Continued from page 10 evening of fun and fellowship as well as a great showcase! A special thanks to Strates Shows and the Florida Dairy Farmers for sponsoring the President’s Party. Fair Pub- lishing House sponsored “Dawn” cookies – that were a hit throughout the convention. An important part of this year’s convention was a Candi-

dates Forum for the candidates running for Florida Com- missioner of Agriculture. Three of the candidates made an opening statement and answered questions presented by the group. It was a packed house, as everyone in the Fair industry knows how important the Federation’s and our Florida Fair’s relationship is with the Commissioner’s office. Wade Shows continued their sponsorship of the Friday

Night Showcase Extravaganza where 8 showcases were featured. This has become a special event with an Ice Cream Sundae bar and drinks provided byWade Shows in complimentary glasses provided byWhirleyDrink Works. With good company, and lots of great showcases – this has become a popular event. A special thanks to the Florida State Fair for providing the decorations. Throughout the convention, Shawnee Productions provided the LED screens and Tech Tronic Productions provided the sound and lights for the showcases. The convention committee also felt strongly that the way

for our Associate members to get more involved with our Fairs is to participate more in our workshops and round tables. So, this year’s Saturday morning sessions featured topics of interest to both Fairs and Associates and the trade show was closed until after lunch. Then, there was some final time in the Trade Show Saturday afternoon to “finish up your business” as well as a few dynamic final work- shops to close out the program! Saturday’s luncheon was when the Federation’s Business

Meeting was held to conduct the official Federation busi- ness for the year. Thanks to Netterfield’s Popcorn & Lemonade, Inc. for sponsoring lunch. And the grand finale was Saturday night’s “Gala” an occa-

sion with glittery reds and blues to celebrate the Super He- roes of the Fair industry – our members. Everyone gath- ered for a spectacular presentation of awards, showcases, and our presentation of the Hall of Fame and Associate of the Year recipients. Thanks to EMC Tickets for sponsor- ing this year’s Gala. This year’s IAFE Institute Manage- ment Scholarship was announced and the winner was Su- zanne Holcomb with the Greater Hillsborough County Fair. Thanks to North American Midway Entertainment for sponsoring this scholarship. Special recognition also went to this year’s Convention Scholarship winners: Deanna Naugler, Florida Agriculture & Wildlife Expo; Shari Klimas, Hernando County Fair; Amy Poupore – Putnam County Fair; and Rachel Wolfe –Highlands County Fair. Rick Vymlatil, IAFE Chair also recognized Florida’s new-

est Institute Management graduates – Fran Crone, South- west FL & Lee County Fair; Lisa Dudding, South Florida Fair; Silva Hohn, South Florida Fair; and Jeaneen Ste- phens, South Florida Fair and our two newest CFEs – Matt Daly, CFE, South Florida Fair and Miranda Muir, CFE, Os- ceola County Fair. This year’s Hall of Fame award was presented to Tom

Umiker, CFE, manager of the Greater Hillsborough County Fair and Past Federation President. Tom’s dedication to the Fair industry and the Federation as well as the Florida State Fair and Hillsborough County Fair has made an im- pact on many people and the Federation was proud to hon-


There is a lot of work to be done prior to convention. These folks from the Manatee County Fair help in the preparation. Jon Neuhauser, Wylene Rickly, Cindy Patterson.

or him in this way! The Associate of the Year was presented to Dave Meo-

la with Tech-Tronic Productions.. Dave and his team have been providing the sound and lights for the conven- tion for many years and everyone appreciates their support of the fair industry as well as the Florida Federation of Fairs. The evening closed with a Toast to the incoming Presi-

dent, Paul Davis as well as to our Hall of Fame and Associ- ate of the Year recipients. The toast was sponsored by Belle City Amusements.. Each evening the Federation’s Hospitality Suite, spon-

sored by The Dennis Lee Show, was a great place to meet and greet – it was always filled with lots of talk and laughter! It was definitely a week of “Cowgirl Boots and Country

Roots” as we honored everyone in the Fair industry who works “Changing Lives One Fair At A Time.” We invite everyone to come again next year – May 16 – 19, 2019 as we return to the Renaissance Resort at the World Golf Vil- lage in St. Augustine.

A big thanks to all our sponsors for making this

year’s event possible.

Paul Davis leads a crew from the Flori- da Strawberry Festival bagging and ty- ing “Dawn” Cookies to be distributed at the Convention. Fair Publishing donated the cookies. See more on page 58


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