Dena Rizzardo

published on March 26, 2020 - 12:21 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Tulare County Fair announced the appointment of Dena Rizzardo as the new CEO of the fairgrounds.

Rizzardo is a 20-year veteran of the banking industry. She has also been involved in the fair industry for 30 years, beginning as a junior livestock exhibitor. She has worked and volunteered with several California fairs, including the Siskiyou Golden Fair — her hometown fair in Yreka near the Oregon border — where she has served on the board for the past 10 years.

Rizzardo has also been involved with the Tulare County Fair for many years in the livestock and junior livestock auction departments, and has established relationships with people involved in its operations including vendors, concessionaires, carnival, volunteers and community partners.

“I believe that county fairs are the showcase of their communities and they serve a critical role in agriculture education, economic development, emergency response and promotion of the county’s heritage,” Rizzardo said. “I have come to know and love the fair community of Tulare County.”

Gary Castro, president of the Tulare County Fair board, noted Rizzardo’s extensive experience in both finance and fairs as a plus.

“A fair CEO has to bring an unusually wide range of skill sets,” Castro added. “The Board is so pleased to find someone who meets these requirements and more.”

Rizzardo noted that California’s fairgrounds are once again stepping up to serve their communities and the state in doing what is necessary to combat COVID-19. Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for an additional 55,000 beds in the state to treat patients. Fairgrounds could be a potential site for makeshift treatment centers.

Rizzardo’s first day at the fairgrounds will be April 6. The 2020 fair is scheduled for Sept. 16-20.


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