Posted by Jim Murphy on Mar 30, 2018
The Pima County Fairgrounds is currently managed, operated and maintained by the Southwestern Fair Commission, Inc. (SWFC), a private non-profit corporation, and has done so since 1975.  In addition to its oversight of the Fairgrounds, SWFC is responsible for producing the annual Pima County Fair, traditionally held in April each year.  Fair attendance has doubled in size in the past 10 years from approximately 150,000 to almost 350,000 attendees in 2017. 
SWFC operates in an entrepreneurial style relying on generating revenues through facility rental, special event production, sponsorships, product sales, etc.  SWFC does not receive funding from Pima County and like most businesses must acquire permits and pay fees for capital improvements, sales, various health department requirements, etc.  The main charge of SWFC is to put revenue back into the maintenance and improvement of the Fairground property. 
SWFC has developed many important relationships with community organizations.  Each year during the annual Fair SWFC operates two can food drives, offers free carnival rides for children who read books to encourage literacy and dedicates a special day at the Fair for children and adults with special needs, among other programs.  Currently, SWFC through the Pima County Fair, is working with U of A Extension Service, the City of Gastronomy & Mission Gardens, Monsanto, SARSEF and the U of A College of Science to work now and in the future toward providing increased educational opportunities for fairgoers.
The improvements that are undertaken by SWFC were identified in the 2011 Pima County Fairground Master Plan that identified projects and strategies that will lead to revenue generating opportunities to continue to make capital improvements to the Fairgrounds. 
Biography ~ Jon Baker
Jon Baker has been the Executive Director of the Southwestern Fair Commission (SWFC) in Tucson Arizona for the past 17 years.  SWFC produces the annual Pima County Fair and manages a 640-acre property with a 400 space RV Park and rental facilities for numerous special events.
Jon is a graduate of Northern Arizona University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Recreation Management.  He became the Coconino County Parks and Recreation Director in 1987 where he began his career in Fair Management.  He was hired by the Arizona State Fair in 1997 where he worked until moving on to the Pima County Fair in 2001.
Over the span of his career Jon has been the President of the Arizona Fairs Association, President of the Arizona County Horse Racing Association and President of the Western Fairs Association.  In May of 2015 he received the International Association of Fairs Certified Fair Executive award for years of service and accomplishments to the Fair industry.  He was inducted into the Arizona Fairs Hall of Fame in 2013 and inducted into the Western Fairs Association Hall of Fame in 2017.