Chief Executive Officer Search

Apply Here Applications Close June 30th,2018
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The Organization Mission:

The 19th District Agricultural Association (DAA) owns and manages Earl Warren Showgrounds as a financially self-supporting entity that maintains a first-class equine facility, promotes and supports agricultural resources, provides facilities for community events, meetings, and emergency response, and furthers the goals and objectives of the Association and the State of California.

The policy-making body for the DAA consists of nine Board members who are appointed by the Governor to serve four-year terms. The Board jointly empowers the Chief Executive Officers and his/her professional staff to implement all policy decisions.

The Facility:

Earl Warren Showgrounds was originally developed as the permanent location for the Santa Barbara National Horse and Flower show and to attract and support other equestrian and agricultural events in the Santa Barbara area. In 1950, a site at the corner of Las Positas Road and Calle Real was selected for the showground.

The Equestrian Facility was completed in 1958, with the Exhibit building finished 1959.  The administration building was added in 1961.


Today the Earl Warren Showgrounds is a 34 acre multi-use property located adjacent to the City of Santa Barbara. The property is bordered to the west and north by the Santa Barbara Community Golf Course and Adams Elementary School which were part of the original property; to the east by Las Positas Road and to the south by Highway 101.

Facilities include:

  • 31,500 sq/ft Kramer Arena with grandstand seating to accommodate 2,750 guests,
  • 22,000 sq/ft Exhibit Hall,
  • 13,000 sq/ft Warren Hall,
  • Equestrian arenas, livestock facilities, including 600 stalls
  • Reception Garden,
  • RV Park.

Earl Warren Showgrounds produces the Annual Santa Barbara Fair and Expo in April of each year, and the Santa Barbara National Horse Show over two weeks in July of each year.

The Earl Warren Showgrounds is a community asset and remains the only public location with relatively large indoor facilities, abundant parking (1007 spaces) and easy freeway access.

The Ideal Candidate:

Personal attributes and qualities desired in the ideal candidate should include:

Leadership skills:

  • Communicate the Fairground’s vision and direction to employees and the public
  • Market the facilities creatively and become the face of Earl Warren Showgrounds
  • Build positive and cooperative relationships with all members of the Board of Directors and staff
  • Work strategically with the Earl Warren Showgrounds Foundation
  • Understand the needs and interests of the local and regions diverse communities
  • Motivate all employees and lead by example

Managerial skills:

  • Effectively recruit, train, and supervise full-time and seasonal employees and volunteers
  • Maintain sound fiscal policy; develop and manage budgets
  • Prepare Board and government required reports including financial statement preparation, analysis and presentation
  • Identify, evaluate, enhance, and generate new revenue opportunities including grants, fundraising, and sponsorship development
  • Administer contracts; oversee, review and negotiate concession/vendor agreements, entertainment contracts, and interim tenants; determine financial impacts for short and long term
  • Understand purchasing, facility and grounds maintenance and technology programs and activities
  • Administer Board policy

Effective communicator:

  • Engaging style and is comfortable interactive with a full spectrum of individuals while fostering a collaborative environment
  • Create and deliver public presentations with a passion to promote the organization
  • Proactively provide information to the Board, public and staff.
  • Be open, honest and forthright in all communication including media relations, public information, and communications with local and government officials
  • Represent Earl Warren Showgrounds and the DAA’s interest in the local community, the region, the fair industry and the State
  • Appreciate and effectively communicate the needs and interests of the DAA to the Board of Directors, the Foundation, and the community as well as city and county government officials
  • Work directly and positively with all state and local law enforcement and first responder agencies

Outstanding Customer Service Orientation:

  • Expand the public’s awareness and knowledge of Earl Warren Showgrounds, the Santa Barbara Fair & Expo, the National Horse Shows, and other events, including the rich history of the facility through community and media relations
  • Establish and promote the highest standards regarding safety, customer service, and the delivery of entertainment and event venues for the community


  • Business and public administration, marketing, public relations, communication, entertainment, hospitality, agriculture, or related fields.
  • Planning, organizational restructuring, and business development including capital planning, land use, and development
  • Developing and implementing marketing plans and strategies.
  • Producing and directing community-relevant programs, entertainment activities, and special events to include agriculture related programs.
  • Purchasing, facility maintenance, public relations, contracting, and technology.

In summary, the Board of Directors is seeking an energetic, innovative, and results-driven individual to employ a team approach to problems solving and be proactive in addressing issues. The new Chief Executive Officer will have many opportunities to excel in this often challenging environment.

The Position:

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is appointed by the Board of Directors (Board) of the 19th DAA. This position is designated to serve at the pleasure of the Board (i.e. at will). Under the direction of the Board, the CEO plans, organizes, implements and administers the development and utilization of Fairground facilities that provide the general public with a variety of agricultural, entertainment, social, educational, cultural, and recreational activities.

Key responsibilities of the CEO including overseeing:

  • Interim Facility Use Management
  • Business Development & Community Relations
  • Annual Fair, National Horse Show & DAA Sponsored Events
  • Staff Supervision & Management
  • Financial Management
  • Facility Maintenance and Operations

Qualifying Education & Experience:

The Board of Directors desires an accomplished and experienced executive for this position and wishes to attract a broad spectrum of highly qualified and interested professionals to apply. The Board will consider all candidates who possess the right combination of experience and personal characteristics necessary to lead the 19th District Agricultural Association. Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities may be qualifying. This may include a Bachelor’s degree or significantly responsible senior level experience, with a demonstrated track record of success in a public or private enterprise that is deemed comparable in size, scope, and complexity.

Qualifying experience may be drawn from (a) fair or related event planning/hospitality industry/facility management; (b) public sector generalist background; (c) private sector executive leadership in an organization of similar size and complexity that includes working with a Board of Directors and a thorough understanding of the Board-Executive Director relationship; or (d) a combination of executive level experience that effectively demonstrates a keen understanding of the mission of the 19th DAA.

All qualified candidates are strongly encouraged to submit career credentials for review and consideration.

The CEO must be willing to work irregular hours and weekend events and to participate in community activities and organizations.

Candidate should be aware that the Board reserves the right to determine the best combination of education and experience required for the position.


A competitive salary range ($7,752 to $9,501/month) is offered for the position and placement within the range will be based on the candidates qualifications and experience. The benefit package offered by the 19th DAA includes:

  • Salary
  • Health, Dental, and vision plan
  • Annual Leave/Vacation & Sick Leave
  • Life Insurance
  • CA Public Employees Retirement System

To Apply:

Submit application on line Here Applications Close June 30th,2018

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