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Mid-State Fair names new CEO 

Michael_BradleyNew CEO brings business development, marketing and management experience to the job

–The California Mid-State Fair Board of Directors announced the appointment of Michael Bradley as the new Chief Executive Officer of the California Mid-State Fair and Paso Robles Event Center, effective May 16, 2016. The board of directors retained Ralph Andersen and Associates of Sacramento to conduct the extensive search, which produced interest from talented candidates from across the nation.

Bradley provides a unique combination of fairs and exposition management, non-profit leadership and business development; he’s developed an extensive background in agriculture and hands-on experience in marketing and community relations. Most recently he has directed the Arizona National Livestock Show in Phoenix as the CEO.

“We are thrilled that Mike is joining the California Mid-State Fair team and will be leading the organization in the future,” said Bob Lilley, president of the fair board. “This was an extensive process, with many applicants, and we are confident that Mike’s accomplishments, his active involvement in the business world and his significant experience with the Fair industry will serve the Paso Robles Event Center well.”

Bradley’s professional career includes nearly three decades as an executive with the California State Fair and five years of management responsibilities with the California Farm Bureau Federation. Since his tenure at Cal Poly, he has served on various Cal Poly Advisory Boards and University events. He participated in the program development for the inaugural Savor the Central Coast celebration at Santa Margarita Ranch. His family includes wife Kimberly, a journalist, sons, Gabriel (28) a food industry specialist, Luke (24) a recent Cal Poly graduate of the Orfalea College of Business and Levi (15) who recently earned the State FFA Creed Champion title for the State of Arizona.

“Mike Bradley is the perfect selection to serve as the Executive Director for the California Mid-State Fair,” said Paul Wenger, president, California Farm Bureau Federation. “His passion for agriculture and education provides the foundation for successfully showcasing the synergies between agriculture and urban consumers. Mike’s vision and sense of innovation are uniquely matched with his ability to plan and execute the logistics for successful venues. His leadership and engaging passion will benefit the future of the Mid-State Fair and the citizens of San Luis Obispo County.”

Bradley will begin as the CEO at the California Mid-State Fair and Paso Robles Event Center on May 16. He replaces Vivian Robertson, who retired on January 31, 2016, who had been with the fair since 1978. Bradley will be responsible for overseeing the annual 12-day Mid-State Fair (July 20–31), as well as the interim events and facility rentals and the infrastructure of the Paso Robles Event Center.


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at