Heritage Awards

Heritage Awards – Sponsored by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

The Heritage Award recognizes fair management personnel who have invested significant effort into making their organization a valuable part of the community.

Nomination Deadline August 31

Heritage Award Nominations

Sponsored by Haas and Wilkerson Insurance

Hundreds of volunteer fair management personnel have worked long and hard to see that the annual event they are associated with is able to continue as a valuable community showcase. Management personnel are those who serve in such capacities as a manager, an officer, director, or department head and are directly active in the success of their fair. IAFE and Haas & Wilkerson Insurance would like to honor five of those individuals yearly with an award and $1,000 cash to be presented at the IAFE annual convention. If selected, the fair nominating their management person will receive a check for $500, which may be used to provide travel expenses for their recipient or for whatever purpose they feel most appropriate.


  1. Minimum 10 years of fair management experience.
  2. Receives less than $2,500 remuneration annually over expenses.
  3. Fair that nominee represents is a current member of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions.


  1. Complete official nomination form (See below)

a. 750 word or less, typewritten, essay/resumé about the nominee submitted by a fair representative judges have discretion to add up to 20 points to the total for the essay.

b. A 250 word or less, typewritten, fair philosophy statement written by the nominee.

c. Three (3) or more reference/support letters by others not associated with the nominee’s fair.

d. A member of the board of the nominee’s fair must submit and sign the electronic form certifying the nominee is eligible. After submission, the IAFE will forward the nomination to the respective IAFE Zone Director for approval.

e. The five selected nominees will be asked to submit 8 to 10 photos (headshot and action shots) for a slide show presentation during the ceremony at the 2022 Convention.


  1. Judging will be done by a committee of three: the two IAFE Vice Chairs and the Director representing the Federation of Fairs on the IAFE Board.

2. Presentation will highlight the nominee’s accomplishments relative to both the fair and the community.

3. The categories listed on the entry form will be used for judging nominees as well as the 750 word essay/ resumé, the 250 word philosophy, and the reference/support letters.

4. Photographs, biography, and a media list will be provided to the IAFE by the fair immediately upon notification that their nominee has been selected.

5. Haas & Wilkerson Insurance will recognize the winners and present the checks during the IAFE annual convention.

The Heritage Award Application deadline is August 31.

Congratulations to the 2022 Heritage Award Recipients!

Ella Marie Hills
(Washburn County Fair, WI)

Kent Hyde
(Ozark Empire Fair, MO)

Gary McConnell
(Iowa State Fair)

Heidi Steffen
(Linn County Fair Association, IA)

Gary Van Aernam
(Iowa State Fair)

View all past IAFE Heritage Award Recipients

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