The Los Angeles County Fair Association welcomes its two newest members, Jennetta Harris and Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana. The pair complements a roster of nearly 50 notable and dynamic community and civic leaders that serve on the association for the not-for-profit organization. The Los Angeles County Fair Association operates and manages Fairplex, home of the L.A. County Fair and more than 500 diverse year-round events.
Harris has been employed by So. California Edison as local public affairs region manager for 23 of the nearly 35 years she has worked for the company. She represents Edison as the liaison and primary contact on regulatory, legislative and/or local government issues where impacts on company policies, revenues, facilities and operations can be challenged. She serves on a number of organizations including University of La Verne College of Business and Public Management Advisory Board, Citrus Community College Foundation Board, Congressman Dreier’s Youth Volunteer Council, Habitat for Humanity Advisory Board, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Foundation Board, Claremont Chamber of Commerce Board, Western University College of Allied Health Advisory Board and Juneteenth America Advisory Board. She has received numerous awards from local and national organizations for outstanding achievements and contributions as a humanitarian, most notably the NAACP Woman of Achievement Award for Community Empowerment. She resides in San Dimas and has two college-age children.
Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana is superintendent of Pomona Unified School District, which serves 30,000 students in Pomona and Diamond Bar. During her first year in 2006, she reorganized district administration, created a new culture of accountability, refocused all employees with the district on academic improvement and worked to change and improve the public perception of the district. In that year, she also created two new schools, one a pre-K-8 mathematics and science magnet school, so popular that it filled immediately and now has a waiting list. The second school is a first-ever-district-sponsored dependent charter school serving students in grades 7-12. Melendez has more than 24 years in urban school districts having served in a variety of positions. She has been recognized for her educational leadership including California State Polytechnic University naming her the Outstanding K-12 School Leader in the CSPU Distinguished Partner for Educational Excellence award series. In 2007, Hispanic magazine honored her as one of America’s Latinas of Excellence with its Education Award. She resides with her husband in Eagle Rock.
Los Angeles County Fair Association members actively serve on a number of boards within the organization, from the foundations’ boards— Fairplex Child Development Center, Millard Sheets Center for the Arts, Fairplex Education Foundation— to community, strategic planning, and investment and auction committees. New members are nominated by the Los Angeles County Fair Association board of directors and their membership is approved by the association members.
The L.A. County Fair has been a mainstay in Southern California since 1922. It is consistently one of the top 10 fairs and festivals in North America, currently maintaining the No. 4 spot. The facility plays host to more than 2.7 million visitors annually between attendees to the September Fair and a multiplicity of year-round events.