Kentucky State Fair Board chief Rippetoe leaving for San Diego j - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky State Fair Board chief Rippetoe leaving for San Diego job

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, whose three-year stint in charge of the Kentucky State Fair Board included landing funds to expand the Kentucky International Convention Center, is taking a similar job in San Diego, the fair board announced Friday evening.

Rippetoe, who previously held convention and tourism jobs in Nevada and Utah, said in a press release that he made the decision to be closer to his children and grandchildren. “This was a difficult choice but ultimately is the best for our family,” he said in a news release.

The fair board chairman, Dr. Mark Lynn, will name an interim CEO until a permanent successor is chosen, according to the release.

Rippetoe joined the fair board after longtime president Harold Workman retired under pressure in 2012. Under Rippetoe’s leadership, the fair board “moved toward financial stability by implementing acceptable accounting procedures and internal audits, and expanded creative approaches to increase attendance and revenue at the three in-house produced events,” the news release said.

The work renovating and expanding the downtown convention center is to start this summer and finish in 2018. The $180 million project, which will add 50,000 square feet of new space, will result in a two-year shutdown of the building.

Rippetoe also feuded with the Louisville Arena Authority over revenue the fair board lost when the University of Louisville’s basketball teams moved to the KFC Yum! Center in 2010 from Freedom Hall, which the fair board operates at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

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