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Source: International Association of Fairs and Expositions news release

Today at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) 123rd Annual Convention, Jerry Hammer, executive vice president and general manager of the Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, was inducted into the IAFE Hall of Fame. The IAFE Convention is taking place Dec. 8 through Dec. 12, 2013, at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.

The highest honor bestowed by the IAFE, the Hall of Fame Award is presented annually in recognition of an individual's distinguished achievement in, or contribution to, the fair industry. Hammer has spent more than 40 years serving the "Great Minnesota Get-Together.

Born and raised a block from the state fairgrounds, Hammer began working at the fair's greenhouse when he was 15 years old. After graduating from the College of St. Thomas with a degree in journalism, he spent a year as sports and wire editor of the Owatonna People's Press.

In 1977, he returned to the fair as a full-time staff member, handling off-season special events. Hammer took over the publicity department in 1979, working primarily with news media. During his tenure there, the department grew to include advertising, sponsorships, news media and public relations, special promotions, and heritage events.

In 1989, Hammer was promoted to the position of director of marketing, which he held until he was appointed general manager in 1997. During his tenure as general manager, the Minnesota State Fair has invested more than $60 million in capital improvements to the fairgrounds.

Hammer is a strong advocate for the fair industry. He has served on numerous IAFE committees and received Certified Fair Executive designation in 1987. He served as IAFE Zone 4 director in 1998, and in 2007, he served as IAFE Chair.

In addition, he is past president of the Mid-West Fairs Association and has received numerous professional and community awards.

Hammer and his wife Debby are life-long residents of St. Paul. They have two grown children, a daughter-inlaw, a son-in-law, and a granddaughter.

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