The Wisconsin State Fair Interim CEO and Executive Director will be Shari Black, the State Fair Board announced Tuesday. Black will replace Kathleen O’Leary who is retiring after 24 years with the the Fair.
“Shari has a wealth of experience and knowledge that make her an excellent choice for Interim CEO and Executive Director,” Chairman John Yingling said in a released statement. “The board looks forward to working with her and the staff to continue the forward momentum we have seen at State Fair Park in recent years.”
Black served as Executive Director for the Waukesha County Fair for 15 years. In 2016, Black transitioned to Wisconsin State Fair Park as Senior Director of Event Services, which included managing year-round facility rentals as well as the Fair’s Amusement Ride and Game area, SpinCity. She was promoted to Chief Programs Officer in 2019, which included overseeing Agriculture, Vendor Services, Competitive Exhibits, Entertainment and all rides and attractions for the State Fair event.
“I am honored by this opportunity to lead the talented team at Wisconsin State Fair Park,” said Black in a statement. “Together, we will continue the progress made by the board, Kathleen and staff by remaining focused on financial stability, safety and continually improving the experience for all visitors to Wisconsin State Fair Park.”