GREENVILLE — Darke County Fair Manager Daryl Riffle was the center of attention Wednesday as the Board of Directors of the Darke County Fair hosted an open house for the public to laud the outgoing fair manager.
A steady stream of people from the community came to the fair’s Youth Building to wish Riffle the best.
Riffle has been fair manager for the Great Darke County Fair for nearly 12 years, starting the job Aug. 1, 2005. His last day on the job is Mar. 31.
Looking back on his time as fair manager, Riffle said, “I am extremely proud of the Fair and Non-Fair accomplishments that have been achieved since I was hired on August 1, 2005. I will greatly miss the business and personal relationships that have been established since my hiring. Thank you to everyone that has supported me.”
The governors of the Darke County Fair board commended Riffle for his work as fair manager.
Board President Brian Rismiller said, “He’s been a good asset to the fair the last 12 fairs we’ve had. We wish him well in his future endeavors. We’ve made some good strides with him being here.”
Governor Dean Neff said, “Hopefully he finds something he enjoys doing and the rest of his life goes good for him. It will be hard to replace him, but we’ll try.”
“This is starting my third year,” said Governor Ed Erisman. “He’s been very influential on getting me going in the right direction and helping me out. So I’m going to miss him. We wish him the best.”
“I wish Daryl all the luck in the world and sure hate to see him go,” said Governor Dave Niley. “He’s done a super job and I really appreciate everything he’s done and hate to see him go.”
Governor Cindy Riffle remarked, “He’s going to be a hard act to follow. Daryl’s been a great asset to the fair. There’s not a person out there who’s like him. He’s just a people person, a hard worker, dedicated, and has done an awesome job.”
Governor Jim Zumbrink said, “Daryl was a real asset to this fair. He will greatly be missed. It’s a shame that he’s leaving. I wish we could talk him into staying.”
“When Daryl came in, things were kind of in disarray at the time. He started out and grew into this job and by his first fair he had it down pat. He’s just been an excellent individual,” he added.
“We’re losing a very good employee,” offered Governor Richard Delk. “Nobody’s irreplaceable but it’s going to be very hard to do that. I’ve had 11 fairs with him and I’ve had 11 years of good memories.”
Governor Doug Martin said, “It’s been a pleasure working with him for the entire 12 years, as a swine manager and board member and as a friend.”
Former fair governor and current Darke County Commissioner Matt Aultman said, “Daryl’s done so much for the fair. He was a good front person between the public and the board. One thing that will stick with me he said, was that the fair board was not in the fair business but in the customer service business, because the people coming through the gates is the fair.”
“No matter where he ends up, I know he will be successful. Good luck to him,” he added.
Other community members, and fairgoers, at the event offered their thoughts.
Wayne Deschambeau, president and CEO of Wayne HealthCare said, “We hate to see him go. We’ve been here 11 years. Every fair I’ve been to has been a great event because he has the good leadership skill to make it happen.”
“The Darke County Fair, of course, is the ‘Great’ Darke County Fair. There’s no better county fair around that is a pure family agricultural fair,” said former State Representative Jim Buchy. “Under the leadership of Daryl Riffle and in the time he’s been here, the fair only gets better every year.”
Rismiller said a committee of four board governors will examine applications from candidates seeking to fill the position. There is no set deadline on selecting a new fair manager.