Board members Frank Parisi, Terry Gilberstadt, Sandy Craighead and Pat Bailey

The Foundation is led by a volunteer board of directors that look to advance the Minnesota State Fair Foundation by connecting community interests with the needs of the Minnesota State Fair. Through the time, talents and resources of community partners, the Foundation serves to further develop the State Fair as a "mirror of Minnesota greatness."

Patty D. Smith - Chair
CEO, Elizabeth Charles Corporation
Wayzata, MN

Jeff Hawkins - Treasurer
Retired President, Anchor Bank N.A. and Chief Operating Officer, Anchor Bancorp, Inc.
Inver Grove Heights, MN

Sandy Craighead - Vice Chair, Chair of Development 
Community Volunteer
North Oaks, MN

Jerry Hammer - Secretary
General Manager, Minnesota State Fair
St. Paul, MN

Dale Bachman
Chairman, Bachman's, Inc.
Eden Prairie, MN

Julie Craven
Retired Vice President of Corporate Communications, Hormel
Minneapolis, MN

John Fabie
Senior Director for Foundations and Endowments, Abbot Downing 
St. Paul, MN

Litton E.S. Field, Jr.
Managing Director, Bearance Management Group
Mendota Heights, MN

Bert Greener
Retired, Lawyer, Fredrikson & Byron
Minneapolis, MN

Jason Koerth
Director of Agri-Marketing, Ecolab
Hudson, WI

Liz Kramer
Solicitor General, Office of the Minnesota Attorney General
St. Paul, MN

Al Levine
Emeritus Professor and Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, University of Minnesota
Mendota Heights, MN

Paul Merkins
Board of Managers, President
Minnesota State Agricultural Society
Stewart, MN

Dave Mona
Retired, Founder and Chair of Mona Meyer McGrath & Gavin (Weber Shandwick)
Edina, MN

Frank Parisi
Community Volunteer
Minnetonka, MN

Brad Ribar
Owner, Ribco Enterprises
White Bear Township, MN

Ken Sandvik
Retired, Sixth Judicial District Court
Two Harbors, MN

Dan Shogren
Manufacturer's Representative
North Oaks, MN

David Sorensen
Retired, General Mills
Circle Pines, MN

Michael Sullivan
Partner, Lathrop GPM LLP
Edina, MN

Linda Tank
Senior VP Communications and Public Affairs, CHS
Cottage Grove, MN

Board Emeriti

**years noted in parentheses denote the year each person was recognized as a Board Member Emeritus

Steve Eilertson (2015): One of the founding members of the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, Steve served as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair from 2002 to 2013. He was instrumental in establishing our financial policies and procedures and has continued actively supporting the Foundation since leaving the Board.

Joe Fox (2012): One of our founding Board members, Joe continues to be involved with all of our projects through his devotion to the Foundation as well as his current service on the Minnesota State Agricultural Society Board of Managers (State Fair Board). He was the first chair of the Foundation Board when it was formed in 2002. His passion and enthusiasm for our mission are inspirational.

Terry Gilberstadt (2017): Terry served on the Foundation Board from 2008 to 2017. She led the Development Committee, brought major funds and naming projects to the State Fair with Horton Pavilions and the Schilling Amphitheater, and made an initial investment in upgrading the Minnesota State Fair Archives.

Dave Hyslop (2018): In 2002, Dave was one of the founding members of the Minnesota State Fair Foundation and is one of the 11 names that appear on the Articles of Incorporation.  He was an instrumental part in helping the Foundation to grow into what it is today with his expertise in philanthropy.

David Johnson (2013): Dave brought us his global passion for agriculture and feeding the world. He willingly and successfully brought connections and partnerships that broadened public education at the fair on the importance of agriculture and technology in our society.

Malcolm McDonald (2013): Malcolm urged us to look forward, embracing the idea that we are here to help ensure that the State Fair will be available and relevant for future generations. He brought innovation and inspiration to think about what’s next and helped with the founding of our organization.

Mike Miles (2012): Mike was elected to the Foundation Board of Directors in 2005 and served until his death in September of 2010. He was instrumental in moving forward one of the largest single gifts in the history of the Foundation through the Lee and Rose Warner Foundation, which provided long-term funds for capital improvements at the Coliseum.

Clarice Schmidt (2016): Clarice served on the Foundation Board from 2002 to 2011, overlapping her service for the Foundation with her role as President of the Agricultural Society Board of Managers. She has been an active and very personal proponent for the success of the Foundation, especially as a key Foundation greeter each year for thousands of visitors to the J.V. Bailey House during the fair.