The Merced County Fair said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made appointments to the fair’s board of directors, 35th District Agricultural Association.
Seven of the directors on the nine-member board have been reappointed, and there will be two new faces replacing two long-time directors. Sharon Williams, 44, of Merced, replaces Jim Cunningham of Le Grand, who served on the fair board for almost 20 years. Flip Hassett, 63, of Merced, replaces Gary Carlson of Merced. Carlson served on the fair board for several years. Hassett was named to the position by the outgoing governor to finish the term that expires Jan. 15, 2011. All fair board members are volunteers and receive no salary.
“We thank Jim and Gary for devoting so much of their time and energy to help make this fair a success,” said Tom Musser, the fair’s CEO. “We welcome our new members and returning directors as we make plans for the 2011 Fair.”
Williams, a Republican, is the principal attorney for the Law Office of Sharon E. Williams since 1998. She was an associate attorney at Flanagan, Mason, Robbins, Gnass & Corman from 1994-98. She is a member of the Merced College Foundation, Guide Dogs for the Blind and is president of Cruickshank Middle School Performing Arts Boosters.
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Hassett, a Democrat, has served as executive director of United Way of Merced County since 2006. He also was the health and safety director for Owens-Illinois from 2002-2006. He was coach of the U.S.A. Water Polo Women’s National Team in 1979, when the team won the Water Polo World Cup. He is a member of the board of directors for the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce, Merced County Chamber of Commerce, Atwater Chamber of Commerce and Los Banos Chamber of Commerce and he’s a member of California Collaboration-United Way.
The seven directors reappointed to new four-year terms on the board are: Bert Crane Jr., Mark Erreca, Jaime Farao, Deborah Lewis, Barbara Matheron, Shannon Picciano and Carol Sartori-Silva.
Crane, 51, of Merced, has served on the fair’s board since 2007. A Republican, he’s been general partner for Bert Crane Orchards since 2004. He is a member of the Senate Agriculture Advisory Committee, Merced County High-Speed Rail Committee, California Walnut Commission and chair of the California Walnut Commission Intra-Industry Liaison Committee.
Erreca, 39, of Los Banos, is a Democrat, and has been on the board since 2003. He has been principal for Erreca Cattle Company since 1986 and a real estate agent for PMZ Real Estate since 2008. He was a real estate agent with Century 21 Premier from 2004 to 2008 and for Prudential California Company from 1994 to 2004. He is on the board of directors for the Merced County Planning Commission and the Merced County Chamber of Commerce. Erreca also is a member of the Los Banos Basque Club and the Merced County Sheriff’s Office of Search and Rescue.
Farao, 57, of Gustine, a Republican, also has served on the fair’s board since 2007. He has worked as an agricultural instructor at Merced College since 1998, previously teaching agriculture for Gustine Unified School District from 1991 to 1998. He was a manager and partner for Burke Farao Suffolks & Hampshires from 1987 to 1991. Farao is a member of the California Agriculture Teachers Association, Merced College Academic Senate, California Fairs and Expositions Rules Committee, Merced County Fair’s Auction Committee, Gustine High School’s Agriculture Advisory Committee and Merced and West Side 4-H.
Lewis, 61, of Los Banos, is a Republican, and has been on the fair board since 2007. She was a planning commissioner for the City of Los Banos from 1999 to 2007. She retired after working for Santa Clara County as a deputy public guardian from 1985 to 2004 and as an eligibility worker from 1980 to 1985. She was an assistant investigator for the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office from 1974 to 1980. Lewis is a member of the Los Banos Arts Council Board of Directors and president of the Merced County Republican Women’s Federation.
Matheron, 58, of Hilmar, is a Republican, who has served on the board since 2005 and previously was a member from 1997 to 2001. Self-employed, she has worked for Hilmar Holsteins, a family-owned and operated dairy farm, since 1979. Matheron is a member of California Women for Agriculture and California Dairy Women’s Association.
Picciano, 52, of Merced, is a Republican, and is currently serving as the board’s president. She has been a board member since 2004. Since 2001 she has worked as a public information assistant for Merced Community College. She served as an administrative specialist at the University of California, Merced from 1999 to 2000, was a community representative for the California State Senate from 1995 to 1999 and was an interpreter for the deaf at Merced College from 1993 to 1995. She worked in the Office of former Governor George Deukmejian as public affairs assistant from 1987 to 1990 and as assistant to the director of writing and research from 1983 to 1987. She is a member of the Merced County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Friends of the Merced County Fair and is founding director of Merced County’s Most Wanted.
Sartori-Silva, 59, of Merced, is a Republican, serving on the fair’s board since 2005. She previously was a member from 1998-2002. Before retiring, she was a fiscal and management information supervisor for the Merced County Workforce Investment Department from 1982-2001 and a civil assistant for the Merced County Marshal’s Office from 1979-1982. Sartori-Silva is a member of Mercy Hospital Foundation Heritage Club and California Women in Agriculture.
Visit the 2011 Merced County Fair’s website, www.MercedCountyFair.com and find it on Facebook and Twitter. The 120th fair’s theme is “Saddle Up for Fun!” and the fair dates are June 16-20, 2011. For more information call (209) 722-1507, fax at (209) 722-3773 or e-mail to Info@MercedCountyFair.com .