Category Archives: Board of Directors

  • Thursday, February 25, 2021 (5:10 pm)

    OC Fair Board reaffirms support of LGBTQ Pride Month and display of flag

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors today voted to reaffirm its support of the Board’s 2019 resolution regarding LGBTQ Pride Month and display of the rainbow LGBTQ Pride flag throughout the year.

    The Board and its Community Affairs Committee heard from dozens of members of the public at a special meeting on Jan. 20, via email, through the results of a public survey and at monthly Board meetings before bringing the matter up for a vote.

    The Board’s decision today is that the Pride flag will continue to fly at OCFEC along with the American, California State and OCFEC flags.

    “It is extremely important for OCFEC to ensure the Orange County community feel welcome at the fairgrounds regardless of their race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.  That’s why it was so important for the full board to discuss this and vote on our position with regard to the resolution,” said Board Chair Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia. “While the OC Fair Board of Directors could not make everyone happy with this vote, the Pride flag is a nationally accepted universal symbol of inclusion and represents all diverse groups of every culture.  All lives united.”

     The Community Affairs Committee will continue to work to find additional ways to represent members of Orange County’s diverse communities at OC Fair & Event Center.

  • Thursday, September 24, 2020 (3:28 pm)

    Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

    At today’s OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors meeting, Director Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia honored the heritage of Hispanics in Orange County with a presentation highlighting many significant contributions in myriad fields, including agriculture and the military.

    We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month alongside all who continue to nourish, lead and forge the way to the future.

    We look forward to reopening to the public soon and will invite everyone to visit the Table of Dignity near Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall and to support our agricultural partners.

    The Table of Dignity pays tribute to and exemplifies the struggles, perseverance and accomplishments of the many Hispanic workers who provide sustenance to our nation every day. At Heroes Hall, we tell the stories of veterans and show how their sacrifices have provided us with hard-fought freedom.

    Thanks to the offices of Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, Congressman Harley Rouda and Senator John Moorlach who showed their support by presenting certificates during today’s meeting.

    View Director Rubalcava-Garcia’s presentation

  • (4:45 am)

    Rubalcava-Garcia named new Chair of OC Fair Board

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors named Natalie Rubalcava-Garcia as Chair and Doug LaBelle as Vice Chair at it’s Sept. 24 meeting.

    Rubalcava-Garcia, who previously served as Vice Chair, replaces Sandra Cervantes as Chair. She is COO of the Orange County Business Council, where she was vice president of investor relations from 2016 to 2018. Rubalcava-Garcia was associate publisher at the Southern California News Group in 2016 and held several positions at Freedom News Group and the Orange County Register from 2007 to 2016. She has served on the Board since 2018.

    LaBelle 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. He has been a Board member since 2010.

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

  • Friday, June 26, 2020 (10:39 am)

    OC Fair Board issues solidarity proclamation in support of the Black Community

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors unanimously issued a proclamation on June 25, 2020, in support of the Black Community and stands united against discrimination and committed to inclusion, diversity and equality.

    Recognizing this painful time for many members of our community, the Board voted to reaffirm its commitment to denounce discrimination or violence in any form.

    The following statement was approved at today’s Board of Directors meeting:

    Proclamation of the Board of Directors of the 32nd District Agricultural Association

    WHEREAS, the mission of the 32nd District Agricultural Association (the 32nd DAA) is the “Celebration of Orange County’s Communities, Interests and Heritage”; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA is against discrimination on the basis of race, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, disability, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or marital, parental or military status; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA condemns the deeply troubling actions that occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which led to the inexcusable and senseless death of Mr. George Floyd; and the same troubling actions that have taken the lives of so many other Black men, women, boys and girls, even since Mr. Floyd; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA stands in solidarity with those that peacefully protest against violence, inequality and excessive force; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA recognizes the community is in turmoil, and looking to its leaders to affirm their commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equality; and

    WHEREAS, the 32nd DAA stands with the members of our Black Community and all people of color who have been ignored, marginalized and disenfranchised;

    NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of the 32nd District Agricultural Association hereby does proclaim on June 25, 2020, that it stands in solidarity with the Black
    Community and reaffirms its commitment to denounce discrimination or violence in any form.

  • Friday, May 15, 2020 (7:49 am)

    Gov. Newsom appoints Nicholas Kovacevich to OC Fair Board

    SACRAMENTO (May 14, 2020) – Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that Nicholas Kovacevich, 34, of Newport Beach, has been appointed to the 32nd District Agricultural Association, Orange County Fair Board of Directors.

    Kovacevich has been chief executive officer of KushCo Holdings since 2014. He was chief operating officer for BigRentz Inc. from 2012 to 2014. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Kovacevich is a Democrat.

    View official announcement. 

  • Monday, April 27, 2020 (9:52 am)

    OC Fair Board cancels 2020 Fair due to pandemic

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors voted unanimously today to cancel the 2020 OC Fair, one of the most anticipated and enduring summer celebrations in Southern California for 130 years. The Board considered ongoing guidance and updated information from State and County health care and government officials about the status of the coronavirus pandemic and the improbability that mass gatherings like the OC Fair could safely and responsibly take place this summer.

    In addition to the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, the Board called a second April meeting specifically to review all options and discuss whether or not to move forward with the 2020 OC Fair. The action comes amid unprecedented community stay-at-home and social distancing orders and will protect guests, vendors and staff during the COVID-19 crisis.

    “The decision to cancel the 2020 OC Fair was not taken lightly by the Board. As Governor-appointed representatives the Board has a responsibility to provide a safe experience to the community-at-large, the hundreds of people who depend on county fairs for their livelihood, fairgoers and OC Fair staff,” said Board Chair Sandra Cervantes. “While many of our guests have expressed extreme disappointment over the idea of the 2020 Fair being canceled, we strongly believe it is the right thing to do in this current situation. However, we will keep the spirit of the OC Fair alive with virtual fair concepts such as contests, competitions, entertainment and concessions to bring the fair experience to guests through and social media.”

    The 23-day OC Fair welcomes more than 1.3 million fairgoers each year and has an estimated economic impact of $350 million annually. The Fair was canceled 1942-1947 during wartime, but otherwise has been a summer staple since 1890. Information on refunds for concert tickets and Super Passes that have already been purchased can be found at

    “We love the OC Fair as much as our guests do. And, while it’s disappointing that the Fair can’t take place this year, we fully support the Board’s decision,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “But please know OC Fair & Event Center will still be here to serve the community as we plan for the next OC Fair and the eventual return of our wonderful events.”

  • Wednesday, April 15, 2020 (3:34 pm)

    OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors schedules April 27 meeting

    The OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors has scheduled a meeting on April 27 to discuss whether or not to cancel the 2020 OC Fair amid coronavirus pandemic concerns. The meeting agenda is here.

    This meeting is in addition to the board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting which will be held on April 23. The meeting agenda is here

    Public input is invited and encouraged at all OC Fair & Event Center board meetings. Video and audio feeds of the meetings will be available and members of the public may also attend in person with social distancing precautions in place. Information on how to participate in the meetings will be posted on the public meetings page prior to the meeting date.  

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020 (7:16 pm)

    OC Fair & Event Center closes property until further notice

    (Updated June 11, 202o) 

    Out of an abundance of caution and to help stem the spread of coronavirus, OC Fair & Event Center announces a full public closure of the facilities, including Heroes Hall Veterans Museum, Centennial Farm, Equestrian Center and the administration building lobby until further notice.

    OC Fair & Event center will continue to follow public health directives.

    The following events previously scheduled to take place at OC Fair & Event Center have been impacted: 

    • Orange County Market Place – weekends, canceled until further notice
    • Farmers Market – Thursdays, canceled until June 18
    • OC Wine Fest – June 13-14, canceled
    • BrideWorld – June 14, canceled
    • OC Market Place Taco Fest – June 20, canceled
    • Costa Mesa Speedway – June 20, canceled
    • FamFest – June 20-21, canceled
    • Pacific Symphony – July 4 & Aug. 21, canceled
    • 2020 OC Fair – July 17-Aug. 16, canceled
    • SoCal World Guitar Show – Aug. 22-23, canceled
    • Irish Festival – Sept. 5-6, canceled

    The following is a list of events originally scheduled for earlier this year that have been rescheduled for a later date: 

    • AAOC Trade Show and Conference – March 26, postponed to Sept. 10
    • Mom Made Market – March 28-29, postponed to Oct. 10-11
    • Fight Club – April 9 & June 11, postponed until Oct. 15 & Nov. 12
    • OC Marathon – May 1-3, postponed to Nov. 6-8
    • OC Night Market – May 8-10 & May 15-17, postponed to Oct. 23-25 & Oct. 30-Nov. 1 

    For a complete list of upcoming scheduled events, please visit

  • Tuesday, March 3, 2020 (7:07 am)

    Andreas Meyer steps down from OC Fair Board

    After serving on the OC Fair & Event Center Board of Directors since 2018, Andreas Meyer has decided to leave his position on the Board. Meyer most recently served as Vice Chair of the Board and was a member of several Board committees, including the Governance Committee, the Safety & Security Committee and the Branding Project Ad Hoc Committee.

    At the Board’s Feb. 27 meeting, Meyer announced his intention to step down and submitted his resignation this week to the Governor’s Office.

    There are currently two vacant positions on the Board. Click here to apply to become a member of the Board of Directors.

  • Monday, January 14, 2019 (3:09 pm)

    Branding assessment project

    Help us evaluate our brands:

    • OC Fair & Event Center
    • Pacific Amphitheatre
    • Heroes Hall
    • Imaginology
    • Centennial Farm

    We have begun to evaluate out family of brands to determine current value in the marketplace and whether or not changes are warranted. We have grown and it is time to reassess.

    In addition to our OC Fair & Event Center brands, the exercise will include discussions about our property partners: equestrian center, OC Wine Society, Orange County Market Place and Spectra.

    Public participation is being sought during this process – community input is important as the fairgrounds looks toward the future.

    The advertising firm IMW of Costa Mesa has been contracted to perform the brand assessment and to offer recommendations. They began with meetings with staff groups and a workshop with the board of directors. A meeting of property partners and stakeholders has also been scheduled.

    The public is invited to participate in a branding assessment workshop – options are:

      • Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2-3 p.m. at OC Fair & Event Center OR
      • Wednesday, Jan. 30, 6-7 p.m. at OC Fair & Event Center

    The OC Fair & Event Center is located at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. These workshops will take place in the administration building.

    Those who are unable to attend one of the public meetings will have the opportunity to participate by completing an online survey that will be posted here following the workshops.

    Please continue to check and @ocfair on social media for the latest updates on this project.

    A little about brands …

    Brands are not just logos. A brand is more than what a product does or what it might communicate. Brands are the total perception of the entity’s “persona” in the marketplace, including an implied promise to customers that the facility and service will consistently meet their expectations. Brands evoke emotions. They delight us and make us feel that they are familiar and reliable. Branding differentiates a product from its competitors and creates added value for partners.