Fairgrounds Business Development Manager

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Full-time     Business Development
Posted on March 17, 2023
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Starting salary up to $63.41/hour($132,344/year), plus a cash allowance of approximately $600/month, and a competitive compensation package*

About the Fairgrounds

The Sonoma County Fair is among our region’s most time-honored and cherished traditions.  Over the past 75 years, the Fair has grown to become one of the most popular in the state. Famous for its top-quality horse racing, stunning flower show, and constant innovation in family entertainment, the Fair continues its unswerving commitment to showcase and provide education on the wealth of our agricultural community.  In 2014, Sonoma County Fairgrounds became the Sonoma County Event Center to better reflect the full-time nature of the operations of the facility.

About the Position

The Sonoma County Fairgrounds seeks a Business Development Manager with proven revenue generating experience researching and securing new business opportunities for event centers.  As a member of the Department Head team, you will report to the Chief Executive Officer and work closely with the Chief Operating Officer. The Business Development Manager will be responsible for a variety of tasks, including securing new sponsors for individual events and/or the fairgrounds as a whole, identifying new profitable revenue streams, and collaborating with the Fairgrounds Department Head team and Board of Directors to enhance and/or repurpose the fairgrounds campus in order to maximize the fairgrounds' financial health while also meeting the needs of the community that the fairgrounds serves. Additional responsibilities will also include:

  • Developing persuasive proposals and presenting them to a variety of audiences
  • Obtaining grant funding for Fairgrounds needs, including resources for emergency operations/evacuation staging and agricultural education program enhancement.
  • Coordinating with the COO regarding potential non-fair season events
  • Creating programs that will benefit the Fairgrounds and the surrounding community
  • Assisting with evacuation needs and supporting the County's Emergency Management team, Fairgrounds staff, Red Cross, and CalFire during times of emergency

The ideal Business Development Manager will be able to produce, manage, and analyze organizational data leading to revenue enhancement and community outreach, and have experience:

  • Collaborating with multiple stakeholders on complex projects
  • Writing and presenting proposals to prospective clients
  • Analyzing prospective revenue streams for profitability
  • Writing grants and working with community groups and elected officials
  • Negotiating contracts with the ability to navigate through conflict and address issues in a timely manner
  • Structuring and managing proposals from inception to execution

Please note that this position is required to work evenings and when the Sonoma County Fair Board convenes.  Other evening and weekend work is required during the Sonoma County Fair, Harvest Fair, and large interim events.  Additionally, as this position is responsible for conducting outreach to various community groups, attendance at evening meetings may be required.

What We Offer

Working at the County of Sonoma offers expansive opportunities for growth and development, the ability to be a part of a challenging and rewarding work environment, and the satisfaction of knowing you're working to better our communities. You can also look forward to flexible work arrangements and excellent benefits* including:

  • Eligibility for a salary increase after 1,040 hours (6 months when working full-time) for good work performance; eligibility for a salary increase for good performance every year thereafter, until reaching the top of the salary range
  • Competitive vacation and sick leave accruals, 12 paid holidays, and an additional 8 floating holiday hours per year
  • County paid 100% premium contribution for the majority of employee-only and employee + family health plan options
  • An annual Staff Development/Wellness Benefit allowance of up to $1700 and ongoing education/training opportunities
  • County contribution to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to help fund post-retirement employee health insurance/benefits
  • Retirement fully integrated with Social Security
  • May be eligible for up to 8 weeks (320 hours) of Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of County employment

*Salary is negotiable within the established range. Benefits described herein do not represent a contract and may be changed without notice. Additional information can be found in the Salary Resolution (SalRes) and our Employee Benefits Directory.
The Sonoma County Fairgrounds is currently recruiting to fill a Business Development Manager position.  This employment list may be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help (temporary) positions as they occur during the active status of the list.  Qualified County employees who wish to be considered for future positions should consider applying to this recruitment.  Employees in this class in in the unclassified service; this class is exempt from the Civil Service Ordinance of the County of Sonoma as stated in Section 5 of Ordinance No. 305-A as amended.



Minimum Qualifications


Any combination of education, training and experience which would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities listed herein. Normally, this would include:

Education & Experience: A Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Business Administration, Public Administration, Marketing, Financial Management, or a closely related field, AND at least four years of professional experience in strategic business development and/or marketing, with at least one year of experience supervising staff.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


Considerable knowledge of: principles and techniques of business development plans, revenue management, general management, marketing, public relations and promotion and project management; policy analysis and development; data collection, research methodology and application of basic statistics.

Working knowledge of: current issues and trends, and techniques, principles and operations for the assigned department and/or program(s); management, supervision, and leadership principles and techniques; contract and grant administration; business correspondence and report writing; budget preparation and monitoring; grant writing principles; modern business and computer technologies including web based sales and marketing; English usage, composition, spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Ability to: plan, organize and coordinate business plans and revenue strategies; develop and execute sound marketing and public relations strategies; select, train, and supervise staff; analyze problems, examine alternatives and recommend solutions or determine a course of action; work cooperatively with public, community groups, business and community leaders, government officials, members of the media, and departmental staff; speak effectively in public settings; use a variety of software applications; stay abreast of current related principles and technologies; work non-traditional work hours as necessary.


Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying


  • Your application information and your responses to the supplemental questions are evaluated and taken into consideration throughout the entire selection process.
  • You should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of your application. Be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions.
  • You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position for which you are applying. If you held multiple positions with one employer, list out each position separately.
  • Failure to follow these instructions may impact your competitiveness in this process or may result in disqualification.