Career Connections

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The next round of Career Connections will open at the 2023 Western Fairs Association Convention in Reno, NV on January 15 - 18.


What is Career Connections?

The WFA Career Connections Program’s mission is to inspire, grow, and establish connections between fair industry members in a supportive environment while providing opportunities for learning experiences, networking, professional growth, and skill development.

The objectives are:

To create connections in order to facilitate the sharing of mutual knowledge.
To facilitate networking among WFA professionals through the creation of in-depth business relationships.
To assess and recognize the success of each connection.

How Does it Work?

A career connection relationship is designed to enable experienced professionals, known as Advisors, to share their knowledge, skills, and insights with others through a one-on-one relationship. Career Connections Participants benefit from gaining knowledge and support in achieving their professional development goals, while Advisors make a personal impact on the professional development of others and the strength of the industry association and its members.

The WFA Career Connections Program Committee will take all of the applications and form connections between Advisors and Participants. Once the connection is set, then the Advisors and Participants will develop their own goals, discussion topics, and schedule. The program runs from February to December.

The Career Connections Handbook has all the information about how the program works, and the expectations of all participants and advisors.

How to Participate?

There are 2 ways that you can participate in the program


• Must be a current or retired employee of a WFA Member with documented experience/achievement in the industry
• Must be willing to actively work toward achieving Connection relationship goals
• Complete Career Connections Advisor Application & submit a resume (optional)


• Must be a current employee/board member/volunteer of a WFA Member
• Must be willing to actively work toward achieving Connection relationship goals
• Complete Career Connections Participant Application & submit a resume (optional)

To learn more about being an Advisor or Participant, please check out the Career Connections Handbook.

Program Timeline

January: Career Connections Program Session at Convention
January 31: Applications Due
February: Connections Announcements
February-December: Monthly/Bi-Monthly Progress Calls or Meetings
December: Conclusion of Career Connections Program
January: Program Survey and Social Mixer at WFA Convention

Tool Box

We have lots of tools available to help you with your connection. Take a look and use what works for you!


“I appreciate the opportunity to have participated in the Career Connections Program through the Western Fair Association (WFA). The program allowed me to work one-on-one with a Mentor, giving me direct feedback throughout the Program period. My Mentor was familiar with the Fair business format, culture and demands of this unique industry and, as such, was able to provide me with

great insight into the management role and communication skills needed to be successful. Our regular meetings during the one-year program allowed me to focus on various business skills and Fair industry applications. The Program assisted me in having a better understanding of the overall Fair industry.”

Beth Wilcox, Facilities Manager, Alameda County Fair Association, Participant

"As a CEO and mentor involved with the WFA Career Connections, I have found it fulfilling to participate and spend time with someone either looking to grow professionally or to just broaden their horizons. While I have enjoyed imparting what knowledge and experience I have to help them professionally, I have also been rewarded by learning from them. The ability to learn and mentor at the same time has made this program a must-do for everyone involved within the fair industry. It is something that will enrich your life professionally and personally.

Matt Cranford, CEO, Stanislaus County Fair, Advisor

“Coming from an organization where I am a single-person department, to have an outside resource who has years of experience in your specific field to bounce ideas, help solve problems, or just chat about Fair things has been invaluable to my own personal growth. It’s been an incredible opportunity to consistently meet with a seasoned professional in the industry who is open to share their personal experiences and expert knowledge!”

Frances Negranza, Director of Facility Rentals, Northwest Washington Fair, Participant


What is the Program?

Who can participate?

When can you apply?

How can I apply?

How long is the program?

What is the timeline for the program?

Do I have to submit my resume?

Have questions? Give us a call at (916) 927-3100 or email
1776 Tribute Road, Suite 210, Sacramento, California 95815 phone: (916) 927-3100
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