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Red River Valley Fair Association staff attending the Las Vegas convention included: (back left to right) Bryan Schulz, general manager, Darnell Lundstrom, board member, and Bill Hoffman, board president; (front left to right) Lois Sullivan board member, and Jodi Buresh, assistant general manager.

Red River Valley Fair staff attends national convention

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Several staff members of the Red River Valley Fair Association recently returned from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) convention in Las Vegas.  Among those attending were General Manager Bryan Schulz, Assistant General Manager Jodi Buresh, board president Bill Hoffman, and board members Darnell Lundstrom and Lois Sullivan.

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The convention was an educational trainning opportunity for fairs in the United States and Canada. Daily workshops on insurance, legal affairs, grant writing, entertainment, cultural diversity issues, animal care and diseases, facility marketing, contracts, and other topics, were presented during the four day event. The staff split up to cover as many seminars as possible for the purpose of presenting the information to the rest of the board at upcoming meetings.  

  This year the convention featured Kenneth Feld, owner/operator of the Ringling Brothers/ Barnum and Bailey Circus, who focused on the development and marketing plans used to become the premiere circus business in the world, and the "thinking outside the box" methods they use to develop and redevelop their business. 

  Opening session speaker was Chad Hymas, a farmer who was crushed by a round bale at the age of 27, leaving him a quadriplegic. Through the encouragement of those around him he continued to give direction for the development of his elk farm and created his own company as a motivational speaker. Hymas was recently on Oprah for wheeling himself across the United States. He discussed his devastating accident and the motivation to excel in snow skiing, hang gliding, wheel-chair racing, rugby and more. He tied this into the fair business by asking the attendees to "not get stuck in the way you do things...think outside the box...saying...how can we accomplish this and not...we can't." 

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