Category Archives: Board of Directors

  • June 28, 2022 (4:26 pm)

    State of the Fair report presented to Board of Directors

    On June 23, the OC Fair Board reviewed a presentation from CEO Michele Richards on the mid-year state of the Fair.

    The report covered the agency’s budget process, our place in the fair industry, bringing mission and values into focus, engaging the community, new business development, transparency, technology, workforce development, the financial outlook and opportunities and challenges.

    View the 2022 State of the Fair presentation.  

  • April 5, 2022 (10:57 am)

    OC Fair Board updates mission, vision statements

    As part of the Strategic Plan work the OC Fair Board of Directors voted to update OCFEC’s mission, vision, value and purpose statements:

    Mission: Creating equitable community access to agriculture, entertainment, cultural and educational experiences

    Vision: Orange County’s town square – the safe place where the community gathers and finds value

    Values: Safety, People, Integrity, Stewardship, Compliance, Diversity & Inclusion, Excellence, Community & Neighborliness

    Purpose: The OC Fair & Event Center is the 32nd District Agricultural Association (32nd DAA), a California state institution that is organized in accordance with the California Food and Agricultural Code. The 32nd DAA’s purposes under the Code are: 1) to hold fairs, expositions and exhibitions in Orange County to exhibit the industries and industrial enterprises, resources and products of every kind or nature of the state, with a view toward improving, exploiting, encouraging and stimulating them; and 2) to construct, maintain and operate recreational and cultural facilities of general public interest in Orange County.

    Read more: https://s3.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/ocfair.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/18142624/22_03_Item8A_Strategic_Plan_Document.pdf

  • January 27, 2022 (4:11 pm)

    OC Fair Board votes to fly PanAfrican flag in honor of Black History Month in February

    OC Fair & Event Center celebrates and welcomes all communities. Today the OC Fair Board voted to approve the Community Affairs Committee’s recommendation to adopt a policy to fly the PanAfrican flag at OC Fair & Event Center each February in recognition of Black History Month.

    A flag-raising ceremony is slated for Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 9 a.m. at the OC Fair & Event Center administration building and all are welcome. 

    This is the full text of the resolution that was approved:

    RECOMMENDATION The Community Affairs Committee’s recommendation to the Board of Directors is to approve the proclamation and resolution below, and adopt a policy to fly the Pan-African flag at the OC Fair & Event Center each February in recognition of Black History Month.

    BACKGROUND PROCLAMATION AND RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE 32ND DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION REGARDING BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND THE EQUAL REPRESENTATION OF DIVERSITY PRESENTED AT THE ORANGE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS

    WHEREAS, the mission of the 32nd District Agricultural Association (the “District”) is the celebration of Orange County’s communities, interests, agriculture and heritage; WHEREAS, the District recognizes and affirms the Black/Afro-American community as one of the communities that makes up the fabric and heritage of Orange County;

    WHEREAS, in fulfilling its mission, the District is proud to celebrate the Black/AfroAmerican community;

    WHEREAS, February is observed across the United States as a month to recognize, educate, and celebrate the history of Black/Afro-American contributors to American history, infrastructure, politics, entertainment, education, business/entrepreneurship, science/technology/engineering/math, anthropology/culture, and global civil/human rights movements; and

    WHEREAS, the Board of Directors of the District recognizes the Pan-African/Black Liberation flag as a symbol of welcoming and inclusiveness of the Black/AfroAmerican community specifically and of all ethnically diverse communities generally;

    NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of Directors of the District hereby proclaims February as Black History Month at the OC Fair & Event Center;

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of the District hereby reaffirms the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and nondiscrimination as core institutional values of the District and the OC Fair & Event Center;

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors hereby reaffirms its policy prohibiting discrimination by the District on the basis of any characteristic protected by law, and, in proclaiming Black History Month at the OC Fair & Event Center, expressly notes that this prohibition applies to discrimination against any person on the basis of their race, ethnicity, or nationality; and

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors hereby directs that the PanAfrican flag be flown every February henceforth alongside all official flags that are displayed on the District’s property, as a symbol of the District’s belief in the equal dignity of all persons who visit the Fair’s grounds and of the District’s commitment to welcoming and including people of all backgrounds and identities to the OC Fair & Event Center; and

    FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors, in the continued belief in the equal dignity of all persons who visit the Fair’s grounds and commitment to welcoming and including people of all backgrounds and identities to the OC Fair & Event Center, hereby proclaims that no community member be left in the dark, unrepresented by the OC Fair & Event Center.

  • December 17, 2021 (2:25 pm)

    Fair Board pays tribute to International Day of Persons with Disabilities

    During December’s OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors meeting, members paid tribute to International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which was Dec. 3, 2021. 

    The presentation slide is below (click to view pdf): 

  • November 18, 2021 (12:03 pm)

    OC Fair Board revises committee assignments

    At its Nov. 18 meeting, the OC Fair Board of Directors revised its committee structure and added two new committees.

    Leadership Committee:
    • Chair La Belle and Vice Chair Pham
    Purpose:
    This committee provides executive support to the Board and acts on behalf of the full Board during emergency situations.
    Focus:
    • Consult with CEO
    • Develop Board meeting agendas
    • Address Board issues
    • Conduct annual safety/security meeting
    • Initiate strategic planning
    • Complete the strategic planning process and provide ongoing monitoring

    Financial Monitoring and Audit Committee:
    • Director Kovacevich and Director Bagneris
    Purpose:
    This committee monitors the organization’s financial position and ensures financial controls are in place.
    Focus:
    • Monthly financial oversight
    • Annual budget review
    • Annual audit process
    • Participate in the scoring process for key RFPs, including for carnival services

    Facilities Committee:
    • Director Ruiz and Director Aitken
    Purpose:
    This committee reviews buildings and grounds related projects and issues and recommends site planning direction
    Focus:
    • Construction projects
    • Capital expenditures
    • Master site planning

    Governance Committee:
    • Director Cervantes and Director Rubalcava-Garcia
    Purpose:
    This committee ensures compliance with all Board policies and regulatory requirements
    Focus:
    • Policy updates
    • Bagley-Keene open meeting compliance
    • Annual form 700 reporting
    • Annual required Board training

    Community Affairs Committee:
    • Director Bagneris 
    Purpose:
    This committee oversees the Board’s relationship with the community
    Focus:
    • Diversity, equity and inclusion
    • Community engagement
    • Relationships with local, county and state officials

    Entertainment and Business Development Committee – NEW
    • Director Rubalcava-Garcia, Committee Chair; Director Cervantes
    Purpose:
    This committee, in coordination with staff, evaluates opportunities at all District entertainment venues and pursues business development opportunities
    Focus:
    • Pacific Amphitheatre programming enhancement opportunities
    • Hangar and Action Sports Arena programming enhancement opportunities
    • Development of year-round and fairtime business opportunities
    • Utilizing Board contacts and relationships for sponsorship and new event sales opportunities

    Governmental Relations Committee – NEW
    • Director Aitken, Committee Chair; Director Pham
    Purpose:
    This committee evaluates opportunities for expanding programing with the county and cities in Orange County and monitors legislative matters.
    Focus:
    • Legislative monitoring
    • Evaluate City and County programing opportunities
    • Annual “State of the District” presentation
    • Monitor the development of the Joint Powers Authority initiative

    Centennial Farm Foundation Liaisons
    • Director Kovacevich 

    Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation Liaisons
    • Director Cervantes and Chair La Belle

  • (11:54 am)

    Fair Board pays tribute to Native American Heritage Month

    During November’s OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors meeting, members paid tribute to Native American Heritage Month.

    The presentation highlighted the contributions Native Americans have made to Orange County’s communities, education and heritage, and to agriculture throughout California.

    View full presentation

     

  • November 1, 2021 (10:19 am)

    OC Fair Board names Doug La Belle as Chair

    COSTA MESA (Nov. 1, 2021) – The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors has named Doug La Belle as Chair and Newton Pham as Vice Chair.

    La Belle, who previously served as Vice Chair, replaces Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia as Chair. The board voted in new leadership at its Nov. 28 meeting.

    La Belle is retired and most recently served as City Manager for the City of Chino Hills from 1995 until 2009. Prior to that he served as City Manager for the City of Signal Hill and began his career in local government in 1964 with the City of Garden Grove and has worked in various administrative capacities for the cities of Cerritos, Huntington Beach, La Mesa and Marysville. La Belle, pictured right, is a resident of Costa Mesa.

    “I am excited to take on the reins of Board Chair again and help lead the organization as we move into 2022,” said La Belle. “I look forward to using my experience serving on the Board since 2010 to create opportunities for families, businesses and local organizations to come together to enjoy the annual OC Fair and all the year-round activities at the fairgrounds.” 

    Pham has been vice president at California Bank and Trust since 2014 and was the principal financial analyst at Mitsubishi Materials U.S.A. from 2012 to 2014, senior analyst at McGladrey Capital Markets LLC from 2007 to 2012 and associate consultant at Smith Barney, Citigroup Global Markets from 2004 to 2007. Pham has served on the Board of Directors since 2016 and resides in Fountain Valley.

    Exiting Chair Rubalcava-Garcia will continue to serve on the Board of Directors.

    “I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as Chair of the Orange County Fair Board,” said Rubalcava-Garcia. “It is with great pleasure that I can highlight our many accomplishments this past year which included navigating the pandemic, serving as a vaccine super pod site in an effort to help get the community vaccinated, hosting a very successful in-person 2021 OC Fair, initiating a community affairs committee which is tasked with ensuring OC Fair & Event Center is engaging with the community and focused on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and launching the organization’s three-year strategic planning effort.”

    The Board also recently welcomed a new director, Melahat Rafiei. She has been Secretary at the California Democratic Party since 2021. Rafiei has been Principal at Progressive Solutions Consulting since 2009 and a Co-Founder of WeCann since 2017. Rafiei was Executive Director at the Democratic Party of Orange County from 2007 to 2009 and a Board Member at the Community Action Fund from 2007 to 2013. She is a delegate for the California Democratic Party and a member of Democratic National Committee and the City of Anaheim’s Cultural and Heritage Commission. She was appointed to the Board by Governor Gavin Newsom in September.

    Board officers typically serve one-year terms and are nominated for office by a committee of fellow Board members.

  • October 12, 2021 (1:57 pm)

    3-Year Strategic Planning Workshop #2

    OCFEC Board of Directors will hold a board meeting today (Tuesday, October 12, 2021) at 3 p.m. to discuss strategic direction for OCFEC programming.

    View agenda report

    The meeting will be held in the Administration Building at OC Fair, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. 

    Guests are invited to join via Zoom:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85322883030?pwd=Y3EyQ2FPYmdseDNRcy82SU8vbEpFUT09
    Dial in option: 1-669-900-9128
    Meeting ID: 853 2288 3030
    Passcode: 718914

  • September 29, 2021 (2:03 pm)

    Fair Board pays tribute to Hispanic Heritage Month

    During September’s OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors meeting, members paid tribute to National Hispanic Heritage Month.

    The presentation highlighted the contributions Hispanics have made to Orange County’s communities, education and heritage, and to agriculture throughout California. 

    View full presentation 

  • September 23, 2021 (4:46 pm)

    Gov. Newsom appoints Melahat Rafiei to OC Fair Board

    SACRAMENTO (Sept. 21, 2021) – Melahat Rafiei, 44, of Anaheim, has been appointed to the 32nd District Agricultural Association (Orange County Fair Board).

    Rafiei has been Secretary at the California Democratic Party since 2021. She has been Principal at Progressive Solutions Consulting since 2009 and a Co-Founder of WeCann since 2017. Rafiei was Executive Director at the Democratic Party of Orange County from 2007 to 2009 and a Board Member at the Community Action Fund from 2007 to 2013. She is a delegate for the California Democratic Party and a member of Democratic National Committee and the City of Anaheim’s Cultural and Heritage Commission. 

    View governor’s official announcement