.”
Alexander is a former board chair of the International Entertainment Buyers Association, an active participant with the International Association of Fairs and Expositions and is a graduate of the Leadership Music and Leadership St. Paul programs. She earned a degree in business communications from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and has called Minnesota home since childhood.
Alexander will assume her new duties later this spring when Hammer steps down after 53 years with the State Fair; he’s currently in his 27th year as CEO.
The Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world. Showcasing Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art and industry, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is “12 days of fun” ending Labor Day. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok @mnstatefair for year-round Minnesota State Fair updates. The 2023 Minnesota State Fair will run Aug. 24 through Sept. 4. Visit mnstatefair.org for more information.
Source: Minnesota State Fair
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