Mid-Winter Fair and Fiesta Names Phillips as New CEO



IMPERIAL — Imperial Valley native Alan Phillips has been named chief executive officer of the 45th District Agricultural Association and Imperial Valley Expo, home of the California Mid-Winter Fair and Fiesta. He will be starting his new job in October.

Phillips, who currently is coordinator of Education Technology for the Imperial County Office of Education, is also a director and current president of the California Mid-Winter Fair Heritage Foundation.

He will be stepping down from that position and resigning from the foundation when he steps in to his new role. The foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, was formed in 2012 as a support organization to help sustain the future of the fair and fairground facilities.

Phillips also has been involved in the fair in other ways, both as a parent and as a performer. He has appeared there in numerous performances over a 15 year span as a local musician, and for the past four years both his children have been involved in the junior livestock program.

“We are extremely excited and thrilled to bring a local resident on board as CEO,” said Joe Montenegro, fair board president. “Alan has been actively involved in our fair for a number of years and brings a unique perspective to the job. He applied his technology background to help us implement processes that greatly improved the efficiency and accounting of fair concession sales. As CEO, this expertise will be critical as we move into the future.”

Phillips’ role at ICOE has been in training teachers and administrators across the county in how to use technology to make them more effective in their jobs. He also had a critical role in development of a statewide high speed network to provide internet access and application coordination to California’s K-12 schools.

“Mr. Phillips has been instrumental in the success of several local and statewide initiatives in education,” said County Superintendent of Schools Todd Finnell. “He is respected throughout the state for his work with schools, and has had a significant impact on our local schools over the years. I look forward to his leadership as he strengthens the role of the fair in our community.”


Phillips, who was born in Calexico, grew up in Holtville and is a graduate of Holtville High School. He went to Imperial Valley College and is a graduate of San Diego State University in Calexico.
In addition to membership in a variety of local bands, Phillips just began his thirtieth season as a football official.

He has been at ICOE for 19 years and before that,  spent 12 years in the Holtville Unified School District.

“Our fair is one of the most important assets we have in this county,” Phillips said. “Its primary purpose is to provide year-round access to activities that showcase the talents, products and cultural wealth of our communities. That is really a form of community education and I am looking forward to working with the great board, staff and volunteers who make that happen.”

Phillips replaces Theresa Garcia who announced in June she would be stepping down after eight years to spend more time with her family in Northern California. Her final day will be September 30.

“As much as we hate losing Theresa, we are positive that Alan will step in and continue the great things she has accomplished while here,” Montenegro said.


  1. Great choice. Mr. Phillips was there for us last year when CEO wasn’t. Helped me immensely during last season. I believe he will do wonderful job

  2. He sounds like a great guy and qualified for the job but the fact that he is related to a board member is a bad idea. One should resign before we end up with a family run fair where everything is designed to meet their needs and wants.

  3. Sandy you should find a new hobby. Alan is the right man for the job. He is very qualified and will do “our” fair a lot of good. I am sorry that you can’t see past your personal vendettas and realize what many people know. I am pretty sure nepotism don’t play a part in this decision, considering the array of directors from many different disciplines on the Fair Board. Congratulations Alan, the California Mid Winter Fair Heritage Foundation will miss you dearly as a director. You have improved our organization by leaps and bounds and will be difficult to replace.

  4. Interesting. Did you know that Phillips is Darrel Bostics , a fair board director., cousin? I am pretty sure that is a conflict of interest. When will Bostic resign?

  5. Mr. Phillips is Darrel Bostic’s Nephew,I believe this is a conflict of interest, when will he be resigning from his directors seat on the fair board?

  6. Allen is the right guy for the task at hand. Congratulations and you have our support. Things can get done with the backing you have.

Comments are closed.