John Sykes Named 2015 Chair of IAFE

John Sykes, president and CEO of The Park of East Texas, Inc., which produces the East Texas State Fair and Academic Rodeo in Tyler Texas, was elected the 2015 chair of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) today during the final business session of the 124th IAFE Annual Convention. After graduating magna cum laude from Texas A&M University, Sykes began his career ranching. He operated a 200 head cow-calf operation and a 300 sow farrow-to-finish swine farm. In 1984, he was chosen as Texas’ Outstanding Young Farmer and Rancher. Furthering his professional career, Sykes was recruited to promote the USA pecan industry in international markets. He has traveled extensively in Mexico, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe developing relationships with international companies and individuals. He returned to his alma mater and became a member of the Texas A&M University System Agriculture Program as the legislative liaison for the Texas … [Read more...]


Jim Tucker Inducted into IAFE Hall of Fame

The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) 124th Annual Convention, Jim Tucker, president and CEO of the IAFE, was inducted into the IAFE Hall of Fame. The IAFE Convention is taking place Dec. 7 through Dec. 11, 2014, at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. The highest honor bestowed by the IAFE, the Hall of Fame Award is presented annually in recognition of an individual’s distinguished achievement in, or contribution to, the fair industry. Tucker has spent a lifetime advocating for and guiding the agriculture and fair industries. He grew up on his family’s Missouri dairy farm, where he would help with chores beginning when he was five years old. His uncle was a founding member of the Greene County Agricultural & Mechanical Society, also known as the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, Mo. There is where he first showed Jersey cattle and his father served as dairy superintendent. In high school, he was active in FFA, serving as his chapter’s president and was … [Read more...]