Chief Operating Officer- Sonoma County Fairgrounds

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Other
Posted on January 7, 2022
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We Invite You To Join The Sonoma County Fair & Exposition Executive Team As Our Chief Operating Officer! 

Starting Salary Up To $128,357/Year*

We seek a highly skilled manager who has a strong understanding of the various practices and principles of event center operations, fair management, public relations, personnel and financial administration, contract negotiation and administration, and property management practices.

Please view our Sonoma County Fair & Exposition Chief Operating Officer Brochure for further details regarding our Ideal Candidate and the Sonoma County Fair & Exposition, Inc.

What Makes Sonoma County a Great Choice:  
In addition to generous starting pay, expansive opportunities for growth and development, being part of a challenging and rewarding work environment that offers continuous training and education, and the satisfaction of knowing that you are working to better the communities of our region, you can look forward to some excellent benefits*, including:

  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance up to $1700 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • Significant portion of health care premiums paid by the County and access to several health plan options
  • Contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of employment
  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance

*The annual base salary range for the position is $99,680.85-$121,157.32. In addition to the base salary, the position receives a cash allowance of approximately $600 per month. Combined, the annual salary is $106,880-$128,357. Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice.  Employees in this class are in the unclassified service; this class is exempt from the Civil Service Ordinance of the County of Sonoma as stated in Section 5 of Ordinance No. 305-A as amended. This employment list may also be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help positions as they occur during the active status of the list. 

When you join the County of Sonoma, you'll also have the freedom to explore the beauty of our county; with its picturesque coastline, majestic redwoods, historic towns, fine dining, award winning wineries, and a wide variety of entertainment and cultural activities. Please visit and for additional information about the community.

The classification title for this position is Deputy Fair Manager.



Minimum Qualifications


Education & Experience: Any combination of education, training and experience which would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities. Normally, this would include significant academic coursework in business management, fair management, marketing, economics, or a closely related field and at least three years of managerial experience overseeing the operations of a fair, arena, convention, large event center, horse racing program, or other multi-year entertainment facility, or other closely related experience in a private or public sector organization responsible for business management, event planning, marketing, contract management, and/or fiscal management activities.  A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in business management, fair management, marketing, economics, or a closely related field is desired.
License:  Possession of a valid driver’s license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


Considerable knowledge of: principles and techniques of administrative organization and business management; principles and practices of contract negotiation, administration, and management; principles and practices of supervision and personnel management; good business practices and methods.

Working Knowledge of: event planning, coordination and management; principles and practices of Fair business management; general rules and regulations regarding food and commercial exhibit contracts; horse racing laws related to live racing and simulcast racing; resource and facility development procedures; procedures and processes of fiscal management and cash handling systems and controls; customer service policies and procedures; general facility construction and maintenance; principles, practices and techniques of public relations, marketing and sales techniques; written and oral communications, including language mechanics, syntax and English composition.

Ability to: effectively manage, organize, coordinate, and oversee a variety of Fair and Exposition operations, programs, and services; plan, organize, direct and supervise the work of personnel engaged in Fair operations; negotiate, administer, and manage contracts; manage various fiscal operations; exercise responsibility, initiative, and ingenuity in analyzing and solving administrative problems; determine organizational needs and functional changes in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness; interpret complex laws, mandates, and regulations and apply them to a variety of Fair operations; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain harmonious and collaborative relationships with staff, Fair Board members, other County and governmental officials and agencies, event promoters, and the general public; prepare reports and correspondence; exercise initiative and function with considerable independence; work under pressure and meet established deadlines; work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.


Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying


  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.