Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
BizTimes Media

Shari Black

Hospitality | Entertainment
Executive director and CEO
Wisconsin State Fair Park | West Allis

In spring 2022, Shari Black was officially promoted to executive director and chief executive officer of Wisconsin State Fair Park after having served as its interim leader since fall 2021. Black oversees the team of 50 full-time permanent staff and more than 1,000 seasonal employees responsible for putting on the annal event that draws one million visitors to the fairgrounds every summer. Off season, the park also hosts hundreds of public and private events at its various facilities. Black joined the State Fair in 2016 as its event services director after spending 15 years as executive director of the Waukesha County Fair Association.

Education: Bachelor’s, Carroll University

Hobby/passion: “I love history. I love to read about it, visit historical locations, look at pictures, artifacts, etc. Anything to do with history is fascinating to me.”

Fun fact: “I can back up a trailer or hay wagon like no one’s business.”

Toughest business challenge you’ve ever faced: “Finding a way for us to generate revenue without having a fair (during COVID-19). Our teams were very strategic in developing programming, which allowed us to provide some of the most beloved fair experiences without a fair. We were able to create several new revenue sources that helped us keep our staff employed, give our fair patrons a taste of the fair and stay financially viable through 2020.”

Career advice: “Always stay true to who you are.”

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