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State Fair director Waffner reassigned; state announces new interim State Fair director

GEDDES, N.Y. — The man who has been serving as director of the New York State Fair has been reassigned to new duties with a new title, and the State Fair has new leadership.

Troy Waffner will move into the newly created position of agricultural fair development director, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball announced Wednesday.

At the same time, Ball also named Sean Hennessey as the Fair’s new assistant director. Hennessey will serve as interim director for this year’s State Fair, which is scheduled to run between Aug. 25 and Sept. 5 this year. He has been serving as assistant commissioner for operations at the New York State Department of Transportation.

Waffner’s new position

In his new role, Waffner will evaluate ways to increase marketing and promotion of county fairs as well as opportunities to improve youth and agricultural programming initiatives at all fairs statewide.

Waffner’s move to the new role is “part of Gov. Hochul’s bold investment in agriculture and plan to support growth and revitalization opportunities for all fairs in New York,” per the online announcement.

This announcement comes as part of Hochul’s September 2021 plan to “facilitate greater coordination” among county fairs in 2022.

“The Great New York State Fair is a tradition and cultural institution across the state and it has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the dynamic team that runs it. With the support of Governor Hochul and Commissioner Ball, we have made huge strides in growing the Fair,” Waffner said. “I am most excited for the next chapter in working with our agricultural fairs to assist them in marketing, promotion, and programming — these fairs are truly the heartbeat and highlight of agriculture in New York State.”

About Hennessey

The state says Hennessey has a “proven track record of successful management” of employees and systems within public agencies, including administration of large annual budgets and multimillion dollar capital projects. His additional experience as executive board member, booking agent, and spokesperson for the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival gives him “tremendous experience in coordinating and promoting large-scale cultural events such as the Fair.”

“The Great New York State Fair is an iconic attraction known around the world for its focus on entertainment and showing the best of New York agriculture. I am extremely grateful and humbled to be chosen as interim director, and to become a part of the team that makes the magic happen,” Hennessey said. “The team at the Fair is first rate, and I know that my extensive operations and emergency management experience, coupled with my years of volunteer work, will be a great complement to their hard work. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves immediately and get to work with the team to put on the best possible show for fairgoers in 2022.”








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