July 28th – Today, the Napa Valley Exposition Board of Directors announced the hiring of Corey Oakley as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Napa Expo, replacing longtime CEO Joe Anderson who has remained part-time in that role since his retirement last year.
Oakley comes to the Napa Expo from Helm & Sons Amusements, Inc., of Riverside, where he was Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for 18 years. Helm & Sons is the carnival operator for the Napa Town & Country Fair.
Oakley was General Manager and CEO of Sonoma County Fair and Exposition in Santa Rosa from 2005-07 and President and CEO of National Orange Show Events Center from 1989-2000.
Oakley also is owner and CEO of In Front Events of Santa Rosa, an event planning business with a range of live entertainment, amusement and carnival productions.
“Corey’s experience with fairs and entertainment production, especially for years with the Napa Expo and Town & Country Fair, make him the right person to continue the leadership Joe has provided for decades,” said Board President Jeri Hansen. “Corey has practical and operational experience, as well as a vision for how the Napa Expo can continue to evolve as an event and gathering place for the entire Napa Valley community.”
Anderson has been CEO of the Napa Expo for 15 years and was Deputy General Manager prior to that for 11 years.
“The Board of Directors express our deepest appreciation and thanks for Joe’s leadership and friendship. Joe’s tenure includes managing the Expo through wildfires and other natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town & Country Fair, Junior Livestock Auction, the RV rental park, the emergence of the Bottlerock music festival, and countless special events and rental activities. Joe’s dedication to operating the Fair and supporting 4-H and FFA youth through the Junior Livestock program highlight what will be a lasting legacy at the Napa Expo,” Hansen said.
The Napa Expo is on 33 acres of state property that is part of the 25th District Agriculture Association under the California Department of Food & Agriculture.