Iowa State Fair Board Elections

DES MOINES, IA (12/13/2022) (readMedia)-- During the Iowa Association of Fairs Conference and Annual Meeting held December 9-11 in Des Moines, one new board member was elected to the Iowa State Fair Board of Directors and five members were re-elected.

Delegates who attended the meeting from six geographic districts in Iowa elected two board members to serve two-year staggered terms on the Iowa State Fair Board. Directors re-elected to their districts are Tennie Carlson, Stratford (north central); Gary Van Aernam, Exira (southwest); Deb Zumbach, Coggon (northeast); Jo Reynolds, Indianola (south central); and Gary McConnell, Bloomfield (southeast).

Newly elected to the Board is VerDon Schmidt from Everly (northwest). Schmidt fills a vacancy left by retiring Board member Dave Hoffman who has served on the Iowa State Fair Board since 2010 and has been a vital part of many exciting State Fair initiatives. Dave has served in various leadership roles over his tenure, including President of the Iowa State Fair Board from 2019-2020.

Board Officers for 2023 are as follows:

President: Darwin Gaudian, Primghar (northwest) – 1st term

Vice President: Curtis Claeys, Grand Mound (southeast) – 1st term

Treasurer: Deb Zumbach, Coggon (northeast) – 1st term

Other Board Members include Alan Brown, Hampton (north central); John Harms, Monticello (northeast); C.W. Thomas, Guthrie Center (southwest); Randy Brown, Osceola (south central); Darwin Gaudian, Primghar (northwest); and Curtis Claeys, Grand Mound (southeast). Board Members by office held are Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (represented by Lt. Governor Adam Gregg); Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig; and Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen (represented by Andrea Nelson).


Frequently ranked as one of the top events in the country, the Iowa State Fair is the single largest event in the state of Iowa and one of the oldest and largest agricultural and industrial expositions in the country. Annually attracting more than a million people from all over the world, the Iowa State Fair, located at East 30th and East University, just 10 minutes from downtown Des Moines, is Iowa's greatest celebration with a salute to the best in agriculture, industry, entertainment and achievement. Best Days Ever at the Iowa State Fair, August 10-20, 2023. For more information, visit