Kentucky Ag News

Fair Board CEO accepts offer in San Diego


Kentucky State Fair Board


LOUISVILLE - The president and CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board is leaving Louisville to head up the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, who has served the KSFB since January 2013, will begin his new job as president and CEO April 15. The fair board oversees the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center.

Rippetoe, who is from Las Vegas, said that it was a personal decision to be closer to his children and grandchildren. “This was a difficult choice, but ultimately is the best for our family,” he said.


During his leadership, the KSFB received funding for the expansion and renovation of the Kentucky International Convention Center, moved toward financial stability by implementing acceptable accounting procedures and internal audits, and expanded creative approaches to increase attendance and revenue at the three in-house produced events. Rippetoe created councils to improve communication between the facilities, vendors, and show managers.


“Rip has done an outstanding job managing one of the Commonwealth’s most valuable assets,” said Don Parkinson, secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. “Through Rip’s visionary and collaborative work with members of the Kentucky Fair Board, the economic impact of the fairgrounds and exposition spaces has grown to over $480 million each year. The entire Commonwealth thanks Rip and his family for their lasting contributions to our state.”


An interim will be named by the chairman of the Kentucky State Fair Board until the board determines the selection process.