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Marla Calico, CFE, President and CEO of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), Announces Retirement Effective December 31, 2024
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Salt Lake City, UT – After a memorable tenure marked by innovation and dedication, Marla Calico, CFE, has announced her retirement as the President and CEO of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), effective December 31, 2024. With her leadership, the IAFE has seen unprecedented growth and advancement in the fair and exposition industry.

“As we think of strong foundations and exceptional mentors, one person that comes to mind that has had an impact on all our lives is Marla Calico,” Jo Reynolds, IFMG, CFE, IAFE Board Chair, said. “She has helped build a strong foundation for the Association, many fairs, and countless individuals.”

The search for a new President and CEO will be overseen by a distinguished search committee consisting of the following individuals:

  • Chair: Jeremy Parsons, IFMG, CFE, Iowa State Fair
  • Jennifer Giesike, IFMG, CFE, Washington Town and Country Fair, MO
  • Jo Reynolds, IFMG, CFE, Warren County Agricultural Association, IA
  • Ken Karns, IFMG, CFE, OC Fair & Event Center, CA
  • Ray Allison, CFE, Indiana State Fair
  • Jaime Navarro, State Fair of Texas
  • Alexcia Jordan, IFMG, CFE, North Idaho State Fair
  • Gene Cassidy, CFE, Eastern States Exposition (The Big E), MA

Parsons, Giesike, Reynolds, Karns, Allison, and Navarro serve as members of the IAFE Executive Committee. Cassidy has previously served a full term on the executive committee. Jordan brings a unique perspective as a Trustee of the IAFE Education Foundation and representing a large segment of IAFE membership — fairs with attendance between 100,000-199,999 — to form a well-rounded search committee.

"Leading the IAFE has been an incredible privilege and the highlight of my professional career," remarked Calico. "I am immensely proud of the progress we've achieved together, and I am confident that the association is well-positioned for continued success in the future."

The timeline and procedures for the selection process will be thoroughly outlined in the upcoming weeks. After the start of the new year, a search firm will be engaged to conduct a comprehensive search, ensuring the selection of a qualified candidate who will continue to uphold the IAFE's mission and values.

"We are deeply grateful to Marla Calico for her outstanding leadership and unwavering dedication to the IAFE," expressed Jeremy Parsons, Chair of the search committee. "The committee is committed to conducting a thorough and transparent search process to identify the ideal individual to build upon the exceptional legacy left by Marla."

The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), based in Springfield, MO, is a voluntary, nonprofit corporation serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, non-agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations, and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all interested in improving fairs, shows, expositions, and allied fields. For more information, visit www.fairsandexpos.com, follow the IAFE on Facebook or Instagram, or call 800.516.0313.

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