Board of Directors / Officers
Board of Directors
The Marion County Fair & Fairgrounds is a not-for-profit entity owned and operated by the 501(c)3 Marion County Agricultural and 4-H Club Fair Association, Inc. This association is lead by the following, all-volunteer, board of directors!
John Gardner is a native Hoosier and a resident of Lawrence Township for 36 years. During that time, John has worked at Eli Lilly and Company as a Research Scientist and engineer in pharmaceutical synthesis, and more recently at Elanco in animal health research. John and his wife Donna have been active members of St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church for 30 years and they have two daughters, Pamela and Melanie. They have been involved with the Marion County Fair since 2005. John’s volunteer work has included coaching his daughters’ basketball and soccer teams, teaching confirmation classes at the church, working at the Lord’s Pantry, a mission trip to Brazil, serving on the Chemistry Advisory Board of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, support for the Orangutan Conservancy through the Indianapolis Zoo and support for daughter Melanie’s effort to save and retrain ex-racehorses in order to give them a new life.
Dave Carter is a lifelong resident of Indiana. He was born and raised on the Indy’s Westside, where he and Brenda, his wife of 32 years, reside. They met at Ball State and spent a few years in Muncie before settling into their current home. Dave served as Director of Wayne Township 4-H for eleven years and has volunteered with 4-H for over 18 years Including Woodworking Wednesdays and Electricity and Aerospace workshops. He left the 4-H position to return to full time teaching at Ben Davis High School in 2014. Dave currently teaches six sections of Introduction to Construction. Last May, his students provided the manpower to produce the 30 new benches the fair used as seating under the park stage tent and at other locations around the grounds. He had been a regular substitute teacher in the Area 31 Career Center at Ben Davis for the previous eleven years. He was a member of the Marion County 4-H Advisory Board and the Marion County Extension Board. Dave is the current President of Ben Davis Lions Club and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Lions 25F, Camp Woodsmoke, near Greensburg. Lions recognized him as a Melvin Jones Fellow in 2014. He is a member and plays in the praise band at Church of the Master. He is a fill-in Bass player whenever the Ben Davis Choirs call, having begun as the regular bassist when his daughter, Allison, was a member. He was a band parent and in attendance when son, Matthew, marched at Tournament of Roses. Dave’s favorite avocation is officiating football. He manages to get in about 50 games a year, from youth and flag leagues to semi-pros. He has worked the last 14 IHSAA tournaments. With all these activities there is still a little time to do some grill cooking, gardening or walking the three Jack Russell terriers that complete the family.
Susie Day is currently the elected Perry Township Trustee in Marion County, and prior to that position she was an elected member of the City-County Council. She’s also been elected to the Beech Grove City Council and the Perry Township Advisory Board. Susie has two children and three grandchildren. She belonged to 4-H as a child and has volunteered for the Little League, Booster Club and PTA in Beech Grove. As Trustee she attends countless neighborhood meetings and functions throughout her township and represents the Fair and promotes it throughout the community in a very positive way.
Cindy Mowery is a lifelong Franklin Township resident. She graduated from Franklin Central High School in 1976 and later returned to college at Indiana Wesleyan University to earn her MSM and MBA degrees. Cindy has worked in Marion County government for 30 years and is currently employed as the Republican Director of the Marion County Board of Voters Registration. Cindy enjoys spending time with her family, Buddy –the family golden retriever, and dabbling in politics.
Don Brunson has been a lifelong resident of Franklin Township and is a retired Indianapolis Firefighter, retiring after 33 ½ years of service. He served in positions as Chief of Operations, Captain in Fire Suppression, Arson, Dive Team and Rope Rescue, and he has been a key volunteer in the Security and Safety phases of the fair the past two years. Don is married with two sons and four grandchildren. His volunteer activities include serving on his Parish Council, serving on and leading the Building and Grounds Committee for his church and Mission trips to Ecuador. He has been active with the scouting program and served as leader when his sons were scouts. His pride and joy – a 1950 Ford F-1 pickup truck, is one of his hobbies. He attends the fair each year bringing children and grandchildren, and has fond memories of riding his bike to the fair as a child from his home in Beech Grove. In those days there were bike racks at the fairgrounds for riders to secure their transportation, too.
Beth Carver currently manages the Beech Grove, Indiana PNC Branch, having joined PNC through the National City integration. Her 15 years of combined experience include time spent as a teller, assistant branch manager and now manager for the past eleven years. Married, with two grown children and two grandchildren, Beth enjoys family time activities, swimming, antiques, scrapbooking and is an avid postcard collector. Her volunteer history includes serving as Garfield Christian Church Youth Librarian, two years as activities coordinator for Beech Grove Relay for Life, two years as Treasurer for Fountain Square Merchants Association, three years as Treasurer for NESCO, where she also served as a committee chair person to return Feast of Lanterns to the Indianapolis Eastside in 2003 and she currently serves as Vice President of the Beech Grove Friends of the Library Board.
Kaye Elliott is married to Dennis and they have 3 children Christina, Warren and Madison. She has been a life long resident of Marion county. Over the past 20 years she has worked as a Veterinary assistant, Medical assistant and Receptionist. Kaye has been a volunteer for her kids schools, a 4-H leader, a Cub scout leader, Youth Exhibition Poultry Association leader and the Poultry Superintendent for Marion County. In her spare time she likes spending time with family, camping, fishing, photography, gardening and taking care of her pets.
LaDonna Freeman grew up in Lawrence Township and is currently a Center Township resident. She has four grown children and ten grandchildren. She regularly attends and actively participates in Guiding Light Church Assembly. LaDonna works for the Marion County Board of Voters Registration and is active in the Democrat Party. She enjoys bowling, movies, cooking, and spending time with her family. One of her greatest priorities is helping those in need. She is a firm believer in treating others the way you want to be treated.
Joe Goins, Sr., has been married since 1972 to wife Wanda and is the father of three daughters and one son. He is grandfather to 9 grandsons, 5 granddaughters, 1 great grandson and 1 great granddaughter. Joe has lived in Decatur Township most of his life. He raised and showed Southdown sheep in 4-H as a child.
Joe works at IUPUI and has been employed there since 1979 . He has been a 4-H leader starting in 1985. Prior to being a Board member he served as the Marion County Fair’s Sheep Superintendent since 1986. Joe has been a member of the Decatur Central Lions Club (Past President) since 1996.
Maggie Hayes is a recent Indiana transplant from the Buckeye State. Maggie and her husband Eric have been lifelong agriculturalists and recently opened a horse farm near Muncie, Indiana. Maggie has participated in 4-H as a youth member, Ohio State Ambassador, collegiate chapter member, adviser, camp counselor and volunteer since the 3rd grade. Beginning as a 4-H horse and pony member she expanded her interest in the equine industry to include breeding, training and showing American Quarter Horses. Prior to serving as a Marion County board member, Maggie has worked with various other county fairs in Ohio and Virginia, primarily in fundraising and sponsorship capacities.
Rebekah Lewis is an Indianapolis native and longtime Eastsider. Her involvement in the Marion County Fair started in the early 90’s when she volunteered as a consultant for the Fair Queen Contest. Rebekah grew up in the Southeastway Park neighborhood and graduated from Warren Central High School. Her husband, Mark Lewis, and daughters, Whittley and Molly, are also Warren Central grads. Her daughters were both 4H’ers and exhibited at the fair as kids. She and her husband, Mark, have owned and operated Lewis Jewelers in Warren Township for nearly 30 years. In 2004, Mrs. Lewis organized the Festival of the Eastside Gems, showing other local business. Rebekah enjoys visiting the apple orchard In the fall, taking trips to snow ski in the winter, and generally spending time outdoors with her family. Her other hobbies include photography, sewing, attending the Speedrome, theatre, and patronizing local restaurants. She is excited to join the team organizing this year’s Marion County Fair.