Minnesota State Fair announces new CEO

Minnesota State Fair Names Renee Alexander as New CEO
Minnesota State Fair Names Renee Alexander as New CEO(Northern News Now)
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 1:55 PM CST
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ST. PAUL, MN. (Northern News Now) - The Minnesota State Fair announced its new CEO Monday.

Renee Alexander, who has been a Minnesota State Fair deputy general manager for 13 years and has been a key role on the senior management team, will be the new CEO.

According to spokespeople, the State Fair’s board of managers conducted a search over the past several months.

Alexander will be taking over for retiring CEO Jerry Hammer with her more than 20 years of experience.

She originally worked in entertainment and marketing at the Minnesota State Fair from 1989 through 1994 and later returned in 2005.

Currently, the newly appointed CEO oversees all of the fair’s entertainment programs, including booking and producing Grandstand events, and has won multiple entertainment industry awards.

Alexander also leads the State Fair’s educational programming, marketing and communications, media relations, web and publications, archives, and ticketing departments.

“This is a large role to fill, and we’re confident that Renee is a qualified and proven leader,” said State Fair Board President Joe Scapanski. “The Great Minnesota Get-Together is world-famous for its tradition of excellence. We’re looking forward to Renee’s vision of maintaining that tradition and building on the State Fair’s amazing legacy.”

“My commitment to the Minnesota State Fair extends well beyond this merely being a job,” Alexander said. “I love this institution and all that it stands for – a showcase of the very best of our state, a place where amazing memories are created and where ‘The Great Minnesota Get-Together’ is more than a slogan; it drives at our mission. I believe my work in this industry and my unique experience will serve us well as I take on the tremendous responsibility of leading this incredible organization.”

“Renee is perfect for the job,” said Hammer. “She has a deep understanding and appreciation for the State Fair’s powerful impact here in Minnesota and beyond. She knows what it takes to keep the shine on our state treasure.”

In addition, Alexander is a former board chair of the International Entertainment Buyers Association, an active participant with the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, earned a business communications degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and is a graduate of the Leadership Music and Leadership St. Paul programs.

Alexander will start her new duties later this spring when Hammer steps down after 53 years with the State Fair.

He’s currently in his 27th year as CEO.