Get Started in the Institute of Fair Management
An advanced course that reviews Commercial Exhibits best practices and reviews
Application/registration processing procedures and selection; contracts & licenses; rules, regulations, policies and procedures; rate and fee philosophies; privilege rates and fees; relationship building for success; exhibitor needs and commercial exhibits where we have come from and what tomorrow looks like.
Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire in December, 1973, Sinclair continued to work at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair until February of 1975, when he was hired by the Minnesota State Fair (St. Paul) as an administrative assistant responsible for development of the fair's early American theme area, Heritage Square. In 1977 he was promoted to special events superintendent in charge of off-season special events and facility utilization on the exposition's more than 300-acre campus, which includes 12 multi-use activity buildings and a year-round Coliseum event complex. In 1978, he was named rental services supervisor charged with management of the fair's concession and exhibit rental operations, special attractions and carnival oversight.
In 1989, Jim assumed the role of assistant manager, rental services, responsible for administration and management of all fair-time and non-fair rental operations, concessions, exhibits, events, attractions, facility usage and staff; in 1990 he was promoted to director, rental services, and from 1995 to 1999 held the position of director, sales. In February, 1999 Sinclair was named an assistant manager, responsible for the exposition’s Sales Division, Facilities, Purchasing and Events Groups and in March, 2006 was given his current title as Deputy General Manager.
During his forty plus (40+) year tenure at the Minnesota State Fair, Sinclair has had numerous management responsibilities and undertaken multiple program and operational initiatives on behalf of the exposition. He has held the lead role in research, development, implementation, administration and management of the Minnesota State Fair’s independent carnival midway initiated in 1995, been responsible for development of the exposition’s percentage license fee programs for attractions, food/beverage, novelty, game and souvenir concessions; concession privilege formulas for entertainer merchandise sales; the fair’s concession/exhibit public liability insurance programs; exposition recycling/sanitation programs; as well as several concession/exhibit aesthetic, thematic and operation enhancement initiatives.
Long active in theInternational Association of Fairs and Expositions, Jim was the first recipient of the President's Club Gold Award for sponsoring more than 100 new I.A.F.E. members during his career. He has also played an active role on several I.A.F.E. committees; has chaired the Commercial Exhibits and Concessions, Membership, Professional Improvement and Nominating Committees; served as liaison director for the Commercial Exhibits and Concessions, and Advertising and Promotions Committees; was Spring Management Conference Program Chairman in 1995; chaired the Certification Committee in 1997; was International Convention Program Chairman in 1997; and was 2008 chairman of the I.A.F.E. Industry Relations Committee.
Sinclair is a Certified Fair Executive and 2012 graduate of the IAFE Institute of Fair Management. He served as I.A.F.E Zone 4 Director representing Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in 1991 and 1992; was elected Second Vice Chairman of the I.A.F.E. Board in December, 2008, was named I.A.F.E. First Vice Chairman in 2010, served as 2011 IAFE Board Chair and was Past Chair in 2012 and 2013. Jim was also a 2017 Showmen’s League of America Hall of Honor recipient.
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