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.

Contact Information: 

1265 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: (651) 288-4323
Fax: (651) 632-2622


Cynthia Cashman, Executive Director

Cynthia came to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation in August 2017. Cynthia has an extensive background in development including 13 years at the University of Minnesota where she was the Chief Development Officer for the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences.  Prior to that she was the Director of Development for Hamline University and YMCA Metropolitan Minneapolis.  Cynthia is a graduate of Bemidji State University.

Contact Cynthia at (651) 288-4324.

Jennine Duda, Chief Administrative Officer

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.

Lisa Ford, Donor Information and Annual Giving Manager

Lisa comprehensively advances the Foundation mission through leadership of the donor information database and the annual giving program, including stewardship activities, program area funds, research and overall development of Friends of the Fair. Lisa is a graduate of St. Scholastica and has worked extensively in development for a number of Twin Cities nonprofits.

Contact Lisa at (651) 288-4322

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 coaches youth hockey in Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota.

Contact John at (651) 288-4325

Lynn Varco, Senior Director of Major and Planned Giving

Lynn is responsible for working with the Foundation's Grand Champions, planned giving program, endowment and special projects. He has worked in development since 1997 at several Twin Cities nonprofits and specializes in major and planned giving. 

Contact Lynn at (651) 288-4328.

Shana Zaiser, Development Officer

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.