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Executive Director

About the Tanana Valley State Fair

The Tanana Valley State Fair Association (TVSFA) is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to hosting an annual fair that serves as a community gathering point featuring family fun for all. Our core values are family, community, diversity, engagement, partnership, and fun.

Founded in 1924, the Tanana Valley State Fair is the oldest fair in the state, operating on over 100 acres in the heart of Interior Alaska. Our signature event is a 10-day fair held in August that features livestock, arts and crafts, competitive exhibits, games, rides, contests, entertainment, and vendor and information booths. Local organizations, businesses, and +1,000 volunteers come together to make this annual summer event an incredible community experience. Through the support of partnerships and sponsorships, the fair offers daily themes, such as Military Appreciation Day, Canned Food Day (supporting the Fairbanks Community Food Bank), UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks) Day, Seniors Day, etc.

While the fair is the organization’s signature event, the fairgrounds are increasingly becoming a year-round community gathering space. Concerts and other special events, including the World Ice Art Championships (hosted by Ice Alaska), also use the fairgrounds throughout the year. TVSFA also owns a campground that is regularly used throughout the summer.

Currently, TVSFA’s mission is to host a 100-year fair, which will be celebrated in 2024. The COVID-19 pandemic clearly brought challenges, most significantly of which was the cancellation of the 2020 fair, severely impacting the organizations finances; however, it also brought opportunity as the fairgrounds provided space for events as the community grappled with moving through recovery with a semblance of normal. The increased attention has reinvigorated the board’s interest in updating a strategic plan that honors the fair’s history as we forge a path to the next 100 years.

For more information on the fair, visit:

The Opportunity

The Executive Director will step into a role leading an organization that strives to honor its past while forging a path to the future. TVSFA is comprised of nine staff (most of which are part-time), a committed board of directors, and +1,000 volunteers.

We are seeking a leader who can guide us through organizational change as our focus is broadening from one annual event to serving as a broader community gathering space. The board has established a new capital projects plan to help with upgrading or replacing aging infrastructure and facilities. Staff, with board support, has been working to modernize the fair’s tools, such as a digital ticketing system and upgrading computer systems. As a membership organization, a change of this nature requires that the Executive Director inspire a shared vision for the organization that can be embraced at all levels. Leading a robust planning process for the long-term future of TVSFA will be a critical role for the Executive Director. TVSFA is also focused on living its commitment to family, community, diversity, engagement, partnership, and fun.

Due to the importance of community partnerships and relationships, the Executive Director is expected to reside in the Fairbanks area or surrounding community.

Candidate Profile and Experience Requirements

Prior Experience

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree or equivalent experience preferred.
  • Management experience in a nonprofit organization or business with at least 3 years of advancing responsibilities or 6 years demonstrated leadership as a governance volunteer in a nonprofit organization preferred. Experience managing considerable fixed assets desirable.
  • Demonstrable leadership and management experience with budgets, personnel, volunteers, contractors, and in overseeing and promoting events and programs preferred.

Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities

  • A participatory management style. Demonstrated ability to achieve results through relationships with key internal stakeholder groups and individuals.
  • Track record of building collaborative relationships with diverse partners, including local and regional government bodies, nonprofits, and other external stakeholders.
  • Project management experience, including timeline and milestones development.
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, financial management. Experience in financial forecasting desirable.
  • Excellent listening, conflict resolution, and other interpersonal skills.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including ability to passionately engage the public in the mission of the TVSFA.
  • Self-starter who can work independently on concurrent projects and meet deadlines.
  • Consistency, organization, and attention to detail.
  • Awareness and knowledge of safety protocols for staff and visitors.

Core Competencies and Personal Characteristics

The ideal candidate will be able to communicate a compelling and inspired vision that is shared both inside and outside of the organization. Strong interpersonal relationship skills are required to be successful in this position. This leader must genuinely care about people, be widely trusted, and seen as a direct and truthful individual. The Executive Director sets the tone for the organization and must be approachable and able to create a climate in which people want to do their best. This position requires an ability to maneuver through complex political situations and remain composed under pressure. The job demands strong business acumen. The ability to work effectively with others and to promote and achieve good relations with diverse communities is essential.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary for the position is $80,000 to $100,000 annually, based on experience, and a benefits package. Relocation expenses are negotiable.

To Apply

Please submit your resume and a letter of interest in Word or PDF format. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interviews are expected to commence by June 15, 2022.

Brittany Smart, TVSFA Secretary

(808) 989-6110

Hiring Process

The TVSFA has developed a phased approach to the hiring of the Executive Director. Applications will be reviewed by the hiring committee and successful applicants will be interviewed. The top candidates will have the opportunity to meet with TVSFA staff, board members, and key partners. As TVSFA will be in the throes of fair preparation, top candidates will also have the opportunity to see behind the scenes in the lead up to opening day. The goal is provide both TVSFA and the candidates a chance to learn more about each other and ensure that the partnership is a good fit for both.

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