A CONFERENCE YOU CAN’T
Was the theme at the
Federation of Fairs Convention and IAFE Zone II Meeting!
over 500 “Fair Folks” agreed that this was a conference they couldn’t refuse as
this year’s 64th Florida Federation of Fairs Convention and IAFE Zone II
Meeting set record numbers. There were 35
Fairs represented from Florida, 7 Fairs from Zone II with over 320 Fair members
and 170 Associate members in attendance.
This year’s trade show featured over 87 booths – a new record high for
pre-convention activities started on Wednesday, May 13th with the 15th
Annual Giles Ellis Memorial Golf Tournament held at the beautiful Palencia Club
in St. Augustine on a beautiful “Florida” day. The Golf Committee, along with
the Greater Jacksonville Ag Fair and the Collier County Fair volunteers and
their staff committed to making it a success.
Through a lot of hard work, dedication and time - they did just that! During the months before the tournament many
conference calls were made, emails sent, and begging, pleading and soliciting
was done by all. As a result sponsors gave, teams played and a great time was
had by all that participated.
Keynote Speaker, Mark Mayfield, kicked off the event with a positive message titled
“Mom’s Rules.” A special thanks to Populous
for sponsoring this portion of the program.
Mark received a standing ovation from the group - what a way to start
popular President’s Party “The Godfather” honoring this year’s President Rick
Vymlatil kicked off the fun for the week with a lot of work from the
President’s Party Committee chaired by Teresa Agricola with the South Florida
Fair. The event was sponsored by Wade
Shows. It was definitely “an event you couldn’t refuse”!
Zone II Meeting in conjunction with the Florida Convention has been a “win-win”
for both organizations. The Florida
Fairs benefit from the added knowledge of Fairs from outside Florida through
panels and round table discussions and the Zone II attendees get to enjoy some
of our Florida sunshine! A special
thanks to Reithoffer Shows for helping us celebrate Zone II’s
participation with a Welcome Reception.
Associates play a valuable part in the success of the event through their
support and involvement in showcasing and the trade show. There were 11 showcase acts throughout the
convention with the grand finale being Chloe
Channell represented by Capitol
at the closing banquet. Showcase acts were presented during the President’s
Party, Friday’s Luncheon which was sponsored by George’s Fun Foods, Saturday’s Luncheon which was co-sponsored
by Netterfield’s Popcorn and Lemonade
and The One Man Band and throughout the Trade Show.
a record 87 booths in this year’s trade show, Fairs could find everything they
needed. Refreshment breaks, door prizes,
a silent auction, and showcase acts helped pull traffic into the show with the
goal of making our Associates benefit from their participation. A new promotion this year were tote bags
sponsored by EcoShield and Strates Shows that provided everyone
with a bag to use to collect all their convention “stuff”! The Trade Show was sponsored by Allied
Specialty Insurance, Amusement Consulting Services, The Florida State Fair,
Kachuna & The Alligator Show, and Triangle Talent.
year’s Educational Sessions were sponsored by Haas & Wilkerson, the
Round Table Discussions were co-sponsored by Capitol International Productions; Miami Dade County Fair & Expo;
and North American Midway. Much
of the success of the Convention and Zone Meeting goes to the involvement of
the attendees. Over 65 people from
Florida Fairs, Zone II Fairs, and Associate members participated in the program
as speakers, moderators, or round table facilitators along with a line-up of
IAFE and other out-of-state speakers.
There was a wealth of valuable information shared and hopefully everyone
took home some new ideas. A great new
feature was the mobile website that provided the convention program on
everyone’s smart phone provided through a sponsorship with Saffire Events in a total
redesign of the Federation’s website.
The IAFE sponsored several workshops
which included: Hands On, Minds On
Agriculture by Becky Brashear; Seeing Straight In A Cross Eyed World by Gary
Berg; and Fairgrounds Beautification as Easy as A,B,C and Grand Champion
Competitive Exhibits by Jill Albanese with the Wisconsin State Fair. Other featured speakers were Charles Atkinson
with the Kansas Association of Fairs doing workshops on Competitive Exhibits
From The Group Up and How Well Does Your Board Work Together. NICA
sponsored a panel discussion on Finding The Balance – Profitable Concessions +
Successful Fairs and OABA
sponsored a panel discussion on Fairs and Midways – Let’s Strengthen Our
Partnership. Bobby McLamb also presented
a two part working on Finding the Leader in You and Goal Setting.
to these featured speakers, Florida Fairs, Zone II Fairs, and local resources
produced a wide variety of workshops and round table discussions that gave
everyone ideas to take back to their own Fair.
Board of Directors was elected for the upcoming year, The new Officers and Directors are:
Umiker – President, Greater Hillsborough
Chivington - 1st Vice President, Pensacola
Rowe – 2nd Vice President, Osceola County Fair
Davis – Secretary/Treasurer, Florida Strawberry Festival
Vymlatil - Immediate Past President, South Florida Fair
Jones, Columbia County Fair
Shawn Krauel, Central
Montes, Miami Dade County Fair & Expo
Norris, Lake County Fair
Bill Olson, Greater Jacksonville Ag Fair
Chuck Pesano, Florida State Fair
Porter, Citrus County Fair
Ward, Collier County Fair
Dennis Lee – Associate Director
Laughter – Associate Director
Raulerson, FL Dept. Of Agriculture - Farmers Market Division -
Hall, FL Farm Bureau
year’s annual banquet on Saturday evening was sponsored by EMC Tickets, LLC and
awards were presented to various individuals.
special President’s award to the Greater Jacksonville Ag Fair for all
their hard work putting together the very successful annual golf tournament
of the Year award was presented to Doug King with King Enterprises, Inc. who
has supported the Federation and fair industry for many years.
Federation Hall of Fame inductee for 2015 was Jeanne Keaton, Manager of
the St. Lucie County Fair and a Federation Past President who remains very
active in the Federation.
Fair Management Scholarship was Lisa Dudding with the South Florida Fair. The Scholarship was sponsored by North
American Midway Entertainment.
Lee was presented
a plaque for obtaining the most new members during 2014-15.
the presentation of awards, President Rick Vymlatil turned the gavel over to Tom
Umiker from the Greater Hillsborough County Fair. After presenting the Past President’s plaque
to Rick, Rick asked the group to join in a “toast” to honor our incoming
President, Hall of Fame honoree, and Associate of the Year recipient. The Toast was sponsored by Arnold’s
Amusements, the Hillsborough County Fair, and the Southwest FL and Lee County
Fair. Tom expressed his
excitement about the year ahead and what an honor it is to serve the Florida
the banquet, everyone closed out the convention in the Hospitality Suite which
was sponsored by The Dennis Lee Show.
hospitality suite has been a continued success at the convention. This year’s Hospitality Suite was sponsored
by The Dennis Lee Show with
refreshments also provided by several member Fairs... Everyone seemed to enjoy
the opportunity to socialize and network after hours.
A Sincere Thank You to Our
What a phenomenal show of support!
And a special thanks
to our Sponsorship Committee – Theresa Agricola, South Florida Fair, Chairman.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR
Party-Wade Shows; Opening Session Keynote Speaker–Populous;
Annual Banquet-EMC Tickets, LLC; Educational Workshop Sessions-Haas
& Wilkerson Insurance; Friday
Luncheon-George’s Fun Foods; Saturday Luncheon-Netterfield
Popcorn & Lemonade, Inc. and The One Man Band; Tote Bags-EcoShield
and Strates Shows; Round
Table Sessions- Capitol International Productions, Miami-
Dade County Fair & Expo, North American Midway;
American Midway; IAFE
Zone II Welcome Reception-Reithoffer Shows, Inc.; Incoming President/Hall of
Fame/Associate of the Year Reception-Arnold’s Amusements, Hillsborough County Fair, Southwest
Florida & Lee County Fair; Hospitality
Suite-The Dennis Lee Show; Name
Badges-K & K Insurance-Year in Review Video-North
Pole Productions; Refreshment
Strawberry Festival, Florida State Fair, Martin County Fair and TSI Adjusters; Coffee Breaks in the Workshop Area-Allied
Specialty Insurance Inc., Manatee County Fair, North Florida Fair, Janus
Capital and Andrew Gilligan;
YPI Convention Scholarships -Belle City Amusements; Silent Auction-Central
Florida Fair; Coffee
at Opening Session-Associate
We Help You” Table-Special Event Engineering; Trade Show-Allied
Specialty Insurance, Amusement Consulting Services, Florida State Fair. Kachunga
& The Alligator Show, Triangle Talent; Award Programs- Bianco’s Foods, Duttera
Trade Show Door Prizes-Allied
Specialty Insurance, Etix, Famous Gabby’s, Firefighter Show, Hardee County Fair,
Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show and Osceola
County Fair, Lafayette Tent & Awning , Meggers Concessions/Hot Wisconsin
Cheese, Northeast Florida Fair,
O’Brien’s Food Enterprises, St. Lucie County Fair, The Best Around; Friends Of The Federation Sponsors-Clay
County Fair, Columbia County Fair, Andy
Frain Services, Groover-Parrish Grove, Inc., Indiana Ticket, Doug King—King
Enterprises, Inc., Lake County Fair, Happy & Donetta Norris, Okeechobee
County Fair, Joe Repass, Sarasota County Fair, Tech-Tronics
Productions, Inc., Tytix, Volusia County Fair, Collier County Fair, Megareins,
Inc., Miami-Dade County Fair, Pensacola Interstate Fair, and Greater
Jacksonville Ag Fair.
GOLD SPONSORS- Florida
State Fair, South Florida Fair; SILVER SPONSORS-Foster & Fuchs P.A., Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair, NICA—National
Independent Concessionaires Association; BRONZE SPONSOR-Action Graphix, Collier County Fair, Indiana
Ticket, Lafayette Tent; HOLE IN ONE SPONSOR-Belle City Amusements; DRINK CART
SPONSOR- Harmony Artists, Joe Repass; HOLE
SPONSORS-Citrus County Fair, Clay
County Fair, Firefighter Show, Highlands County Fair, Jenks Concessions, Kissimmee
Valley Livestock Show and Osceola County Fair, Lloyd and Willy and More, Miami-Dade
County Fair and Expo, North Florida Fair, O’Brien’s Food Enterprises, Pensacola
Interstate Fair, Populous, St. Lucie County Fair, Triangle Talent, Tytix
A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR IN-KIND
SPONSORS: FAIR PUBLISHING HOUSE
providing the plaques for the What A Great Idea Contest; FLORIDA STATE FAIR Tech
support for the Convention; INDIANA TICKET COMPANY for
providing event tickets; REGALIA MANUFACTURING COMPANY for
providing the ribbons for the name badges; SAFFIRE
EVENTS for providing the Federation website andhosting; SOUTH
FLORIDA FAIR for providing
signs and banners; TECH- TRONICS PRODUCTIONS for
providing the sound & lighting for the showcases; E.G. Staats for the podium banner.