Minnesota State Fair Makes History: First Woman Named General Manager
The Great Minnesota Get Together has a new leader at the helm. But the name and the face isn't new to the organization.
Renee Alexander has been appointed the CEO for the annual event, acting as the Deputy General Manager for the Minnesota State Fair and the head of the grandstand shows as well. The announcement came February 27 - as organizers begin their rollout of what's on the entertainment lineup for the 2023 edition this summer.
This marks the first time that a woman has been in the top role in the fairs' more than 150-year history.
Fairgoers who attend concerts in the grandstand have already seen her work. Alexander was most-recently in charge of booking and coordinating those popular outdoor shows.
Alexander first came to the Minnesota State Fair in 1989, working entertainment and marketing. She left for a different career path in 1994, but returned to the State Fair in 2005. Since coming back, she has served as the Deputy General Manager for the last 13 years, and "serves as a key aide to longtime General Manager Jerry Hammer, as she led the fair's educational programming, marketing, and communications, media relations, web and publications, archives, and ticketing departments".
It was Hammers retirement after a 50 year career - the last 27 in the General Manager role - that led to a change in leadership. Hammer offered his take on Alexander's appointment into the role:
"Renee is perfect for the job. She has a deep understanding and appreciation for the State Fair's powerful impact here in Minnesota and Beyond."
News sources detail that Hammer will officially retire from his position at some point this spring. At that point the transition to Alexander will become official.
The 2023 edition of the Great Minnesota Get Together - the Minnesota State Fair - happens August 24 through September 4.