The State Fair of Texas Board of Directors consists of a long line of distinguished community leaders who have provided governance for the State Fair of Texas since it was originally chartered in 1886.
President, State Fair of Texas
Mitchell joined the State Fair in 1999, spending the majority of his time working with corporate partners developing sponsorship, marketing, and promotional programs, more than tripling sponsorship revenue. Prior to joining the State Fair, Mitchell spent nearly a decade with the Dallas Mavericks marketing team, serving as the organization’s sales manager for season and group tickets. Raised in Dallas, Mitchell graduated from Southern Methodist University with a double-major in Finance and TV & Radio. He served as captain of the SMU Mustangs football team in 1989 and was chosen as one of only 11 National Football Foundation Scholar Athletes in the country, that same year. He is the former president of the SMU Letterman’s Association and is an active member of the Dallas Salesmanship Club, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming children’s futures by serving at-risk families in the Greater Dallas area. Mitchell is son to nationally-known CBS Sportscaster, Frank Glieber, who passed away in 1985. Mitchell and his wife, Lisa, are devoted parents to their three children; Thomas, Kaki and Charlotte.
Senior Vice President & General Manager
Bob has been with the State Fair of Texas since 1967 – more than 50 years. Prior to joining the State Fair full-time, he worked as a seasonal employee for the Fair as an ice guard at the Coliseum Ice Arena. In his role as general manager for the State Fair of Texas, Bob works closely with all departments and the president in determining the strategic direction for the Fair. As senior vice president, he has oversight of the maintenance department which includes the overall set up and daily operations of the Fair. Bob recently moved to Forney and enjoys spending time in the country with his wife, Rhonda.
CFO / Senior Vice President, Finance
Jaime joined the State Fair of Texas in 2001 as senior accountant. After serving in other accounting and finance roles, in 2013 he moved into the position of chief financial officer and senior vice president. In this role, Jaime oversees all financial operations, information technology, and human resource aspects of the organization. Prior to joining the State Fair of Texas, Jaime began his career in telecommunications and public accounting. In addition to his professional responsibilities, he actively serves on the executive, investment, and scholarship committees of the State Fair of Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. Jaime enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Joyce, and their family in Las Colinas.
Senior Vice President, Public Relations
Prior to joining the State Fair of Texas in 2014, Karissa was senior manager of marketing and public relations for BeautiControl, a subsidiary of Tupperware Brands Corporation and prior to that she spent seven years at Highland Capital Management, L.P. managing marketing, public relations, and advertising initiatives. As spokesperson for the State Fair, Karissa oversees all media relations and outreach functions, including development, planning, and strategic oversight of all public relations efforts, and is involved in the organization’s educational and community initiatives, including oversight of the Big Tex Scholarship Program. Raised in Dallas, Karissa is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication – Broadcasting & Electronic Media. Karissa has worked for numerous broadcast outlets, including Fox Sports Net, ABC Sports, ESPN, and News 9 in Oklahoma City. She is passionate about giving back and actively participates in community projects and organizations. Karissa is Texas born and bred, and enjoys life with her husband, Danny, and their children in Las Colinas.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Rusty assumed the role of vice president of operations at the State Fair of Texas in 2001. Prior to joining the State Fair, he spent 23 years at Six Flags in operations management. In his current role as senior vice president, Rusty has oversight of the Midway and all if its operations. The department responsibilities include coordination and daily oversight of games, novelties, rides, horticulture, guest relations, and safety inspections. Rusty also serves as the State Fair’s resident weather expert to ensure guest safety. When not walking the Midway, Rusty enjoys keeping up with his daughter’s accomplishments while attending Texas A&M University and attending his son’s baseball and football games in Arlington.
Vice President, Brand Experience
Jason joined the State Fair of Texas team in 2008 as an intern in public relations. While working seasonally for the organization, Jason worked as an associate producer of advanced graphics for Sportvision where he worked with ESPN, ABC, FOX, SKY, BBC, and other major broadcast networks in an array of sporting events. During his tenure with Sportvision, Jason was part of two teams awarded with Emmys for outstanding technical achievement in America’s Cup and NASCAR productions. In 2013, Jason joined the State Fair family full time as director of creative services, where he focused on the organization’s brand development, key marketing and revenue initiatives, in-park enhancements, and mission-related projects such as the Big Tex Urban Farms system. In 2015, Jason was named creative director of the State Fair where he further focused on brand and marketing strategy. Jason is a graduate of Texas Tech University, with Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Electronic Media & Communications. Originally from Allen, Jason currently lives in Oak Cliff with his new wife, Molly and two rescue pups, Sawyer and Charlie.
Vice President, Food and Beverage
Melanie started with the State Fair of Texas in January 1989 as a secretary in the concessions department. She has certainly moved up through the ranks as she was promoted to coordinator of concessions and then to director of concessions. In 2013, Melanie received a Leadership Certificate from the Texas Event Leadership Program (TELP) through the Texas Association of Fairs and Events (TAFE) in conjunction with the Texas Agri-Life Extension Program at Texas A&M College Station. In December 2018, she graduated from the IAFE Institute of Fair Management (IFM) after having completed a two-year curriculum in fair operations and fair management. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for EWI as a Board Advisor after having served this past year (2017-2018) as the Board President. And in December, she was selected to serve on the National Independent Concessionaire Association (NICA) Advisory Board for a 3-yr term. She is currently working with the State Fair’s director of community affairs to implement the third year of the Cohort for Fairs, Festivals and an Events (CFFE), a program that educates and helps to incorporate minority vendors as participants within fairs, festivals and events. She currently serves on the International Association of Fairs & Expositions (IAFE) Concessions/Exhibits Committee, the board of directors for the Texas Association of Fairs & Events (TAFE), and her final goal is to complete the certification as a Certified Fair Executive (CFE). When she is not working on all things “Fair-related”, Melanie enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Senior Vice President, Agriculture and Livestock
Daryl joined the State Fair of Texas in 2004. Prior to joining the State Fair, he worked for the National Swine Registry promoting purebred hogs in the southwestern U.S. As vice president of the agriculture and livestock, Daryl oversees the livestock operations of the Fair and other mission-focused programs including fundraising for the Big Tex Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Programs. In addition to his duties at the State Fair, he is frequently a livestock judge at national, state, and local shows, and stays involved in FFA and 4-H in Denton County. A graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, Daryl went on to finish a Master of Science at Kansas State University. Daryl and his wife, Sue, devote much of their life to raising their four children; Kyle, Grace, Campbell, and Prestynne.
Senior Vice President, Marketing
Prior to joining the State Fair of Texas in 2013, Jennifer was the chief marketing officer and director of community outreach for the Dallas Opera for eight and a half years. As vice president of marketing for the Fair, Jennifer leads the branding and creative development efforts for the organization as well as revenue generation through sponsorship, commercial exhibits, and advance ticket sales. Jennifer is also an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University, teaching marketing classes in the Meadows School of the Arts. She is a graduate of Texas Tech with a MS in Communications, emphasis in Public Relations and a BS in Management Information Systems. Jennifer grew up in Allen and currently lives in Oak Cliff with her husband, Kurt, when not spending time at Cedar Creek Lake.