Foundation offices are located in the historic J.V. Bailey House on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Click here for a map.
1265 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55108
Mary Chung, Executive Director
Mary rejoined the Minnesota State Fair Foundation in April 2019 as its Executive Director. Mary previously worked for the Foundation in its early days in a variety of roles, including as Associate Director, and then spent eight years leading development and communication for Solid Ground, a nonprofit that addresses family homelessness. She holds an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and a graduate degree in nonprofit management from Hamline University. Mary is honored to be part of an organization that plays such an important part in creating unforgettable and incomparable memories for millions of people of all ages and backgrounds at one of the most beloved and iconic institutions in the region.
Contact Mary at 651-288-4324.
Jennine Duda, Administration and Finance Manager
Jennine oversees office administration, earned income, and finance. Jennine is originally from Mound, Minn. and is a graduate of the University of South Dakota (BA) and the University of St. Thomas (MBA). Jennine has worked in a variety of industries, from publishing to catering, and has held positions in other Twin Cities nonprofit organizations.
Contact Jennine at 651-288-4323.
John Lewis, Development Coordinator
John came to the Foundation as a volunteer followed by summer employment. John coordinates aspects of the Friends of the Fair program including recognition bricks and benches and membership fulfillment. He is the staff lead for Taste of the Fair and coordinates the website/social media and other marketing activities. John attended the University of Minnesota.
Contact John at 651-288-4325
Jessica Luther, Development Assistant
Jessica came to the foundation after work experiences that included a position as Web and Social Media Communication Coordinator at Elevate Life and as Donor Engagement Coordinator at Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) where she supported marketing, communications, customer service and fundraising. During her time at MBC she supervised and trained volunteers for the Minnesota State Fair blood typing booth. Before starting her career she had several internships including one as special events and donor assistant for the Minnesota State Fair Foundation in 2012.
Contact Jessica at 651-288-4327.
Danyl Vavreck, Philanthropic and Major Gift Officer
Danyl has a long-standing relationship with fairs and festivals including an 18-year history with the Minnesota State Fair (marketing and corporate sponsorships) before joining the Foundation to secure major gifts. She is past president of the Minnesota Festivals & Events Association and was recently appointed by Governor Dayton to the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council. Previous to the Great Minnesota Get-Together, Danyl sharpened her skills at Sesame Street Live, SeaWorld, Tommy Bartlett’s, Adventure World in Japan, and the 訡World Expo in Taejon, S. Korea. Danyl graduated from the University of Minnesota and lives in Minneapolis with her family.
Contact Danyl at 651-288-4328.
Shana Zaiser, Development Director
Shana joined Minnesota State Fair Foundation in October 2017 where she is specializing in major gifts. Shana has a broad background in development including 13 years at the University of Minnesota where she held a variety of roles including, annual giving, campaign operations and major giving. Shana grew up in North Dakota and moved to Minnesota to attend the University of Minnesota. Shana loves spending time with her family every year at the Great Minnesota Get-together.
Contact Shana at 651-288-4326.
About the J.V. Bailey House
This historic residence was home to greenhouse superintendents and groundskeepers from the 1920s through 2004. The house was renovated and named in honor of J.V. Bailey, founder of Bailey Nurseries and past President (1933-1934) of the Agricultural Society board. Restored with gifts to the Foundation from the Bailey Nursery Foundation and the Gordon and Margaret Bailey Foundation, the home is now year-round offices for the Foundation.