Nancy Smith, CFE, of the South Carolina State Fair in Columbia was elected the 2020 chair of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) during the final business session of the 129th IAFE Annual Convention. The convention began Dec. 1 and continues through today at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Smith serves as the general manager of the South Carolina State Fair and has more than 30 years of experience in the fair industry. She began her fair work in the home and craft department of the South Carolina State Fair in 1983 and assumed a full-time position at the fair in 2000 as director of entertainment and exhibits and eventually directed the State Fair’s marketing, advertising, and sponsorship departments. Smith was promoted to assistant manager of the fair in February of 2008 and was named secretary/treasurer/general manager in January of 2018.
Smith is a graduate of the Institute of Fair Management and earned her Certified Fair Executive (CFE) designation from the IAFE in 2006. She has since remained actively involved in the fair industry statewide and internationally.
She served as IAFE Zone 2 director from 2015 to 2017, representing South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. She was named second vice chair of the IAFE in 2018, assisting the chair with executive responsibilities associated with the organization in preparation for her role as IAFE chair in 2020. She served on the South Carolina Association of Fairs’ board of directors for several years and completed two terms as president from 2013 to 2016, while hosting and planning the association’s summer meetings several years.
Smith was awarded the Honorary State FFA (Future Farmers of America) Degree in 2010 and the Honorary American FFA Degree in October of 2018.
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Smith previously operated a catering business. She is a member of First Presbyterian Associate Reformed Church in Columbia and serves on the SC Philharmonic’s Advisory Board and the Board of Directors of the Babcock Center Foundation.
The South Carolina State Fair, the state’s largest event, is a self-supported, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the state’s agricultural roots while supporting statewide education. The State Fair awards more than $300,000 in scholarships each year.
You can use our hashtag if you post this story on social media: #IAFE2019.
The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE), based in Springfield, Mo., is a voluntary, nonprofit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Its associate members include state and provincial associations of fairs, non-agricultural expositions and festivals, associations, corporations, and individuals engaged in providing products and services to its members, all of whom are interested in the improvement of fairs, shows, expositions, and allied fields.