Sokolowski honored with volunteer award at national fair convention
LAS VEGAS, Nev., -- Ed Sokolowski, president of the Walworth County Fair Board, received the Heritage Award Dec. 1 at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions 120th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.
Sokolowski was one of five volunteers presented with the award. sponsored by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, according the IAFE President and CEO Jim Tucker.
Carol Porter of Haas & Wilkerson Insurance announced and presented the awards to the recipients, who were nominated by people associated with their fairs.
Each winner received a plaque and $1,000, and each fair nominating the winners received $500. The nominees were required to have at least 10 years of fair management experience and could receive no more than $2,500 remuneration annually for serving in the position.
The nominees' fairs also were required to be current members of IAFE. Sokolowski has attended the Walworth County Fair since 1957 when he was a young boy showing beef, dairy, and hogs in 4-H and FFA.
In 1959, he won the Grand Champion Landrace Gilt at the Wisconsin State Fair. Sokolowski was elected to the Walworth County Fair Board in 1983. During that time, he served 21 years as treasurer and six years as president. During the Walworth County Fair, Sokolowski oversees the truck and tractor pulls, open class antiques, antique car and tractor parade, and the backstage and grandstand area.
His passion, commitment, compassion and leadership have been recognized throughout Wisconsin.
Since being elected 27 years ago, Sokolowski has not missed an IAFE Annual Convention. He also has attended four IAFE Zone 4 meetings. He encourages new board members and staff to take advantage of the education and networking opportunities the IAFE offers.
He has attended each of the past 26 Wisconsin State Association of Fairs (WSAF) Conventions, where he has served as a board member for six years, vice president for two years, and is currently in his second year as president. In addition, he has served on and chaired the WSAF Audit Committee, and served on the State Auction, Special Projects, Education, and Agriculture Committees.
In 1994, Sokolowski received the Outstanding Fair Person Award from the Wisconsin Association of Fairs. In 2006, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Hall of Fame.
Sokolowski is a veteran of the Vietnam War and is a charter member of the Elkhorn Rotary Club.
Sokolowski and his wife Judy have two married daughters and are proud grandparents of three granddaughters.