The Santa Maria Fairpark recently appointed its deputy manager, Autumn Acquistapace as interim CEO, representatives announced July 20. She will take on the duties of Richard Persons, who retired on June 30 after serving five years as CEO.
Prior to serving as the fair’s deputy manager, Acquistapace spent eight years as event coordinator for the Fairpark. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the facility.
“I’m excited to take on the challenge and ready to work hard with everyone at the Fairpark toward saving the Fair for our community,” she said.
Acquistapace has worked in various administrative capacities with the State of California for more than 20 years. She moved to Santa Maria after graduating from college in 2007 and then marrying her husband Bobby, with whom she has two young boys. Acquistapace is currently a member of Leading from Within — Katherine Harvey Fellows Class 2016-2017, the Minerva Club of Santa Maria, and is on the Board of Directors with the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum.
The change comes at a time when the Fairpark faces challenges after the cancellation of its two main events because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival and the Santa Barbara County Fair. Plans are in the works for a fall festival in October.