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IN State Fair Commission hiring personnel to improve safety

As part of its ongoing effort to prevent another incident like last year’s stage collapse, the Indiana State Fair Commission has hired a chief operating officer to develop a comprehensive public safety plan.

David Shaw is the first chief operating officer in the Fair’s history.  Shaw, who has managed several entertainment facilities, says his initial focus will be on implementing the recommendations from two independent investigations into last year’s stage collapse.

“My day-to-day task, my goals, my aspirations are to make sure that the Fair is totally up-to-date and the plans are fully developed for success.”

Shaw says he will create an emergency public safety plan and a protocol for determining who’s at the top of the chain of command – that’s so everyone within the organization knows who makes the ultimate decisions in an emergency situation.  Fair Commission chair Andre Lacy says hiring Shaw is more than a run-of-the-mill addition.

“Dave’s arrival to the team is both exciting and strategically relevant both to address our previous shortcomings and, in working with Cindy, to deliver us from good to great.”

The Commission also hired Jessie Olvera as the Director of Safety and Security.  Olvera will coordinate training and implementation of the public safety plan. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.