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Schulz new Red River Valley Fair manager

Bryan Schulz is the new manager of the Red River Valley Fair Association.

The longtime West Fargo resident and City Commissioner was voted in for the position by an 8-0 count of the nine-member executive committee last Thursday evening at the conclusion of an interview process involving three other candidates. Committee member Robyn Sorum was absent.

Schulz accepted a one-year contract at $67,500 plus benefits, which will be reviewed again in November of 2008. He presently serves as director of sports sales and marketing for the Fargo Moorhead Athletic Commission, a division of the Fargo Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, a post he will retain until he takes over at the Fair Jan. 21.

In an interview following his acceptance, Schulz said "I'm just very excited because I see the potential of everything that can happen with the Fair. One of the nice things about being local is my experience in the industry, and knowing the destination market will be extremely helpful. One of the first goals will be to make sure the facilities are being used properly and to their potential for all the people visiting our community."

Board members said Schulz's background in the marketing and promotion industry was a key factor in their decision to hire him.

His expertise includes serving as President for the Destination Marketing Association of North Dakota, President of the Red River Area Attractions Association, board member of the Metro Tournament Committee, Fargo Marathon, North Dakota Amateur Athletic Union and for Sports North, an eight community sport consortium in North Dakota and Minnesota.

In his new role, Schulz will be responsible for all facets of Fair activity - the Red River Valley Fair itself, Big Iron, Speedway Racing, and a variety of subsidiary events, along with the actual operation of the grounds.

Schulz said he is looking forward to getting started. "We have a great board and staff. The big thing will be pulling the people together. We need to re-energize the potential out there, find out what the strengths are, and utilize that passion to the fullest by tapping into the wide range of resources available."

Among Schulz's first orders of business will be to rebuild media relations; find out just exactly what would entice people to come out to the Fair, possibly achieving this through focus groups involving all age levels at the conclusion of this year's event; and working with different segments of the community to schedule events for beneficial cross-promotion.

Schulz and his wife, Lisa, and two children, Karli, 10, and Katie, 4, reside in West Fargo.