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Eastern States Exposition Names Robert Kelley Director of Operations

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Robert Kelley has been named director of Operations at Eastern States Exposition. A graduate of Agawam High School, he continued his education at Holyoke Community College before starting his career at ESE in 1975.

Over the past 25 years, Kelley has served ESE as its contractor coordinator, overseeing numerous capital-improvement projects. Under his direction, 10 new buildings were constructed, including the Mallary Complex East and West, the food court, the Visitors’ Center East and West, the Transportation Center, the indoor warm-up horse ring, the Young Building and two wine and cheese barns now known as the Farmers Market.

He also supervised the installation of air conditioning in the Better Living Center and Young Building, and a heating system in Mallary Complex. Additionally, he directed projects involving moving all electricity from overhead to underground and the installation of a new sewer and storm-drain infrastructure.

As director, he will oversee all grounds operations, including maintenance, construction, landscaping, and contractors, and continue to supervise all building projects on the grounds.

“Bob knows the 175 acres of Eastern States Exposition better than anyone in the history of the company,” said Gene Cassidy, ESE president and CEO. “He is resourceful, conscientious, and has a vast knowledge of the infrastructure and operation of our physical plant and its many nuances and challenges.”

Added Kelley, “I am pleased to be named director of Operations at ESE. My goal is to continue to preserve and protect these historic grounds and incorporate 21st-century improvements to keep our facility viable for the fair and all of our year-round functions for years to come.”

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