December 12, 2019 (11:47 am)

OC Fair Board names Michele Richards CEO


Michele Richards has been chosen as CEO to lead OC Fair & Event Center as it readies for its 130th annual fair.

The announcement was made at the Dec. 12 OC Fair Board meeting. Richards has served as Interim CEO since Oct. 28 and prior to that she was the agency’s VP of Business Development for more than seven years. She was also an organizational development consultant to OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC) for 11 years and next year will celebrate her 19th OC Fair.

“I cannot think of a better person to move us forward. Michele is extremely knowledgeable and exudes enthusiasm for OC Fair & Event Center and the communities we serve,” said board chair Sandra Cervantes. “Michele is very well-prepared for this role and comes into the position with the full support of the board and staff. We are excited about the future.”

Richards has more than 30 years of leadership experience in a variety of fields including advertising/marketing, organizational development, sales and human resources, including more than 15 years managing her own consulting practice.

At OCFEC, she has worked in several leadership positions including overseeing marketing, communications, events, creative services, sales, exhibits and education.

“I believe that what we do here is special and important and I am honored to be entrusted to serve this amazing organization,” said Richards. “To lead such a talented and passionate staff is the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Richards takes the CEO role at a time when the state agency, also known as California’s 32nd District Agriculture Association, is approving its yearly budget, working through branding assessment and planning 2020 events.