Rising Star Award

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Rising Star Award Nominations

With support from Wade Shows, Inc., a young person (40 years or younger) will be honored during the IAFE Annual Convention in Phoenix, AZ. IAFE YP began during the 2008 Convention with over two dozen individuals setting a plan of action for 2009 which included identifying young leaders throughout every zone of the IAFE and bringing selected members together for a strategic planning session.

From the strategic planning session came the mission statement, “To provide a venue for young professionals to guide the future of the fair industry through leadership, development, mentoring, incentives, education, and idea sharing with the IAFE.”

One of the goals of the YP was to create a “Rising Star Award” to recognize leadership and industry contributions of IAFE members, age 40 and younger.

Nominees not selected (includes all nominees not selected in past years) will need to be re-submitted each year to be considered. Deadline for nomination is August 31.

Following are the rules and nomination form for the Annual Rising Star Award. The award will be presented during the IAFE Annual Convention.

Nominees shall be associated as an employee, volunteer, or board member of a member fair, show, exposition, or exhibition in good standing with the IAFE. Nominees shall not have reached their 41st birthday prior to the first day of the IAFE Convention for the year of the nomination.

1.Nominations are due in the IAFE office by August 31.

2.Nomination shall consist of completing the Official Nomination Form

3. The nomination shall be limited to the nomination form itself plus a maximum of three (3) pages of supporting documentation or additional information

4. The person who is selected to receive the award will be notified to ensure attendance at the IAFE convention as well as to collect information and photos for the presentation.


Judging will be done by a committee of five: three from the YP steering committee, and two from the IAFE board (the immediate past chair and one selected by the chair). The committee reserves the right to determine additional persons for consideration.

The application deadline for Rising Star Nominees is August 31

Congratulations to the 2023 Rising Star Recipient!

Alicia Shoults, CFE
(Ohio State Fair)

Past Rising Star Recipients

  • 2023: Alicia Shoults, CFE, Ohio State Fair
  • 2022: Cody Cashman, IFMG, CFE, Red River Valley Fair, ND
  • 2021: Jennifer Dunn, IFMG, CVFM, Linn County Fair, IA
  • 2019: Emily Grunewald, IFMG, CFE Red River Valley Fair, ND
  • 2018: Mallory Hines, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, TX
  • 2017: Miranda Muir, IFMG, CFE, Elkhart County 4-H Fair, IN
  • 2016: Jeff Thayne, Rodeo Austin, TX
  • 2015: Chelsey Jungck, CFE, Nebraska State Fair
  • 2014: Sarah Cummings, Western Fairs Association
  • 2013: Jessica Klumpp, IFMG, CFE, Florence County Fair, WI
  • 2012: Jayme Buttke, IFMG, CFE, Wisconsin Association of Fairs
  • 2011: Jessica Underberg, IFMG, CFE, Erie County Fair, NY
  • 2010: Jennifer Giesike, IFMG, CFE, Washington Town and Country Fair, MO
IAFE Rising Star Award

IAFE Rising Star Award

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