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OABA Update -by Bob Johnson, OABA President & CEO


The Best Convention Ever! Your recent Florida Federation of Fairs and Zone 2 Convention


held in Orlando’s family mecca, Disney Springs, in my opinion, was the best ever! While we know Orlando is little more expen- sive than St. Augustine, there is so much more to see and do in my great city. Hat’s off to Lisa and her staff of volunteers for putting together


an outstanding, jammed packed education program, with some- thing for every attendee. The OABA’s sponsored session with IAFE Chair Rick Vymlatil, OABA Chair Jay Strates, Nancy Smith, President of South Carolina State Fair and yours truly, gave our packed room an update in the aftermath of the Ohio State Fair tragic ride accident and fatality. While there is much more to come from both ride manufacturers in the way of Safety Bulletins and from our international amusement rides and devices stand- ards setting organization, ASTM F 24 Committee, I equate this experience and its aftermath, as our industry’s “911.” From state amusement ride regulators and legislatures, many have jumped on the bandwagon of ride safety…and it continues. Our very own State of Florida, and its Advisory Safety Commit-


tee acted swiftly in the Fall of last year, prior to many shows re- turning to our State, to assess what major amusement rides needed further attention from a safety perspective, or as we say, Non-Destructive Testing, (NDT). Thanks to the keen eyes and experience of our State ride inspectors, industry third-party in- spectors, insurance company inspectors, plus the carnival and independent ride owners, daily inspections; Florida had no major, reportable ride incidents this past Fair and Festival season.


The highlight for me, and I assume for


others, was having the chance to hear from three candidates, in the Candidates Forum, who have put their hats in the ring for Commissioner of Agriculture, with Terry Atchley doing an outstanding job of asking each of them, separately, the same questions, as submitted by FFF’s members. I personally was inter- ested in their responses to Terry’s ques- tion regarding seasonal, H-2B visas, critical to carnivals and many concessionaires. While each of them had good responses and related these visas to the H-2A farmworker visas, one gained my vote for her response. Oops, I just gave you my favorite candidate! Once again, a great convention with our IAFE Zone 2 folks and


wonderful opportunity to renew acquaintances, see friends, net- work and learn how to make all our fairs and festivals an even better community event.


Are You Prepared When There Is An Amusement Ride Crisis? What we learned.


L to R - Bob Johnson, OABA President and CEO; Rick Vymlatil CFE, Chair IAFE; Nancy Smith, CFE, South Carolina State Fair, IAFE 2nd Vice Chair, and Jay Strates, OABA Chair


FAIRCRACKER-SUMMER 2018


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