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Minnesota State Fair names Renee Alexander new CEO

The fair's board of managers didn't have to look far, officially naming long-time deputy GM Renee Alexander as head of the management team.

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn — The Minnesota State Fair did not have to look far to find the person to lead the Great Minnesota Get-Together into its next chapter. 

Long-time deputy general manager Renee Alexander was named Monday as the fair's new CEO, taking over for the retiring Jerry Hammer. A press release says the fair's board of managers conducted a search over the past several months before deciding the best candidate was already in Falcon Heights. 

“This is a large role to fill, and we’re confident that Renee is a qualified and proven leader,” said State Fair Board President Joe Scapanski in a released statement. “The Great Minnesota Get-Together is world-famous for its tradition of excellence. We’re looking forward to Renee’s vision of maintaining that tradition and building on the State Fair’s amazing legacy.”

Alexander started with the Minnesota State Fair in 1989 in the entertainment and marketing department, left in 1994 and then returned in 2005. As deputy GM she currently oversees all of the fair's entertainment programming, including booking and producing the Grandstand music series, and heads up the fair's educational programming, marketing and communications, media relations, archives and ticketing departments. 

“My commitment to the Minnesota State Fair extends well beyond this merely being a job,” Alexander said. “I love this institution and all that it stands for – a showcase of the very best of our state, a place where amazing memories are created and where ‘The Great Minnesota Get-Together’ is more than a slogan; it drives at our mission."

Outgoing CEO Hammer agrees with the decision to elevate Alexander into the top spot. 

“Renee is perfect for the job,” said Hammer. “She has a deep understanding and appreciation for the State Fair’s powerful impact here in Minnesota and beyond. She knows what it takes to keep the shine on our state treasure.”

Alexander will take the reigns when Hammer officially steps down this spring after 27 years as Minnesota State Fair CEO. 

Watch more from the Minnesota State Fair

Watch the latest coverage of the 2022 Great Minnesota Get-Together from KARE 11 in our YouTube playlist:

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