Jerry Hammer, executive vice president and general manager of
the Minnesota State Fair, has spent his working life with the “Great Minnesota
Get-Together.” Born and raised just a
block from the State Fairgrounds, Hammer’s State Fair career spans 45
He started working at the fair while in high school as a summer
staffer in the greenhouse, followed by a variety of full-time positions in
events, media, marketing and public relations.
Hammer is currently serving his 19th year as State Fair General Manager.
In 2007, Hammer served as Chairman of the International
Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE).
He is also past president of the Mid-West Fairs Association and is the
recipient of a variety of professional and community awards including
membership in the IAFE’s Hall of Fame.
He has visited fairs and festivals throughout North America, as well as
in Europe, Asia and Australia. In
addition to the IAFE, the fair has memberships in the Outdoor Amusement
Business Association, Western Fairs Association, Better Business Bureau and
various Twin Cities tourism and civic groups.
During Hammer’s time as general manager, the State Fair has
invested more than $120 million in capital improvements and maintenance to the
historic Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Hammer is a graduate of College of St. Thomas. He and his wife Debby are both life-long
residents of St. Paul’s Como Park neighborhood in the shadow of the
fairgrounds. They have two grown,
married children and four grandchildren.
Feel as if you were walking and enjoying the sights, sounds and
tastes of the “neighborhoods” of the Minnesota State Fair as you listen to
Jerry talk about its impressive history. During its run-time each year, the
equivalent of approximately 40% of the population of the State of Minnesota
attends this fair! Find out how Jerry views his job as the fair’s steward and
how he and his team keep it relevant and successful after over 150 years!