Mercer County Fair adds director


CELINA — The Mercer County Fairgrounds is on the grow and the Mercer County Fair Inc. Board of Directors is pleased to announce an addition to its professional staff. Tafi Stober has been selected for the Director of Development position for The Grand Event Center + Market Hall project. Stober’s professional experience as executive director of the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation as well as donor development and marketing expertise complement her leadership in community projects and campaigns.

Board President Bart Leininger shared, “Stober brings a special energy to the project. Her admiration for the work ethic and values of Mercer County and the Grand Lake Region is shown in her desire to build something that will impact generations to come. As President of the Mercer County Fairgrounds, Inc. Board, we unanimously approved her appointment and are united in our efforts to see the Grand Event Center become a reality.”

The project is a multi-million-dollar campus designed for year-round large-scale indoor events. The 100,000 square feet of customizable space and total capacity to serve 5,000 – 6,000 attendees will host expo and trade shows, concerts and various entertainment, tractor pulls, livestock shows, athletic tournaments, and more. Featuring adaptable floors, removable stalls, staging area, site camping, and ample parking, this destination event center will serve a broad geographic audience in a multi-state region bringing discretionary spending to Ohio, significantly impacting the county, region, and state GDP.

Mercer County Fairgrounds Executive Director Cara Muhlenkamp has 12 years of experience guiding the explosive growth of the organization and leading the vision for The Grand Event Center. Muhlenkamp is eager to add power to the project viability by bringing Stober on the team.

“Tafi Stober has extensive experience in campaign development, having successfully led multiple projects in the past by building community around the endeavor. She is well-equipped to oversee the Grand Event Center project at the Mercer County Fairgrounds. With a strong background in fundraising, process development, and leadership, Tafi Stober has the skills and knowledge necessary to assist in developing and ensuring its long – term success. As a strategic thinker and effective communicator, she is able to collaborate with various stakeholders and community members to bring the Grand Event Center project to fruition, making her an ideal candidate for the role of Director of Development.”

Stober shared the following when looking to the collective work ahead. “It’s good to be home in Mercer County for this grand purpose at the Fairgrounds which is the intersection of ag and entertainment. The pervasive mindset to work hard and play hard in the Grand Lake Region is why the fairgrounds has become a vital resource for learning, growing, and playing. As the services to the region on our campus continue to grow, the value of the impact on economic and community development looks like a legacy that is much bigger than each of us. What we produce together today is purposed in the opportunities it leaves for those to leverage it for gain tomorrow. Let’s build something.”

The Mercer County Fairgrounds is located at 1001 W Market Street, Celina, Ohio, and serves as a community resource for enriching lives in Mercer County and beyond. More information is available at

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