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Gene Cassidy Elected Chairman of International Assoc. of Fairs and Expositions

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Eugene Cassidy, president and CEO of Eastern States Exposition (ESE), was elected chairman of the International Assoc. of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) during the organization’s annual business meeting.

“I am excited to be leading our trade association during this crucial, unprecedented tim,” Cassidy said. “We have recently embarked on the first year of a new decade, and with it, we will have new approaches to our business. We will find creative new ways to conduct our business, and we will struggle through the end days of this pandemic, carrying on with our missions intact, and the public gratified for how we support the most wholesome way of life on earth.”

He added, “we are all engaged in making our industry, the events we produce, the propagation of agriculture, and our missions better.”

Cassidy will serve in this international leadership role for 2021, spearheading the direction of the international group of fairs. The IAFE currently has 911 member fairs and affiliated organizations worldwide.

The theme for IAFE 2021 is “Grow Fair Strong,” with a focus on growing as in all things agriculture, but also the growth in fairs and the economies they impact in the wake of the pandemic.

Cassidy joined ESE as director of Finance in 1993 and was named executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2011. He assumed the position of president and CEO in 2012 and is the exposition’s seventh CEO in its 105-year history. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration and accounting from Western New England University.

He serves as vice chairman of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, treasurer of the Western Massachusetts chapter of Legatus, treasurer and board member of MassHire Hampden County, member of the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation board, finance board member at St. Mary’s Parish, and board member at St. Thomas the Apostle School.

He is also accredited as a certified fair executive by the IAFE and has served the organization as treasurer, second vice president, and first vice president before assuming his role as chairman. He is also actively involved as a member of the budget and finance and program committees, is a frequent presenter at IAFE meetings on a national level, and served as program chair of the organization’s international convention in Las Vegas in 2010.

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