Marla Calico, President and CEO of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) is scheduled to run in the State Fair Half Marathon presented by Pump and Pantry on Saturday, August 27, 2016.
Calico said, “I’ve always enjoyed running, but it wasn’t until my 38th birthday that I made the decision to become a runner.” Her impetus to the sport began when she lost her favorite uncle to a heart attack at an early age.
Since she knew she was predisposed for heart disease from both sides of her family, she thought it best to take matters into her own hands. Calico said, “With the exception of being sidelined for surgery and injury, I have run regularly since November 1, 1995.
“We are thrilled to have Marla participate in the half,” said state fair executive director, Joseph McDermott, “Having run the race myself, I know how challenging it is, and how much it takes in mind, body and spirit. Marla has all three in abundance.”
Calico was named President and CEO of the IAFE in November, 2015. Having worked at the IAFE since 2006, Calico worked as director of education and has served as chief operating officer since 2014. Prior to joining the IAFE, she served as general manager of the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, Missouri.
Calico’s personal best was 2:04:56 at the Go Girl Half Marathon in Oklahoma City in March 2015. In 2014, she ran three consecutive half marathons in three consecutive weeks in Appleton, Wisconsin, Kansas City, Kansas and St. Charles Missouri. With a goal of at least 10 half marathons each year, the Nebraska State Fair Marathon, will be Calico’s seventh race of 2016 after Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Connecticut and Ohio.
Calico holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agri-Business from Missouri State University and throughout her long career at the Ozark Empire Fair, served the Springfield community though many volunteer endeavors. She was also listed as one of the Springfield Business Journal’s “Most Influential Women.”
McDermott said, “Our entire organization has watched Marla in her leadership role with IAFE, where she has been nothing short of amazing. If she runs a half marathon like she runs an international organization, we are in for a treat.”
The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) is a voluntary, not- for-profit corporation, serving state, provincial, regional, and county agricultural fairs, shows, exhibitions, and expositions. Today, the IAFE represents more than 1,100 fairs around the world, and more than 900 members from allied fields. Throughout the years, the IAFE has remained true to its purpose of promoting and encouraging the development and improvement of agricultural fairs, shows, and expositions.
The Nebraska State Fair runs from August 26th through September 5th in Grand Island, Nebraska.