Fairplex Strategic Planning 2017

As we wrap up the first quarter of 2017 at Fairplex, we are already looking towards the future and what direction we will take as we move towards our 100-year Fair anniversary.

LACF Carnival aerialshot 1024x682 Fairplex Strategic Planning 2017 In keeping with our mission and core values, we have begun a year-long process to develop a strategic plan to keep us moving in a forward direction.

We’re taking in feedback from our residents, partners, local businesses and elected officials as we begin this process, covering topics relevant to our organization such as food and agriculture, education, entertainment, transportation, neighborhood housing and, of course, the LA County Fair.

To learn more about our strategic planning process, head over to Fairplex.com/CEO where you will find documents, presentations, meeting notes and more regarding our next steps.

Thank you for joining us on this journey of ours!

Weekend Recap: Learning & playing

We like to share our weekend experiences through the eyes of our guests! ICYMI, here’s a quick look at what we had the pleasure of hosting:

Spring in The Farm
Our annual celebration of all things agriculture was a huge success! More than 1,000 guests of all ages visited The Farm at Fairplex and learned about the ins and outs of one of America’s largest industries. From animals to food tastings, gardening workshops to hay baling demonstrations, the fun and learning were non-stop all day.



Discover the Dinosaurs UNLEASHED
Meanwhile in Expo Hall 4, learning of a different — bigger — scope was taking place in the form of life-size dinosaurs, fossil digs and prehistoric fun for the kids. Discover the Dinosaurs UNLEASHED provided the perfect blend of entertainment and education as guests went back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth.



SoCal Sports Club Soccer Match
Fairplex has soccer fields! That’s right — we’ve revamped part of our infield into gorgeous grassy fields perfect for soccer. Soccer team Southern California Sports Club (SCSC) now calls Fairplex their home turf, and they had their first ever home game Saturday night against the Riverside Coras.

Although SCSC lost to the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Southwest Conference leaders Deportivo Coras 2-1, the game was exciting to the very end on both sides.

We had a blast learning, living and playing this weekend on our campus. See what’s coming up next at Fairplex.com!

Fairplex Weekender: Dinos, soccer and ag oh my!

Say hello to the weekend! See what’s happening on our campus:

Fairplex Farm pano Fairplex Weekender: Dinos, soccer and ag oh my!

Spring in The Farm (March 25): We’re celebrating American agriculture at our annual Spring in The Farm event. Local communities are invited to enjoy activities and workshops centered in agriculture, from rope making to gardening. Meet our Farm animals, learn more about agri-business and see agriculture in motion! More info here.

Southern California Sports Club (March 25): Did you know we have soccer fields at Fairplex? Located near the old barns, the fields are now officially home to the Southern California Sports Club. Watch their first home match Saturday night, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. against the Riverside Coras. Tickets are $10 per person, parking available at prevailing rates. For more info click here.

Discover the Dinosaurs UNLEASHED (March 25 & 26): We’re going back to a time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Families can experience up-close encounters with lifelike dinosaurs, take a spin in a Jurassic Jeep, dig for fossils, and other fun dino-themed activities fun for all ages. More info available here.

ArtReach: The Art of Dreams (March 24 – 26): The Art of Dreams opened to the public at the beginning of the month and will continue its run through the end of March. You can visit the gallery (Millard Sheets Art Center) Friday – Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. We are always impressed by the talent and creativity of the high school students who participate every year. We highly recommend walking through if you have the time!

If you’re hanging out with us this weekend, make sure you tag @fairplex and use #fairplex on your social media posts. We’d love to see our campus through your eyes!

For more information on all current and upcoming events at Fairplex, visit us at fairplex.com.

Fairplex Weekender: Farm-to-table, ArtReach and Bird Expo

The weekend is almost here! See what’s happening on our campus:

farm dinner 2 Fairplex Weekender: Farm to table, ArtReach and Bird Expo Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series

Farm Dinner (March 17): The 2017 Farm at Fairplex Dinner Series opens this Friday with a delicious four course menu using ingredients fresh from The Farm. Guests can watch first-hand as our chefs select fruits, vegetables and herbs from our crops and create meals in the Farm kitchen for them to enjoy.

Each course (including dessert) is paired with wine from the LaZarre Wines. There are still a few spots available! You can view the full menu and reserve your spot here: http://bit.ly/2mPCMfI

ArtReach: The Art of Dreams (March 17-19): ArtReach: The Art of Dreams opened to the public at the beginning of the month and will continue its run through the end of March. You can visit the gallery (Millard Sheets Art Center) Friday – Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. We are always impressed by the talent and creativity of the high school students who participate every year. We highly recommend walking through if you have the time!

Everybody’s Bird Mart (March 19): Everybody’s Bird Mart returns to Fairplex on Sunday. Shop rare and exotic birds of every breed, size and color, and gather all the necessary supplies for taking care of your pet: cages, seed, vitamins, perches, toys and more. Hours, admission and parking info are available at Fairplex.com.

Weekend Recap: Barking with the stars

We like to share our weekend experiences through the eyes of our guests! ICYMI, here’s what we had the pleasure of hosting:

Beverly Hills Dog Show
The Kennel Club of Beverly Hills rolled out the red carpet to celebrate the city’s finest purebred dogs. You can watch the televised version of the event on Easter Sunday on USA Network!




ArtReach Opening Reception
Students, teachers and local art patrons gathered at the Millard Sheets Art Center for the opening reception of high school art exhibition ArtReach: The Art of Dreams.

Measure H Gala
Our President & CEO Miguel Santana hosted a Measure H fundraiser at the art gallery. Thank you to everyone who came to support our fight to end homelessness!

See what’s next at Fairplex on our Events Calendar at Fairplex.com!

Sneak peek of ArtReach: The Art of Dreams

We’re putting the finishing touches on the ArtReach: The Art of Dreams high school art exhibition, opening this weekend at the Millard Sheets Art Center! Take a look:

Fairplex Events ArtReach gallery8 Sneak peek of ArtReach: The Art of Dreams

The gallery is almost ready for the Opening Reception!

Fairplex Events ArtReach gallery5 Sneak peek of ArtReach: The Art of Dreams

Special education students from local schools made dream catchers for their annual art piece.

Fairplex Events ArtReach gallery3 Sneak peek of ArtReach: The Art of Dreams The Opening Reception & Awards Ceremony will take place Saturday evening, with the gallery opening to the public on Fridays – Sundays in March, noon – 5 p.m. beginning on March 5.

We’re always blown away by the talent and creativity our local high school students have. The thought and effort they put into their pieces — whether a painting, a sculpture, or a photo — is amazing.

It’s always beautiful to see the various interpretations students have of the theme (this year the theme is Dreams), and how they manifest that interpretation into something unique to themselves.

For more information on ArtReach and other happenings at the Millard Sheets Art Center, visit us at millardsheetsartcenter.org.

Fairplex Weekend Recap: Modern Pentathlon, vintage finds and party planning

We’ve had some time to catch our breath from the whirlwind of events at Fairplex last weekend. ICYMI, here’s what we had the pleasure of hosting:

Modern Pentathlon
We captured some of the mid-week excitement in our previous blog post — here’s the rest of the recap:

The Women’s Finals finished on a high note for Lena Schoeneborn (Germany), who took gold on Saturday. Kate French from Great Britain and Ekaterina Khuraskina from Russia took silver and bronze respectively.

We finished out this international sporting competition with the Mixed Relay (men & women combined) on Sunday afternoon. Congratulations to Korea (1), Japan (2) and Kazakhstan (3) for your wins!

Fairplex Events Pentathlon mixedrelay Fairplex Weekend Recap: Modern Pentathlon, vintage finds and party planning Athletes volunteer to test out the obstacle laser-run event

In addition to the traditional Modern Pentathlon World Cup events, our campus also had the opportunity to be the testing ground for a new obstacle laser-run which is planned to be incorporated into the Mixed Relay event in the future.

All in all, this was an incredible experience for us. To host an international event like this was truly an honor and everyone, from our events team to our security staff, played a role in making it happen. You can check out more from the event on social media by searching #UIPMWorldCup.

Junk In The Trunk Vintage Market
We absolutely loved having the Junk In The Trunk event at Fairplex! There were so many unique finds, from rugs to furniture to wall art and more… two days was hardly enough time to check it all out:



Quince Expo
While some were cheering on Pentathletes, and others shopping all things cute and vintage, still others were preparing for parties! The Quince Expo brought color and high energy to Fairplex with the number of vendors and eager shoppers:



In addition to all of this, we also wrapped up the Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival on Friday and hosted a driving school and public auto auction. What. A. Weekend.

Up next: The Kennel Club of Beverly Hills Dog Show. Our next blog post will summarize some of our biggest March events. Stay tuned!

Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 (So Far)

Playing host to an international sporting event is something many of us have never experienced before. It’s been a whirlwind of swimming, fencing, horse riding, running and lasers (aka Modern Pentathlon) and it’s not over yet! 

Check out some highlights from the Men’s Finals below:

We’re in the middle of the Women’s Finals as we speak. The whole World Cup culminates tomorrow at the Mixed Relay Competition when both men and women will compete in the five Pentathlon sports.

In addition to hosting the fencing, horse riding, running and shooting portions of the Pentathlon, we’ve also created a unique learning experience for field trip groups and spectators!

Screen Shot 2017 02 25 at 5.00.16 PM Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 (So Far) Field trip students at Modern Pentathlon Experience 

The Modern Pentathlon Experience allows guests to try some of the sports for themselves, including shooting a laser pistol and learning about the history of Pentathlon. The exhibit opens up to the infield, where you can see the horse riding, running + shooting up close.

pentathlon awards Modern Pentathlon World Cup #1 (So Far)

Each round of finals ends with the Awards Ceremony, celebrating the 1st – 6th place finalists of the day. 

We’re about to go into the final event (laser-run) of the day, and then we’ll end with the Women’s Awards Ceremony at around 7:30 p.m.

We can’t express enough how amazing an opportunity it has been to host this international event. Thank you to all our staff who helped to make this happen, and to the athletes, coaches and UIPM team who have called Fairplex their home for the past few days!

For more information on the UIPM World Cup, visit uipmworld.org.

60 Minutes with Miguel A. Santana

Miguel Santana 214x300 60 Minutes with Miguel A. Santana

When the company you work for hires a new President and CEO, you pick up your notebook as fast as you can, you walk over to his executive assistant and you schedule an interview. Sounds easy, right? Well, it would be if everyone wasn’t trying to do the exact same thing!

Fortunately for my colleague Heather and me, Miguel had an opening in his schedule so we met with him in his office where he walked us through his life, his goals and, most importantly, his passion for the work he does.

Did you always know you wanted to work in politics? If not, what inspired you?
The Rodney King riots in 1992 inspired me to work hard to make the Los Angeles general region a better and safer place for people. We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to strengthen and empower our community.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience at Harvard?
I knew what I needed to do, so I only applied to one school – which was Harvard. Packing my things and moving with my family to Cambridge, Massachusetts was truly a transformative experience. I was exposed to East Coast weather, urban living and a very diverse culture of students. That’s where I learned that school is a gift compared to working.

What motivates you to get up every morning?
My kids. I have 4 daughters, ages 19 to 28. Their creativity and their mindfulness of what they do, where they work and their beliefs. They’re courageous in that they pursue what they love and are passionate about it rather than just being practical. They write, sing, create art and have their hobbies. They are their own persons, representative of the future. They practice what they believe every day, and I think that is something Fairplex strives to be: a place where people can pursue their passions and interests. That is a core component of who we are.

Your CV is very impressive, what drew you to Fairplex? What is your vision for Fairplex?
I was drawn by the opportunity to build and expand on what we are currently doing here. From quilters to car aficionados, there are so many people who are drawn to what we have going on at Fairplex. There are so many interests and Fairplex is a place where people can develop their interests and share it with others, and hopefully even make a living off of it. Fairplex represents the best of who we are, and it revolves around the crossing of cultures and interests. The question we should be asking is how do we make this even more inclusive and how do we continue to foster and create new cultures? I look forward to transforming our work into a lifestyle, a community, and a place to live, play, learn and work. I think the Fair is the greatest expression of all of this.

What are some of your hobbies?
Exploring Los Angeles. I like to do something new every week, whether it’s trying new foods, visiting museums or historical parts of the city. In 2016, I spent a lot of time in the Westside areas from Venice to Westchester, so now I am really looking forward is to getting reacquainted with Pomona and the surrounding areas. As a food lover, my goal is to connect to places owned by real people, not chain restaurants.

During your 20+ years in government you’ve tackled some of the region’s most difficult challenges. How do you define success?
Success is what you take from something, what you discover and learn to appreciate from your experience. I’m always looking for ways to develop the potential in everyone, everything and everywhere. This can be applied to our mission at Fairplex, which is to give our guests something meaningful to take away. If we can accomplish this, we’ve succeeded.

Do you think it’s important to get to know the people working at Fairplex? Why?
Our employees are the heart and soul of what we do here. Our people are the ones who make Fairplex what it is and I aim to respect and appreciate the work of everyone here. Each person contributes something unique to the company.

In fact, I want Fairplex employees to know they can always stop by my office. I want to hear what they have to say and how they think we can best fulfill our mission and make company culture what they think it should be. Hope they stop by and say hello!   

It’s been more than 30 days since you assumed the position of President and CEO of Fairplex. What can you tell us about this milestone?
I’ve met with all of the elected representatives for Fairplex, and it’s been an interesting and educational experience.  I enjoyed discussing how we can support each other and how to make Fairplex a place to live, learn, work and play for all the residents of Los Angeles County. 

I’ve also had the opportunity to meet with the editors of the Southern California News Group, which not only includes our local paper the Daily Bulletin but the Los Angeles Daily News, the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the Orange County Register. We had a productive conversation that included discussion of the Monday, Feb. 13, Pomona City Council meeting’s study session on F-Zone land uses.

Last month, LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis toured the campus, including The Farm and the Child Development Center. We discussed how the county and Fairplex can work together. Our conversation was positive and we look forward to building our relationship with the entire board of supervisors. 

So far, we’re off to a very good start.

If someone wants to get a hold of you, how can they do so?
They can email me at ceo@fairplex.com, send me a tweet at @FairplexCEO or stop by my office. 

Throwback Thursday: From an Olympian to a General

Fairplex Events Pentathlon georgerunning1 Throwback Thursday: From an Olympian to a General

Photo from WIRED Magazine

General George S. Patton is known for his bravery and leadership in World War II, but before becoming a national hero, he was an Olympic athlete.

Modern Pentathlon was introduced to the Summer Olympic Games in 1912. George Patton was the first and only athlete to compete from the United States.

If you’ve been reading our blog posts, you know that Pentathletes compete in a total of five sports: running, shooting, swimming, fencing and showjumping. And yes, Patton did all five at the Olympic Games. The 26-year-old future general, with only two months to train for the sport, placed fifth overall.

We’ll be inducting Patton into the UIPM Hall of Fame at our Opening Ceremonies next Thursday. It is our privilege to honor him for the amazing athletic feats he accomplished in the first Modern Pentathlon.

To learn more about Patton’s experience in the 1912 Olympics, click here.

For more information regarding the Modern Pentathlon World Cup at Fairplex, click here.