Gary Slater near the end of the 2022 Iowa State Fair. (RI photo)

The CEO and Manager of the Iowa State Fair is retiring.

Gary Slater is a Missouri native who served as manager of the Missouri State Fair and the World Pork Expo before taking the top job at the Iowa State Fair 21 years ago. During his tenure, the Iowa State Fair topped the one million attendance mark, saw multiple upgrades and changes to the buildings on the grounds, and came through the pandemic cancelation in 2021.

Slater released a statement saying it has been “an honor of a lifetime to lead the Iowa State Fair.” Slater says his retirement comes with the Fair in a good place, having returned to prepandemic revenue levels, and he looks forward to spending more time with his family.