HUTCHINSON -- Sen. Ed Berger, former president of Hutchinson Community College and long-time Hutchinson resident, has been named the agency’s interim general manager.
The Kansas State Fair Board voted unanimously Oct. 20 to name Berger to the position at a special board meeting. The decision follows the resignation of David Tobias earlier in the month. Tobias, the agency’s former operations manager, had served as interim general manager since July.
Berger will assume the interim manager role on Monday, Oct. 26.
“I’m honored to serve the Kansas State Fair in this role,” Berger said. “A strong, vibrant Fair is important to our community, our region and our state. We have so many opportunities to showcase agriculture, food, industry, and all that makes us proud to be Kansans.”
Berger is a life-long Kansan and grew up on a small family farm in Harvey County. He attended Hutchinson Community College and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wichita State University and a doctorate in education from Kansas State University.
He was a member of the charter faculty at Seward County Community College in 1969 and served as Dean of Continuing Education at both Seward County and Hutchinson Community Colleges before becoming president at HCC, a position he held for 23 years.
Berger was elected to the Kansas Senate in 2016 to represent District 34, which includes Reno and Kingman counties.
Berger and his wife Carol live in Hutchinson and have two adult sons.
“Sen. Berger’s administrative background and local connections are a great fit during this transition to finding the next general manager of the Kansas State Fair,” said Kansas State Fair Board Chairman Harmon Bliss. “He will be an asset as we work through the challenges we have faced during the pandemic.”
The fair board plans to move forward in the coming months with a process to hire a permanent general manager.