Gary Slater Named 2012 Chair of International Association
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 Des Moines, IA
Gary Slater, CEO/manager of the Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, was elected the 2012 chair of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) during the final business session of the 121st IAFE Annual Convention held Nov. 28 through Dec. 1 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.
Slater grew up on a 600-acre crop and livestock farm in the small town of Eolia, Mo. After graduating from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in food science and nutrition, Slater began his career as a livestock field man. He then joined the Missouri State Fair, Sedalia, as a livestock supervisor, where he served for five years. Slater joined the Iowa State Fair in 1991, where he was in charge of planning the special events, free entertainment, and booking the facilities for off-season use. After five years, Slater left to serve the National Pork Producers Council as manager of the World Pork Expo. Slater managed World Pork for six years, holding the event in both Des Moines at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and in Indianapolis at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Knowing that his first love was fairs, Slater received the opportunity to return to Missouri in 1997 to manage the Missouri State Fair. He spent four years in a rebuilding mode, helping to restore the Missouri State Fair to physical and financial success and was instrumental in formulating a master plan for the fair. In 2001, Slater accepted the position of manager of the Iowa State Fair. After one year as manager, Slater accepted the position of CEO and manager of the fair.
Slater earned IAFE Certified Fair Executive designation in 1998 and was elected IAFE Zone 5 director in 2002, representing Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. He served as IAFE treasurer from 2007-2009, as second vice chair in 2010, and most recently as first vice chair. He has also played an active role on several IAFE committees.
Slater and his wife Mary have three children: Madeline, 17; Ali, 15; and Andrew, 12.
The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) is a voluntary, non-profit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions.