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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Chris Giordano Resigns From State Fair Of Louisiana


A new person is leading the State Fair of Louisiana for the first time in almost three decades

Chris Giordano, the fair’s general manager since May 2006, has left the organization. Robb Brazzel, who has worked for the State Fair since 2008, has been named interim general manager.

Chris replaced his father, Sam, who was the general manager from 1992-2006.

“Chris resigned,” said Liz Swaine, chairman of the board of the State Fair of Louisiana. “I believe he is looking ahead to the next chapter in his life, and we wish him all the best.”

Chris declined to be interviewed.

In a May 21 Facebook post, he alluded to his departure.

“Twenty-seven years of service – it’s time for a new chapter to begin, and I’m looking forward to it!” Chris wrote.

Chris, who worked with his father, became general manager following his father’s death.

He has worked very hard for a number of years at the state fair, and I think he is looking for the next thing he is going to be focusing on,” Swaine said of Chris. “We hope his life is fabulous, and we’re very supportive of what his next chapter will be.”

Each fall, the State Fair of Louisiana is home to various rides, games and attractions along the fairgrounds midway. It also hosts livestock competitions and a rodeo. The State Fair hosts other events throughout the year and manages several fairground venues. The Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl – Independence Stadium is on the fairgrounds – worked with Chris leading up to and including game day.

“We’ve worked with him for many years,” said Missy Setters, executive director of the Independence Bowl Foundation.

“He handled parking, tailgating, building rentals, etc. I’ve known Chris and worked with Chris for a long time and have always enjoyed working with him. He treated the Independence Bowl well, and we will miss working with him going forward.”

Swaine said the fair needed an interim general manager, with Giordano’s resignation coming five months before this year’s fair, scheduled for Oct. 26-Nov. 12.

“Then, the board will likely want to do a national search,” Swaine said. “There is a national state fair organization with which people with all the skills necessary for a successful Louisiana state fair would be affiliated. That would be the place for us to put the job posting. I imagine that will happen in the next four to six weeks. … We will need a state fair general manager fairly quickly.”

2023 will mark the 117th edition of the fair. Swaine said a change in leadership opens the door to a change in direction.

“I think any time you have a change, especially a change at the top, it gives you an opportunity to take a look at every process and determine if that is the way you want to go in the future,” Swaine said. “We knew the letter of resignation was coming, so I and some other board members have had a chance to sit down with the state fair employees and say, ‘We are open to suggestions. If there are interesting changes you have been thinking about, if there are opportunities you feel like the state fair should reach out and grab, now would be the time.’ Basically, the old way of doing business can change now, because we’re going to have new blood, new people potentially, in some of the positions. It just gives us an opportunity to start over again.”


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