Wiseman named interim Colorado State Fair General Manager

By Christi Lightcap

Colorado Department of Agriculture

The Colorado Department of Agriculture is reviewing applications for the vacant Colorado State Fair General Manager position. Until that position is filled, former CDA Deputy Commissioner Chris Wiseman has been named as interim general manager. The vacancy was created when Sarah Cummings, the fair’s general manager since 2015, accepted the executive director position for the Western Fairs Association in her home state of California.

“We are working through the hiring process but, until the position is filled, the Colorado State Fair staff needs leadership and there’s work already underway for the summer rental season and preparations for the 2018 Colorado State Fair. Chris has graciously agreed to come back for a short term and will assist us with these duties until a general manager is hired. His experience with the fairgrounds will help make this a seamless transition,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown.

“I look forward to facilitating things at the Fair on a temporary basis. I’ve been associated with it throughout most my career and I enjoy the staff and atmosphere. It’s like a second home to me. Managing the fairgrounds is a tremendous undertaking and I am thrilled to help out while the Department works through the hiring process,” said Chris Wiseman, interim Colorado State Fair general manager.

Wiseman retired from CDA in November 2017 after 23 years of state service, 18 of those at the Colorado State Fair. A Pueblo native, he began his association with the fair while serving as an aide to former Gov. Roy Romer. In 1996, Romer assigned Wiseman to assist in the expo’s return to state government. In 1998, he became assistant manager of the fair and in October of 2004 was named general manager. In 2015, Wiseman was named deputy commissioner for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. He retired from that position in 2018.

The Colorado State Fair runs Aug. 24 to Sept. 3. For more information, visit www.coloradostatefair.com.

The 2018 Colorado State Fair will mark the fair’s 146th year as Colorado’s premier celebration of agriculture. The fairgrounds provides nearly $34 million in economic activity to Colorado throughout the year; $29 million of that activity is driven by the annual event. In addition to showcasing Colorado agriculture, the annual event features one of the country’s largest traveling carnivals, artwork, crafts, food competitions, thrilling rodeo action and a wide variety of food and merchandise booths.