With just a few months under her belt, Kathy Bartels said she is settling into her new position as CEO of the Glenn County Fairgrounds and is excited about bringing the community into the facility year-round.
A native of Tulelake, Bartels said she grew up marveling at the crafts and art work entered in the fair and some of her favorite memories are from fair time.
“Tulelake seemed to come to life during fair time, so many people came from far and wide to enjoy all that the fair had to offer,” said Bartels. “I loved seeing all the animals, all the still exhibits, flowers, food, great concerts, just the overall energy and excitement that it brought always had me in awe. Never had imagined that one day I would work at a fair let alone become the CEO of the Glenn County Fair.”
Bartels said after graduating from high school in Tulelake, she enrolled in Butte College and later attended CSU Chico, where she earned a bachelor’s in business administration.
While going to college, Bartels said she worked at Albertsons, which is now Save Mart.
“While attending Chico State I met my husband, who is from Orland, we got married shortly after I graduated,” said Bartels. “Over the next few years, we had two children, moved to Orland, and I continued my employment with Save Mart. Working at Save Mart gave me the opportunity to learn many job skills related to running a major business enterprise. I held positions from clerk to bakery manager. This wide range of experience earned me the skills of employee supervision and scheduling, bookkeeping, cash management, inventory control, food service management and most importantly customer service.”
Bartels said she left Save Mart to come to the Glenn County Fairgrounds when she was hired on by then CEO Ryann Newman, who also shared her love of fairs.
“I was hooked after my first fair,” said Bartels. “Then (I) expanded my knowledge of the fair industry under Miki Martin. Seeing all the vendors, exhibitors, animals, carnival, food, and watching our community enjoying something that you helped bring together is special.”
As she settles into her new position, Bartels said she is excited about bringing the community into our fairgrounds year-round and showcasing and utilizing the beauty of this 45-acre Glenn County gem.
“I’m also excited to share and create the same feeling of excitement about the fair that I experienced as a child,” said Bartels.
Bartels officials took the reins of the fairgrounds in July, after the Glenn County Board of Supervisors officially appointed her and voted her in. Bartels worked at the Glenn County Fairgrounds for five years before being appointed to the CEO position.