Ohio State Fair

The Ohio Expositions Commission has named Adam Heffron to be the new executive director of the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair after being appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine last week. Heffron will replace long-time General Manager Virgil Strickler, who is retiring.

“Replacing someone with the decades of experience and dedication of Virgil Strickler was not an easy task, but we look forward to working with Mr. Heffron as the plans to enhance the Ohio State Fair and other popular events at the Ohio Expo Center come to fruition for the betterment of Ohio agriculture,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau.

Heffron comes to Ohio from his position as the director of Dane County’s Alliant Energy Center, a multi venue events center hosting agricultural and other large events in Wisconsin’s state capital.

“I am excited to welcome Adam Heffron back to Ohio to lead the next period of growth and development at the Ohio State Fair,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “Adam has the experience and passion to make our state fair the best in the nation. He will lead the changes outlined in the Expo 2050 plan that will make our fairgrounds even better for fairgoers, exhibitors and other visitors.”

Adam Heffron
Adam Heffron

Heffron has more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality and entertainment industry, including organizing major music and agricultural events. He has worked in leadership positions with the Wisconsin State Fair, Washington State Fair, Meet Minneapolis: Convention & Visitors Association, the Minnesota State Fair, and the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair.

In addition to his agricultural events experience, Heffron was director of facilities and operations for Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. which produces Summerfest, one of the world’s largest music festivals, generating $187 million in economic impact for the Milwaukee community. 

“I am excited to step into this role and build upon the incredible legacy of Virgil Strickler by helping to make the governor’s 2050 vision a reality. I look forward to bringing my diverse experiences to the table to lead Ohio’s state fair and expo center in becoming the best in the nation,” Heffron said.

Heffron is expected to start in March.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

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Ernie Welch

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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

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Clark County Farm Bureau

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Coshocton County Farm Bureau

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Groovy Plants Ranch

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Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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