Nebraska State Fair Board Votes to Hire Bill Ogg as New Executive Director

May 15th, 2020 | Adam Smith

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (May 15, 2020) — Nebraska State Fair Board approved to hire William “Bill” Ogg, CFE, to lead the Nebraska State Fair and the Askarben Livestock Show as the executive director during the scheduled board meeting on Friday, May 15.

“Of the candidates we interviewed, Bill is the most seasoned, experienced Fair person,” said Beth Smith, board chair for the Nebraska State Fair. “His management skills have proven to successfully execute Fairs and large nationally-sanctioned events.”

“I am eager to begin working on behalf of all Nebraskans,” said Bill Ogg, executive director elect. “In addition to monitoring the current environment as it relates to the pandemic and the 2020 State Fair, I intend to research the budget in depth and will strive for transparent communication. It is humbling to be asked to serve as the executive director of the Nebraska State Fair. I promise to respect the wholesome traditions. Moreover, I promise to work hard with genuine enthusiasm to be a catalyst to grow the pride and support for this important Nebraska institution.”

Ogg currently serves as the general manager for Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days in Walla Walla, Washington. Under his leadership, the 154-year old Fair experienced prosperity. Between 2017 and 2019, his work contributed to:

  • Financial growth in carnival receipts (up 11 percent), concession receipts
    (up 5.5 percent), rodeo ticket sales (up 5.8 percent), beverage sales (up 25 percent), paid sponsorships (up 19.5 percent) and in-kind sponsorships (up 58 percent).
  • Increased participation in competitive exhibitors (up 6 percent), and additional entries
    (up 19.2 percent).


Additionally, non-fairgrounds events expanded by 29 percent during 2018 and 2019.

“He is enthusiastic about growing 4-H and FFA participation. We are excited to welcome him to the Nebraska State Fair family and to revitalize the rich event that’s been a staple in our state history,” said Jaime Parr, interim executive director and chief of sales and service.

The executive committee will discuss Ogg’s employment agreement in the coming days and the board will vote for approval. For more information on the 11-day event, visit For more information on the Aksarben Stock Show, visit




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