The State Fair of Texas Board of Directors has appointed Gina Armour Norris as its new chairwoman of the board during their annual meeting. Mrs. Norris will succeed Richard Knight, Jr., following his four-year term as chairman. By accepting the responsibilities as chairwoman, Gina Armour Norris is the first woman to join a long line of distinguished community leaders who have provided leadership for the State Fair of Texas since it was originally chartered in 1886.
Prior to becoming chairwoman, Mrs. Norris has held multiple leadership roles within the State Fair. She joined in 2004 through the Youth Livestock Auction Committee, raising funds for the State Fair’s Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program, and later served as co-chair of the committee. Gina is the co-founder of the Big Tex Champion Club fundraiser, which has raised more than $1 million for the Scholarship Program since its creation in 2013. Gina has served on the board of directors for 11 years and most recently served as chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.
“Our entire team looks forward to working with Gina as the new Chairwoman of the State Fair of Texas,” said State Fair President, Mitchell Glieber. “During her time on our Board, she has dedicated herself to learning the intricacies of the business and has spent over a decade and countless hours spearheading fundraising efforts for the kids who benefit from our Scholarship Program. Most importantly, she is passionate about furthering the mission of the State Fair to promote agriculture, education, and community involvement.”
Gina’s career spans thirty years in banking, oversight of operating businesses, and real estate investment, which has led to her current position as Senior Vice President of Partner Relations at Matthews Southwest. She began her career in corporate banking, spending 18 years at First Chicago Corporation and Banc One Corporation (now both a part of JPMorgan Chase). In 2000, she became the Managing Director in charge of the private operating business portfolio of Crow Holdings, and in 2010 she founded the Lending Division of Stratford Land, an investment fund focused on high growth corridors in the southern U.S.
In addition to the State Fair of Texas, Gina serves on the board of Dallas-based Texas Security Bank and is an active member of several organizations including the Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House and Museum Steering Committee, Executive Women’s Roundtable, Institute for Excellence in Corporate Governance, National Association of Corporate Directors, and the CFA Society of DFW. Past board memberships include the Dallas Chapter of Financial Executives International (past president); Downtown Dallas, Inc.; The Real Estate Council; Trinity Commons Foundation; and City of Dallas Downtown Dallas TIF District.
Mrs. Norris was raised on a dairy farm in Illinois where she was an active member of 4-H for ten years. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Western Illinois University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.
“I am honored to be elected to help lead this nonprofit organization,” said new Chairwoman of the Board, Gina Armour Norris. “I believe the State Fair is the heart and soul of Texas – a diverse kaleidoscope of Texas culture and a fun gathering for all of Texas. Funds raised during our 24-day event are invested back into Fair Park, scholarships, and our neighboring communities. As the first Chairwoman of the Board for the State Fair of Texas, I am grateful for the opportunity to lead our initiatives, developing this historic event and continuing to strive to be a good neighbor in South Dallas/Fair Park.”
In addition to Chairwoman Gina Armour Norris, two new members were elected to serve on the State Fair of Texas Board of Directors: Victor Elmore and Steven Mancillas.
Mark your calendar for the 2019 State Fair of Texas, running September 27 through October 20 in Fair Park, with the theme “Celebrating Texas Creativity.”