GOSHEN — After nearly four years of serving as general manager of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, Bryan Blair will resign from his position following the 2018 fair.
Blair, who started in 2014, was the first to hold the position. While Blair said that he and his family are "very happy" to live in Elkhart County, he was given an offer that he called a "once in a lifetime opportunity."
"My family and I weren't planning on leaving," he said, "but everything just fell into place."
After his resignation Aug. 10, Blair and his family will be moving to York, Pennsylvania, home of the oldest county fair in the United States, he said. Similar to the Elkhart County fair, the York fair is a private, nonprofit organization.
“This community is amazing, and the board has been there for me since day one,” Blair said.
As general manager, Blair has numerous duties. He works as a conduit between the more than 100 board members and the executive committee. He said he is in charge of "the running of the fair during non-fair season." He also manages the day-to-day operations of the fairgrounds and manages the staff and human resources.
Fair board president Mark Kritzman said Blair's leadership will be missed.
"Bryan, as our first general manager, has really helped us with our organization in leading and unifying the fair board and the executive committee," Kritzman said. "Bryan will be tough to follow."
While Blair was general manager, the board worked on 15 major projects including the new road that connects the fairgrounds to C.R. 36. Kritzman said, "[Blair's] leadership helped pull all the pieces together."
A search committee is looking for a new general manager. Applicants can apply online now through June 15 on www.ziprecruiter.com.
Kritzman said committee members want candidates to be organized leaders.
"There's 135 people in the fair board so it's a task for the general manager to get people to agree," Kritzman said. "We want the [general manager] to be disciplined and aggressive."
Terrah Harmon and Liz Rieth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org