Newsletter Sign Up

Sign-up and receive information about events, contests, and much more!

Fairplex Insider

The Fairplex Insider blog gives you a behind-the-scenes, inner-circle perspective on the more than 500 year-round activities at Fairplex from “Scoopster,” a blogger with extraordinary access to information and tips.

Media Guide



Michael J. Ortiz
Joined Fair Association: 2003

Michael Ortiz was named a LACFA director in 2011 and vice chairman of the board in January 2012. He is the fifth president of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, a position he has held since Aug. 2003. He is the recipient of a 2011 Alfredo G. de los Santos Jr. Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education Award being presented by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education in March, 2012, and received a Service to the Community Award by Hermanos Unidos in Feb. 2009. In 2008, Dr. Ortiz was selected by Latino Leaders magazine as one of the Top 25 Latinos in Education. He serves as a Bright Prospect board member, as secretary on the Pomona community foundation board, and is a member of the Executive Advocacy Group for the city of Pomona Youth & Family Master Plan, on the board of directors of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and a member of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment Leadership Circle. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. in early childhood special education from University of North Carolina. He engaged in postdoctoral studies at Harvard University. Mike is a native of New Mexico.

James Henwood
President and Chief Executive Officer
Joined Fair Association: 1995

James Henwood was named president and CEO of the Los Angeles County Fair Association in November 1995, one of only four managers or presidents since the Fair's inception in 1922. He guides the vision and implementation of the mission and growth strategies of the non-profit association. Henwood has a strong commitment to the community and was the catalyst in the establishment of the Fairplex foundations, now known as The Learning Centers at Fairplex, and is actively involved in year-round programming, fundraising and educational projects. He serves on a number of boards and organizations including as president of the Pomona Community Foundation; member of the Pomona Youth and Family Master Plan committee; on the board of Fairplex Child Development Center; member of Pomona Leadership Forum and Pomona Blue Ribbon Committee; member of the University Educational Trust at Cal Poly Pomona; serves on board of directors for Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation; and board member of Winners Foundation. He has been recognized by a number of organizations including as recipient of 2012 PUSD Community Service Award, also received in 2010 and 2011; 2008 Corporate Leadership Award from Inland Valley News; recipient of 2005 Pomona Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award; and recipient of the Pomona YMCA 2003 Volunteer of the Year award. Henwood is a native of Niagara Falls, NY.

Dale Coleman
Vice President - Business Growth & Development and Chief Revenue Officer
Joined Fair Association: 199

Dale Coleman assumed the title of vice president of business growth & development and chief revenue officer in 2012. He will provide leadership and serve as the arbiter for all revenue initiatives at Fairplex including all business revenues, internal and external and all business development opportunities. He oversees all areas of year-round sales, sponsorship sales, commercial sales, creative development and entertainment. He was named vice president of sales in March 1997 and vice president of sales, marketing and creative programming in 2002. He previously worked as manager of special production projects for General Dynamics Corp. in Pomona where he was honored with General Dynamics Extraordinary Achievement Award in 1984 and 1987. He formerly served on the board of directors of International Association of Exhibition Managers, now Int'l Association of Expos & Events, southwestern states chapter. He is a member of the National Association of Consumer Shows and International Assn. of Venue Managers and was a former board member of La Verne Chamber of Commerce. He also volunteers as a La Verne Little League coach. Coleman is a graduate of IAVM's Public Facility Management School at Oglebay, West Virginia as well as IAVM's Senior Executive Symposium at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. Coleman is a graduate of University of La Verne with a B.A. in social science. He has 22 years experience in the Fair and events industry.

Michelle DeMott
Vice President-Branding & Knowledge Management
Joined Fair Association: 1998

Michelle DeMott was named vice president of branding and knowledge management in April 2012. She was previously director of marketing and communications since 2007. In her new role she oversees marketing, communications, branding and the LACFA's community outreach programs. She also provides leadership for all aspects of The Learning Centers including fundraising development. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of La Verne and is currently working on her master's of science in leadership management at the University of La Verne. She has 14 years experience in the Fair and events industry.

Dwight Richards
Vice President-Operations
Joined Fair Association: 1997

Dwight Richards was named vice president of operations in 2001. He oversees facilities, security, parking, environmental services, capital investment, information technology, and community and government relations. He previously owned and operated his own computer consulting business which provided computer and information system consulting services to various industries, including fairs and expositions, child development agencies, accounting firms and small businesses. Richards was a consultant to Fairplex before being named Information Technology Manager, developing many of its key application systems. He served as 2006 president of Pomona Chamber of Commerce. Richards is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College with B.A. in accounting and economics. He has 27 years Fair experience.

Michael Seder
Vice President - Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Joined Fair Association: 1984

Mike Seder was named CFO in 1989, after serving as corporate controller, controller and assistant controller. He oversees all financial activities, including accounting, payroll, corporate financing, and treasury functions. He also oversees the Child Development Center and Human Resources departments and risk management. Additionally, he is responsible for equine activities at Fairplex including live horse racing and Barretts Equine Limited. He leads the Fairplex Strategic Planning effort and serves on the Fairplex investment committee. Before joining Fairplex he was an accountant for Bechtel Investments Inc. in San Francisco. He formerly served on the board of directors for San Gabriel Pomona Valley Chapter of American Red Cross and as chair of the Claremont Youth Basketball league; and as a board member of Claremont Education Foundation. Seder has competed in several distance races, including the Boston Marathon. He graduated cum laude in 1982 from Claremont McKenna College, with a major in economics with an emphasis on business, and also played basketball for three years. He received an Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate School in 1993. He has 28 years experience in Fair industry.

John Gilbert
Vice President-Business Management
Joined Fair Association:
John Gilbert was named to current position in August 2013. In his new position, John will use his experience and capabilities to strengthen Fairplex’s current businesses and create new business growth opportunities that complement the organization’s mission. John most recently served as General Manager of the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center, a position he held since 2007.


Bernard Bernstein 
Joined Fair Association: 1997

Bernard Bernstein was named Fair director in 2004. He serves on the board of directors for the Fairplex Child Development Center, Pomona Community Committee and LACFA finance & compensation committee. He is managing partner of Bernstein and Rathman Inc., certified public accountants in Pomona. He is affiliated with a number of service organizations including treasurer of Pomona Rotary Club and a trustee for Cal Poly Associates. He is also on the board of directors at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and American Red Cross in addition as a trustee of Pomona Valley Hospital Foundation. Bernstein is past president of the Pomona Chamber of Commerce, California Jaycee Foundation and serves as a member of LeRoy Haynes Finance committee and city of Pomona investment committee. His firm was named Small Business of the Year in 1996 and he was awarded Pomona's Community Service Award in 2001. He is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona and a native of Phoenixville, Penn.

Robert Dukes
Joined Fair Association: 1990

Robert Dukes was named Fair director in 2003. He currently serves as LACFA secretary, chair of bylaws committee, chair of the Claremont community committee, as a board member of The Learning Centers and member of LACFA strategic planning committee. He is a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge and formerly had a private law practice. Dukes served as Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney from 1976-1981. He is a member of the board of directors at LeRoy Haynes Center for Children in La Verne and Parkhill School for Autistic Children in West Hills. He is a former Adjunct Professor Law, University of La Verne Law School. Dukes earned a B.A. from University of Redlands and a Juris Doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law. He is a native of Pomona, Calif.

William Fox
Joined Fair Association: 2009

William Fox was named director-elect in 2011 and director in 2012. He is the former president of William Fox Group and William Fox Homes Inc. located in Ontario, CA. He is chair of The Learning Centers board;, a member of the Fairtime Learning committee; member of the governance and nominating committee, finance and compensation committee, Junior Fair Board committee and Claremont committee for the L.A. County Fair where he serves as chair of the Yellow Bus committee. He is a member of Claremont School District 7-11 committee and Claremont School Asset Advisory committee. Bill is a graduate of University of Southern California with a degree in business administration. He is a resident of Claremont.

Sue Hyland
Joined Fair Association: 2004

Sue Hyland became a director in 2009. She serves as board member for the Fairplex Child Development Center; chair of The Learning Centers board;, member of The Learning Centers fundraising committee and member of LACFA audit committee, Hall of Fame committee, and strategic planning committee . Also on Fairplex Child Development Center fund development committee. She previously served on the Capital Campaign Cabinet for the Child Development Center, celebrating the results of the Center's first capital campaign, with donations of more than $2 million. She is owner and chairman of the board of The Claremont Club; and, named Business Woman of the Year in 2002-03 and awarded Claremont Chamber's nationally recognized Athena Award. She served on Foundation Board at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and on the board of Claremont Red Cross. She resides in Claremont.

Linda Keagle
Joined Fair Association: 2002

Linda Keagle was named a Fair director in 2003. She I serves on the finance and compensation, nominating and governance committees. She is vice chair of the community committee and chair of the Upland community committee. She also served as a judge in the Fair's Creative department and the Wines of the World packaging design competition. Linda is a restaurateur and an owner and founder of Cask 'n Cleaver restaurants and also owns the historic Sycamore Inn in Rancho Cucamonga. She was named a Woman of Distinction in the California 63rd Assembly District in 2006. She was named Entrapreneur of the Year by the Riverside Press Enterprise in 2011. She is a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier International and has served on the board of Upland Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Governors of Webb Schools. Linda is a native of Evanston, Illinois and a graduate of Northern Illinois University, She resides in Upland.

Arthur Ludwick 
Joined Fair Association: 1990

Art Ludwick was named chairman of the board in January 2012, having served as a Fair director since 2002. He is past chairman of LACFA's finance & compensation committee, the strategic planning committee and the investment committee. He also serves on the Glendora community committee. He is retired chief financial officer and senior vice president of Rain Bird Corporation and currently serves on its board of directors as non-executive chairman of the board. He is a member of Glendora Kiwanis and chairman emeritus of Foothill Hospital Foundation. He also serves on the board of directors of Citrus Valley Health partners. He formerly served as chairman of the Glendora Parks and Recreations Commission. He is a graduate of Stanford University, earning a B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Civil Engineering Administration. He and wife Sarah were named Citizens of the Year by the Glendora Chamber of Commerce in 1987, and were honored at the 2004 L.A. County Fair Premiere Party for their many years of community service and dedication to education. Art is a native of San Luis Obispo, CA.

Ciriaco "Cid" Pinedo
Joined Fair Association: 2010

Cid Pinedo was named director-elect in 2011and director in 2012. He is the Associate Superintendent for the Chaffey Community College District. He is on The Learning Centers fundraising committee. He is active in the community serving as past chairman of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, secretary/treasurer of the SG Children's Center and board member of the Network of California Community College Foundations. He chaired the city of La Verne Planning Commission 2009-10. Pinedo has a bachelor's degree from St. John's Seminary and a doctorate in organizational leadership from University of La Verne.

John Solomon
Joined Fair Association: 2006

John Solomon was named director in 2010. He is owner and president of Liquorama in Upland, for 11 years and a self-described serious fine wine aficionado. He serves finance and compensation committee, governance and nominating committee, and TLC board. Also is a member of TLC fundraising committee and community committees. He is chair of Chino Hills' community committee & serves on Upland community committee. Also serves on PVHMC foundation board and is a member of Upland Chamber of Commerce. He writes monthly wine columns for Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and Inland Empire Magazine. He served as a judge in the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits competition. He is an AYSO soccer coach. John has tasted more than 5,000 wines in career. He is a native of Detroit, Mich.

Ronald Vera
Joined Fair Association: 2001

Ronald Vera was named Fair director in 2002. He is an attorney and partner in the law firm of Vera & Barbosa in Claremont. He serves on the LACFA's investment and audit committee and La Verne Blue Ribbon committee. He is a former adjunct professor of law at Loyola Marymount University's School of Law and serves on the board of Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and the California Community Foundation and the California Consortium of Education Foundation. He earned a B.S. from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctorate law degree from UCLA. Ron is a native of Pomona, Calif.

Thomas Hsieh
Joined Fair Association: 2010

Thomas Hsieh was named director in July 2012. He is CEO of SplinterRock, a technology consulting and brokerage firm, since 2007. He was formerly with EarthLink for more than 10 years. He serves on the Fair's Junior Fair Board committee. He is actively involved with numerous non-profit organizations including as founding president of the board of Pomona Hope, which operates a community center, after-school program, computer lab and more including housing services in partnership with city of Pomona and Habitat for Humanity. Hsieh also serves with Servant Partners, an international organization providing community transformation in the world's poorest areas. He earned an executive MBA from Drucker School of Management and a bachelor of science degree in Physics from Harvey Mudd College.