Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association Incorporated
3000 RINGLING BLVD
SARASOTA FL 34237-5333
Mission
Sarasota County Fair Association will efficiently utilize the association's assets, be innovative in planning and growth, protect the public investment, maintain sensitivity to the environment, preserve and showcase our agricultural heritage and other local economic interests, including the development and education of our youth, creating cultural traditions culminating in the annual fair.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Rory Martin
Board Chair Mr. Rory S. Martin
Board Chair Affiliation President- Sarasota County Farm Bureau
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1971
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Aug 2016
State Registration 0
IRS Letter of Determination
View
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $1,223,500.00
Projected Expenses $1,085,000.00
Impact Statement
The Sarasota County Fair moves into the 21st Century dedicated to continue showcasing the agricultural industry, commerce, customs, and cultures of Sarasota County while sustaining and developing family entertainment and enhancing economic vitality.
 
Past year accomplishments:
*Continued to improved financial performance over last year.
*Attracted new events and expanded the number of event days. Recurring events are increasing; hosted 5 graduations (up from historical two). Attracted new RV rallies to our community including the Family Motor Coach Association.  
*The fair was the  most successful in the past eight years with good attendance and revenues. 
 
Goals for current year:
*Improve facilities for the communities utilization and be seen as a valuable community resource.
*Contract new events to fill calendar year that provides diversity and community economic development while contributing to the financial success of our operation. 
*Increase the number of 4-H and FFA youth exhibiting and participating in the fair and increase community involvement in our Fair Creative Arts Show that is open to all amateur artists, hobbyists and crafters ages 5 and older who reside in Sarasota County.
  
We are committed to fiscal responsibility, effective communication, community and family orientation, customer service and safety. Our goals include a continued trend to financial self-sufficiency while attracting quality events representing the cultural diversity of Sarasota. 
Needs Statement
*Support/funding for replacement of the agricultural complex with a single facility capable of being utilized for sports tourism events, agricultural events, supporting existing events, fair, and Emergency Management operations.
*Development of marketing materials with a consistent brand recognition; expansion of social media utilization.
*Sponsorship for the Science Fair; $17,500
*Capital improvements in Potter Building and Ken Clark: $50,000
*Development of Board of Directors with non-profit training, and attracting diversity within its ranks. 
Background Statement
The Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association and its annual Sarasota County Fair began in 1923. It began at Payne Park but was moved to make way for baseball spring training. In 1927, it gave up its site for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to make Sarasota its winter home.
 
It settled at its current site in the early 1950's. During the course of time, Robarts Arena and other buildings were erected. In keeping with F.S. 616, the state statute governing fairs and expositions, the programing extended to providing facilities for economic and educational events.
 
 
Areas Served
Areas Served
Area
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
It is a privilege and honor to lead a historic and distinguished organization that serves the community in many vital areas while providing opportunities for youth, education and economic development. As our society has evolved, our association and its assets have continued to provide a needed resource and play a key role in many areas that make our community a rich and vibrant place to live, work and play.
 
It is exciting and challenging to see ideas sprout, develop and succeed. The programs offered through the annual Sarasota County Fair has seen our youth blossom with the experience and education while participating; culminating in the showcasing of their projects and demonstrating leadership skills. The volunteer leaders that work within the programs give hours of dedicated service to our youth and community, without which there could be no success.
 
The variety of cultural and economic events that come through our doors provide an atmosphere of hope, enthusiasm and energy. I particularly enjoy seeing an idea sprout and develop. It is a source of personal growth to see the successful completion of an event.
Programs
Description
The Sarasota County Fair is an annual  tradition that began in 1923 in Sarasota. The annual fair showcases the 4-H and FFA Youth projects, exhibits citizen projects in the Creative Arts Show, showcases agricultural business through the SABER Expo (Sarasota Agricultural Businesses and Environmental Resources) and Science Fair winners. The Cracker Land Exhibit showcases the history and culture in Sarasota through displays, music and interactive activities.  The Commercial Expo provides local businesses a chance to demonstrate and sell their goods to the local residents.
 
The culmination of the fair with rides, exhibits and food provides the backdrop for community philanthropy in supporting the 4-H and FFA Youth projects through sales and auctions. Each year the auctions raise several hundred thousand dollars which goes directly to the youths exhibiting the projects.
 
The Sarasota County Fair is dedicated to wholesome family entertainment. Each year the fair provides unique entertainment for the one low admission price.
Budget $500,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Cultural Heritage
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families General/Unspecified K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success
The 2013 Sarasota County Fair continued to hold even with the number of participants from the last two years. Due to the decline in the economy, participant levels have decreased from a high of six years ago. The signs of a successful recover is found in the average prices of the auctions for the youth projects.  
Long Term Success
The Sarasota County Fair is one of the longest running community functions in our county having started in 1923.  The Sarasota County Fair provides opportunities for our youth to excel in learning leadership skills, responsibilities, and economic accountability. The Fair continues to showcase our agricultural heritage, provide opportunities for the youth to learn and demonstrate competency in animal husbandry culminating in financial returns, and provide opportunities for community economic development.
 
 
Program Success Monitoring
The success is monitored by the Board of Directors of the Sarasota County Fair. The Board of Directors will look at the summary sheet of the number and type of exhibits and\ total number of exhibitors as compared to the prior ten years. The financial reports on the fair provides the snap shot of the performance of the event, which is reviewed monthly by the Board of Directors.
Program Success Examples
The Sarasota County Fair has been a tradition since 1923 and recently celebrating  the 2013 77th Annual Sarasota County Fair. The Sarasota County Fair operates as a not-for-profit without a public operating subsidy. The Sarasota County Fair annually draws over 130,000 attendees through its gates. The Sarasota County Fair provides educational and hands-on opportunities for the public to learn different facets of agriculture.

Sarasota youth participate through the 4-H and FFA with over 500 students entering each year. The 4-H and FFA Livestock sales generate an average of $250,000 annually going to the students. Creative Arts averages over 400 participates entering an average of 1800 arts and crafts exhibits. The winners of the Sarasota County Science Fair are displayed showcasing the scientific achievements of Sarasota students. The Sarasota County Fair provides an opportunity for local schools to entertain on the main stage. Commercial vendors can show case their wares through the Commercial Exhibit space. The Sarasota County Fair provides free exhibition space to the Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota Sheriff's Department and other public service agencies. The Fair gives out over $20,000 in premiums to participants based on ribbon placement (blue, red, or white). The Sarasota County Fair continues to be a family-based, entertainment venue that is value priced.

Description
The Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association Inc. owns and operates a variety of buildings on its 65 acres. The prime location and expansive grounds provides the backdrop of many of the community's key events (i.e. Medieval Fair, Air Stream Rally, Highland Games, Bluesfest, Pet Pages, Indian Festival, etc..)
 
*Robarts Arena: capacity up to 5,103- floor space: +/-:15,000 sq.ft.: holds graduations, concerts, trade shows, banquets, sporting events, home shows.
 
Potter Building: capacity up to 299- floor space: +/- 6,000 sq.ft.: holds small shows, wedding receptions, private parties.
 
Ken Clark Building: capacity up to 150- floor space: +/- 2500 sq.ft.: holds receptions, meeting space, banquets, ancillary space for larger events in other buildings.
 
Barn Complex: Primarily used for the fair but utilized by outdoor events for entertainment, vendors, dog shows, etc..
Budget $350,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified General/Unspecified General/Unspecified
Short Term Success
The utilization of our facilities has increased over the last few years through a careful, deliberative process of customer service, capital improvements, and a dedication to excellence while maintaining budgetary discipline. This is demonstrated through a calendar of events. One example of the short term success is the scheduling of returning events through 2020. One large trailer rally (with up to 1000 units) could not be accommodated in the near term but is scheduled for 2015.
Long Term Success
The utilization of the association's assets provides the community an opportunity to participate in a  wide variety of economic, social and cultural traditions that adds to the vibrancy to the citizens of Sarasota.  The diversity of the events continues to provide an economic impact to the community and has increased the recognition of Sarasota and its local cities throughout the state and nation.  
Program Success Monitoring
The success is monitored by the Board of Directors through the monthly meetings and financial performance. As the association is not tax payer supported, the successful operation is dependent on profitable events. Whereby the annual county  fair subsidized the annual operation to the amount of $200,000, the increase in events and their profitability has decreased the dependency on the annual fair for sustained operational stability.
Program Success Examples
Examples of Success:
*Graduations: as the largest venue in Sarasota, Robarts Arena hosts Riverview and Booker High School graduations. Sarasota Military Academy is scheduled to hold their graduation in 2014.
*Medieval Fair: annual event is booked 3 years out and increased from two to three weekends.
*Air Stream Rally: this rally just concluded their 40th year. Although their affiliation is changing, they are contracted to return as well as grow their event.
*Allegro Rally: this rally draws over 250 units and is scheduled to return every other year through 2020.
*Trade Shows: Robarts Arena is continuing to attract new events on a repeat basis. There are three home shows  and four gun shows scheduled in the next year.
*Community Groups: The facilities are home to a number of groups for their annual event including the NRA, Sarasota Sportsmen, Rotary Club with their Pioneer Picnic, Templeton Foundation with Joe Gibbs, Amish community and annual Haiti Auction.
Description
The Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association is a staging site for Florida Power and Light (FPL) for power restoration in case of a natural disaster. We provide a venue for staging of materials and manpower, catering and command post infrastructure.
 
The National Guard Armory is adjacent to our property. If activated, the National Guard is allowed to utilize five acres of Fair property located on Tuttle Ave. which provides for a staging site of equipment, manpower  and operations.
Budget $0
Category Public Safety, Disaster Services, General/Other Disaster Relief/Recovery
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified General/Unspecified General/Unspecified
Short Term Success
*2001: held the largest staging site in state for FPL with up to 2,500 men on site.
*2004: provided facilities for victims of Hurricane Charley working with Red Cross
*2005: FPL staging site during tropical storm
*2012: FPL staging site for two tropical storms
Long Term Success
This program is not wished for but we stand ready to assist the community in recovering from a natural disaster.
Program Success Monitoring
The success of the program is monitored by the Board of Directors and the financial performance of program.
Program Success Examples
The Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association continues to be FPL's venue of choice in our area for storm related staging.
Comments
Program Comments by Organization
The Sarasota County Fair faces many challenges in the 21st Century which a proactive Board of Directors must face to stay relevant. The 80th Annual Fair provided challenges reflective of the economy but are encouraging for our future. 
 
The Facility Rentals and Event Operations are challenging as they are subject to the economy and factors beyond our control. It requires keeping a trained staff to handle a variety of functions from setup to crowd management. As this is seasonal, periods of decreased activity make it a challenge to meet expenses necessary to retain talented, trained staff.
 
 
 
The Board of Directors for the Sarasota County Fair is addressing the challenges through board development opportunities that will provide a engaged, diverse group dedicated to the goals and mission of the organization.
 
The sponsorship program for the fair is being addressed and updated. Creating an active marketing and branding campaign for the annual event is key to providing potential sponsors a reason to participate.
 
The Sarasota County Fair works in partnership with the Sarasota County Cooperative Extension Service to provide an opportunity to engage the youth of Sarasota County and participate in the fair. Through such participation, the youth develop life skills and leadership abilities that will serve them well entering the challenges of adulthood and the job market.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Rory Martin
CEO Term Start Aug 2004
CEO/Executive Director Email rory@sarasotafair.com
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
NameTerm
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 5
Part Time Staff 5
Staff Retention Rate % 50
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 1
Volunteers 100
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
Collaborations
The Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association collaborates with the Sarasota County Farm Bureau, Sarasota County Cattlemen, Florida Nursery Landscapers and Growers Association, and Sarasota County Cooperative Extension Service.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Liquor Liability
Commercial General Liability
Directors and Officers Policy
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Plans
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years N/A
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Policies
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Comments
Management Comments by Organization
The Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association Inc. is managed by the Board of Directors through the Executive Committee by the President. The Fair began a long range planning process in 2001 to replace its aging buildings. Three years into the process, the General Manager resigned. The Board of Directors appointed two directors to provide interim management until such time as the direction of the long range plan was decided. In 2007, the Board of Directors asked the President to assume the duties of General Manager.
 
As the association has been independent and not funded by taxpayers, funding has always been dependent on the annual county fair and events that utilize the association's assets. Usually, similar type operations are a function of government and subsidized by the taxpayers. The aging buildings and infrastructure has been the stumbling block for increased utilization.
 
The association's assets, namely Robarts Arena, was erected in 1967. Due to the age, the continued utilization was not feasible unless it was revamped. The Sarasota County Commission and Sarasota voters approved a line item in the Surtax for infrastructure improvements. The Fair has provided the oversight working in conjunction with Sarasota County Government in the first two phases of funding.
 
The first phase of funding provided for the installation of a fire sprinkler system, new bathrooms, HVAC improvements, as well as other interior improvements. The second phase of funding provided for new floor seating, new stage system, and parking lot paving and handicap parking improvements as well as a new marquee sign. Future phases will include a new entrance with lobby and box office, new fixed seating, and other upgrades but not funded fully until 2024. If the surtax funding was fully approved by the Sarasota County Commission, it is recommended that additional floor space be added by extending the building in order to attract larger, more profitable events.
 
The management of the association over the last seven years has focused on attracting increased utilization of the facilities through a better maintenance plan, allocating scarce resources into capital improvements where possible, and improving the customer experience.
 
The challenges the association continues to face is aging infrastructure in other buildings on the property. It is difficult to make meaningful changes relying on rental income although the community relies on the association's assets for important and memorable events.
 
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Rory S. Martin
Company Affiliation President- Sarasota County Farm Bureau
Board Term Oct 2015 to Sept 2016
Board Chair Email rory@sarasotafair.com
Board Members
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Peter Abott Community Volunteer
Mr. John Albritton Community Volunteer
Mr. Carl Askins Community Volunteer
Mr. Stephen Bell Community Volunteer
Mr. Randy Boyd Community Volunteer
Mr. Rob Brown Community Volunteer
Mr. Byron Crofut Community Volunteer
Mr. Bryan Dailey Sarasota County Cooperative Ext. Service
Mr. B.C. Drymon Sarasota/Fl. Nursery Growers Assoc.
Mr. Mike Kennedy Sarasota County Livestock Association
Mr. Frank Kovach Community Volunteer
Mr. Al Light Community Volunteer
Mr. Robbie Martin Community Volunteer
Mr. Rory Martin Sarasota County Farm Bureau
Ms. Carolyn Mason Sarasota County Board of County Comm.
Mr. Bill McClain Community Volunteer
Mr. Dale Oswalt Community Volunteer
Mr. Edward Sampey Community Volunteer
Mr. Wilbur Smith Community Volunteer
Mr. Randy Thies Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 20
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 20
Female 1
Unspecified
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 75
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 33
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 70
Standing Committees
Audit
Executive
Nominating
Program / Program Planning
Comments
Governance Comments by Organization
The Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association has a long tradition of keeping the cultural heritage of the annual Sarasota County Fair. The by-laws in the creation of the organization call for the affairs of the organization to be directed by no less than 17 members and no more than 25.
 
The Board of Director membership is to include representatives from the Sarasota County Farm Bureau, Sarasota County Cattlemen, Sarasota County Cooperative Extension Service, Sarasota County Commission, Florida Nursery Growers and Landscapers, Sarasota School Board, and Sarasota Women's Garden Club.
 
In addition, the following fields of endeavor is represented: vegetable grower, citrus grower, dairy leader, vocational agriculture teacher and an adult 4-H leader.
 
The remaining members are elected at large from the community .
 
The challenges presented to our board is to recruit board members that are dedicated to the continuation of our heritage while facing the financial realities of operating a public venue. As the venues are between 30 to 55 years old, obtaining resources for capital improvements to maintain public appeal is a pressing need and challenge.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $1,223,500.00
Projected Expenses $1,085,000.00
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Audit/Financial Documents
Audit2012
Audit2011
Audit2010
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$932,945$781,520$650,893
Administration Expense$149,260$152,412$124,149
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.131.061.36
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%84%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$1,886,289$1,819,142$1,800,209
Current Assets$248,512$303,253$219,192
Long-Term Liabilities$51,121$133,646$176,581
Current Liabilities$40,333$31,858$25,383
Total Net Assets$1,794,835$1,653,638$1,598,245
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $807,168Program Service Revenue $768,950Program Service Revenue $689,537
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountNet Rental Income $159,747Net Rental Income $150,394Contributions, gifts, grants $251,397
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountNet Income from Sales of Inventory $154,473Net Income from Sales of Inventory $65,539Net Rental Income $63,220
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $75,001 - $100,000
Tax Credits No
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.169.528.64
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets3%7%10%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
As the association has been independent and not funded by taxpayers, funding has always been dependent on the annual county fair and events that utilize the association's assets. Usually, similar type operations are a function of government and subsidized by the taxpayers. The aging buildings and infrastructure has been the stumbling block for increased utilization.
 
The association's assets, namely Robarts Arena, was erected in 1967. Due to the age, the continued utilization was not feasible unless it was revamped. The Sarasota County Commission and Sarasota voters approved a line item in the Surtax for infrastructure improvements. The Fair has provided the oversight working in conjunction with Sarasota County Government in the first two phases of funding.
 
The first phase of funding provided for the installation of a fire sprinkler system, new bathrooms, HVAC improvements, as well as other interior improvements. The second phase of funding provided for new floor seating, new stage system, and parking lot paving and handicap parking improvements. Future phases will include a new entrance with lobby and box office, new fixed seating, and other upgrades. If the surtax funding was fully approved by the Sarasota County Commission, it is recommended that additional floor space be added by extending the building in order to attract larger, more profitable events.
 
The management of the association over the last six years has focused on attracting increased utilization of the facilities through a better maintenance plan, allocating scarce resources into capital improvements where possible, and improving the customer experience.
 
The challenges the association continues to face is aging infrastructure in  buildings on the property. It is difficult to make meaningful changes relying on rental income although the community relies on the association's assets for important and memorable events.
 
There is a direct correlation between the utilization and increased revenues. The association has seen more interest in the facilities with the improvements. Over the next year, we are able to book larger more profitable events and make decisions based on what the event brings to our association and the community.
Financial Comments by Foundation  Financial information taken from IRS Form 990 and audit documents.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Federal tax returns and financial statement reviews reconcile.
Nonprofit Sarasota County Agricultural Fair Association Incorporated
Address 3000 RINGLING BLVD
SARASOTA , FL 5333
Phone 941 365-0818

THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY, INC. IS A REGISTERED 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT CORPORATION. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE (1-800-HELP-FLA) OR FROM THE WEBSITE: WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) OF EACH CONTRIBUTION IS RECEIVED BY THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY. REGISTRATION #SC-02471.