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IFM Courses Offered at the 2024 IAFE Annual Convention

Board Governance* (IFM #104)


Presented by: Bill Charney, CEO - Charney Associates

What is the actual job of a governing board? How can board and staff members effectively fulfill this job? This symposium focuses on the principles of effective group leadership that help boards define and focus on their work while empowering and energizing staff to get the work delegated done. Bill Charney presents an integrated model for systematic and comprehensive clarity of roles and accountabilities.


He addresses effective delegation, the role and responsibility of the board, board composition and structure, the conduct of board members (including conflict of interest), the relationship between the board and chief executive, and how to re-motivate and keep board members engaged.


Bill Charney, CEO/principal consultant of Charney Associates. Charney is a highly respected consultant in leadership and governance education for boards of directors and the agencies they lead. He is the co-author of The Board Member’s Playbook. Before founding Charney Associates, he was the founder and CEO of Denver’s Cherry Creek Arts Festival.

*$125 on-site. Please note that seating is limited, and on-site registration may not be available.

This is a required for-credit course of the Institute of Fair Management; all members are welcome to participate.

Information Technology (IFM #106)


Presented by: John Johnson Jr - Hebron Harvest Fair, CT


This course will briefly touch on the many aspects of this broad subject:  recent updates on the use of technology, how fair websites have developed and a general review of the basics of a good site, maintaining databases and utilizing e-newsletters, available information on social media (this is not a marketing course, though), recent developments in online ticketing as well as other software resources for fair management. In addition, the course will provide information on developing an IT infrastructure on the fairgrounds.


John Johnson Jr is a Senior Advisor for the Hebron Harvest Fair in Hebron, Connecticut. John received his BS in Computer Science from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2003 with a minor in Business Administration. He has served as Treasurer and Assistant Fair Superintendent for the Fair since officially joining the Lions Club in 2005. John served three years as the Fair Superintendent and remains on the Fair Board as a Senior Advisor.

Facility Sales/Marketing* (IFM #302)

This course will help you understand how to apply basic marketing concepts to the specific area of facility usage year-round (non-fair) and how to market your facilities year-round. Course material applies to all delegates whose fair operates year-round facilities for rental to others.

*ALTERNATIVE COURSE. It is not a required course to graduate from IFM.

Ag Programming (IFM #129)


Presented by Laura Kwilos, CFE - Erie County Fair, NY 

This course will provide an overview of the role fairs play in agriculture education, how to develop an agriculture education program at your fair, how to incorporate STEM in Ag education, and how to be innovative in educating your fairgoers about agriculture.

Laura Kwilos is the Agriculture Manager of the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, NY, and has worked at the Erie County Fair for 11 years. Before the fair industry, Laura attended Morrisville State College and is a 2016 Institute of Fair Management Graduate along with a 2017 recipient of the Certified Fair Executive. Her IAFE involvement includes serving on the Agriculture and CFE committees. Laura, her husband Joshua, and 4-year-old daughter Olivia live on a small crossbred beef cattle farm in Forestville, NY, and enjoy showing cattle at local and state shows.

Consumer Protection Program (IFM #111)


Presented by Dr. Stephen Neel, Technical Solutions, and Marla Calico, CFE - IAFE President/CEO

Protecting your event goers, staff, and volunteers has never been so important. The IAFE, working with Dr. Stephen Neel of Technical Solutions International, presented the CPP workshop to help fairs understand enteric pathogens such as E. Coli and to provide information on controlling traffic flow in all animal areas (not just petting zoos), creating proper signage, installing handwash areas, and establishing specific cleaning protocols. The risk management information and tools provided in CPP can be easily adapted to develop pandemic plans.


What CPP Offers You!

  • Introduction to enteric pathogens: what they are, the impact on fairs, what's at stake

  • Understanding enteric pathogens: some microbiology!

  • Analyzing your facility (everyone brings maps and diagrams of their fair, and time is spent studying flow)

  • Improving Operational Procedures: signage, handwashing, waste management, etc.

  • Site evaluation exercises: each attendee works with the presenters to examine their facilities and work on ideas/plans

  • Record-keeping

  • Creating the Consumer Protection Plan

  • Following the workshop, attendees will have the opportunity to consult, one-on-one, with the presenters to review their facility's site plan. These site reviews will be conducted via Zoom or Teams December 6-8 (The site review session must be scheduled no later than 5 pm CDT, December 4, and all participants must complete the site review to receive a certificate)


This is a required Institute of Fair Management (IFM) course; all IAFE members are welcome to participate.


*Additional registration fees for this course.

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