Fair manager steps away

Fort Bend County Fair Manager Susan Sillavan Forbes and her husband Shane at the 2015 Fort Bend County Fair.

Fort Bend County Fair Manager Susan Sillavan Forbes and her husband Shane at the 2015 Fort Bend County Fair.

The motivation behind the Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo’s successes is a strong board and a fair industry icon named Susan Sillavan Forbes.

Sillavan Forbes announced she will step away from her fair manager duties effective April 1.

“I am stepping away from the daily operations but this gives me more time with my family and my grandbabies. I love my fair family but I love being Gigi,” said Sillavan Forbes, who is expecting another grandchild in the fall.

Sillavan Forbes has been fair manager since November 2008. Her time with the fair has seen attendance numbers soar and record-breaking auction totals. Last year, the Texas Association of Fairs and Events (TAF&E) named Sillavan Forbes as 2015 Manager/Professional of the Year. This elusive honor is given to the person who demonstrated superior leadership and professional achievement from among a statewide market of fairs, festivals and events, including the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, RodeoHouston and Rodeo Austin.

Sillavan Forbes is a fair industry veteran with nearly 20 years of experience. Under her leadership at Fort Bend County Fair, several new events for fair-goers of all ages have been added including the children’s tractor pull, junior royalty pageant; Lil Wranglers barbecue contest, the Go Tejano committee, and many other events. During her tenure a crawfish boil, Boots & Buckles on The Bay Fishing Tournament and the Downtown Stomp (wine event in historic downtown Rosenberg) are events that have been implemented for the community to enjoy during the year and bring awareness to the fair.

“I have had an incredible time with the Fort Bend County Fair. I look forward to making the transition as smooth as it can be.

I know with the amazing staff, and the best volunteers, the 2016 fair will be one for the history books,” Sillavan Forbes said.

Sillavan Forbes has no immediate plans except to occasionally consult with fair officials during the transition period. The fair’s 10-day run is Sept. 23 to Oct. 2.

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