August 1, 2011
Cindy Hoye: Thought is powerful

Cindy Hoye, Executive Director at the Indiana State Fair Commission

Each month, we ask an Indiana Humanities friend or partner how they think, read and talk. We feature that someone in the “How do you identify with the humanities” section of our e-newsletter. This month, it’s Cindy Hoye, executive director of the Indiana State Fair Commission. Cindy is also a Food for Thought steering committee member.

Think: Thought is powerful, but turning thought into action is when you make a difference.

Read: Read, then do. Read about our wonderful National Parks, then go explore. Read about a new recipe and then create. Read how to fix your plumbing, then call a professional!

Talk: But listen more than you talk. You’ll be surprised by what you hear!

A staff photo with Governor Daniels on the 150th birthday of the Indiana State Fair.

In December of 2004, Governor Mitch Daniels appointed Cindy to be the Executive Director of the Indiana State Fair Commission, which oversees operations of the nationally renowned Indiana State Fair and the year-round activities of the Indiana State Fairgrounds, home to hundreds of entertainment events annually.

Under Cindy’s leadership, the State Fairgrounds has seen a series of enhancements that has streamlined business operations; improved customer and employee safety; upgraded facilities; and created year-round educational opportunities.  In addition, she led an unprecedented series of special events for the 150th anniversary of the Indiana State Fair; created the featured commodity celebration with international recognition during the Fair, added dramatic and lasting legacy projects on the campus, advanced a partnership with Indiana Economic Development to annually highlight a country, and provided leadership to change the fair’s format to mitigate school overlap with 4-H competitions.

Cindy and her family at the American Gothic “God Bless America Sculpture” at the Indiana State Fair in 2010.

Operating 365 days a year, the 250 acre fairgrounds campus excels at customer service from all segments:  national show promoters, exhibitors, sports organizations and most importantly, the general consumer.  The over 2.1 million visitors each year continue to recognize the fairgrounds as a popular destination for a wide variety of family events.

Cindy has become a national leader in the fair industry, recently serving as Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE).  The IAFE previously recognized her with the Certified Fair Executive Award, one of the many honors she has received. As an advocate for agriculture, Cindy speaks to fairs across the country about their responsibility to educate consumers from “farm gate to the dinner plate” during their fairs.

Cindy spent many summers participating at the Indiana State Fair as a 4-H member and became hooked on the Fair business working for the Texas State Fair as an intern, the Ozaukee County Fair in Wisconsin as a 4-H Extension Agent and the special events director for the Wisconsin State Fair prior to accepting the Indiana State Fair marketing director position in 1988.

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