DALLAS, TEXAS – April 15, 2015 – The Board of Directors for the State Fair of Texas appointed Richard Knight, Jr. as its new chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee for the organization during their annual meeting today. Mr. Knight will replace Alan Walne, who stepped down today following his four-year term as chairman.
Mr. Knight was elected to the State Fair Board of Directors in April of 1997, and has served on the executive committee since 1999 and finance committee since 2008. By accepting the responsibilities as chairman, Richard Knight, Jr. joins a long line of distinguished community leaders who have provided leadership for the State Fair of Texas since it was originally chartered in 1886.
“We are thrilled to have such a strong civic leader as the new Chairman of the Board for the State Fair of Texas,” said State Fair President, Mitchell Glieber. “Richard’s commitment and passion for the State Fair and the community will help to further our mission of promoting agriculture, education and community involvement.”
Richard Knight, Jr. has a long history of management expertise in the local, national and international business arena. With more than 35 years of management experience, Mr. Knight has administered and overseen a variety of multi-million dollar projects in the public as well as the private sector. He currently serves as chairman for Pegasus Texas Construction and is owner of Knight Waste Services. Mr. Knight also has an extensive background in the oil industry. He is the founder of Knightco Oil Company and has worked with Caltex Petroleum Corporation for more than eight years. During his tenure, he first served as Director of Total Quality and Environmental Management in Dallas and later became General Manager of Administration with the Caltex Group in Singapore and assumed the position of General Manager of Marketing and Lubricants. He then took over the international sales for manufacturing, marketing, and sales of lubricants to Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Cambodia and Vietnam.
In the public sector, Mr. Knight served as the City Manager for the City of Dallas from 1986 to 1990, and was the first African-American to hold the position. During his tenure, he administered an operating budget of more than $869 million, a capital budget of more than $247 million, with a payroll of more than 13,200 city employees. Major capital projects initiated or completed during his tenure included the $85 million construction of the Meyerson Symphony Center, the $65.6 million expansion of the Dallas Convention Center and the $14.5 million expansion of the Cotton Bowl, along with street, thoroughfare and storm drainage improvements.
Mr. Richard Knight, Jr. is well known for his commitment to the Dallas community. In addition to the State Fair of Texas, Mr. Knight currently serves on numerous boards including the Dallas Citizens Council, Chairman of Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, the Center Operating Group (American Airlines Center), the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Frazier Revitalization, Inc. (FRI), Texas Southern University Board of Regents, Goodwill Industries and the Boy Scouts of America – Circle Ten Council. Past board memberships include the University of North Texas Board of Regents, North Texas Public Broadcasting and Comerica Bank. He has also been affiliated with the International City Management Association (ICMA) and the DFW Minority Business Development Council.
Mr. Knight holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of North Carolina and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History with a minor in Economics from Fort Valley State University in Georgia. He has completed additional work in Political Science at Atlanta University and Yale University.
Mr. Knight was a recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus of the University of North Carolina, and the Horace Mann Bond by Fort Valley State University. Mr. Knight is also a four year veteran of the U.S. military service and served in Vietnam.
“It is a privilege to be elected to help lead the State Fair of Texas,” said new Chairman of the Board, Richard Knight, Jr. “The Fair is not only a destination where families come together each year to create lifelong memories, it is a historic institution that helps give back to Fair Park and the city of Dallas.”
The State Fair of Texas is a non-profit organization with all proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park and underwrite museums, community programs and scholarship programs for inner city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers throughout the Lone Star State. In addition to Richard Knight, Jr., chairman, other officers elected were Mitchell Glieber, president; John F. Scovell, treasurer and chairman of the finance and audit committee; Jaime Navarro, chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance; Robert B. Smith, corporate secretary and general counsel; Linda S. Smith, assistant corporate secretary; vice chairs, Roy C. Coffee, Jr.; Ruben E. Esquivel; Lois Finkelman; James M. Moroney III; Alice Murray; Gina Norris; James Roberts; Pete Schenkel; George Shafer; Bruce Sifford; Alan Walne; Joel T. Williams, Jr.; and Craig Woodcook. Seven new members were elected to serve on the 55-member board of directors, including Richie Butler, James L. Hitzelberger, P.C., Alex Madrazo, Donnie Nelson, Mary K. Suhm, W. Kelvin Walker and Matthew R. Walters.
The gates open for the 2015 State Fair of Texas starting September 25th through October 18th, with the theme “Passport to Texas.”
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About the State Fair of Texas
Since its inception in 1886, the State Fair of Texas has celebrated all things Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. The State Fair of Texas is a non-profit organization with all proceeds helping to preserve and improve Fair Park and underwrite museum, community and scholarship programs for inner city youth and students pursuing agricultural careers. The 2015 exposition runs September 25 through October 18 in Fair Park. Visit BigTex.com for more information.