In selecting the two new Board members, Commissioner C. W. Smith cited their youth and energy as assets in finding solutions to financial problems that have allegedly plagued the Expo for the past few years. Ryder brings a background in finance and accounting to the table, joining others on the board with a similar background.
Ryder’s appointment follows several years serving on the Board of the Rodeo Committee, bringing top-notch rodeo performers to the Expo for the delight of rodeo fans. An active competitor in barrel racing, she routinely takes place in as many as12 events per year from the back of a horse, giving her a chance to view the expo from more than one vantage point. Her family was in the logging business, giving her a chance to gain a broader perspective from which to gain experience that will help in her position on the Board. Currently Ryder is with Isler in Medford, an accountant for 26 years and part owner of the business for the past 11 years.
Her expertise is in the area of budget, and she feels that she brings enthusiasm and some fresh ideas that might help with the financial picture. Ryder looks forward to partnering with commercial ventures to insure a stable future for the facility. As a business owner, she is constantly looking at the bottom line to see what fits and what doesn’t.
Ryder’s son, Sean McKenzie, is involved with the local FFA chapter and routinely shows animals at the county fair. Husband Dave is retired.
J. B. Dimick needs no introduction to most folks in the agricultural industry. Because of his father, John, he has been around the ag barns since he learned to walk. Dimick is a 1997 graduate of Eagle Point High School and a 2001 graduate of Oregon State University. During his tenure at EPHS, he earned the coveted Star Farmer Award, the highest honor given to students in Oregon. He was also an American FFA award winner, a national award and extremely prestigious.
Following graduation from college, he worked at Grange Coop for two years, then went on to become the ag advisor at Eagle Point High School and is now the corporate sales manager for Cascade Wood Products.
Dimick literally grew up at the fairgrounds following his father around, and close neighbor Mel Morris, whom he considers a second father.
He makes the rounds of several fairs in the area, both judging livestock and acting as auctioneer. This exposure gives him perspective and a chance to view other venues to see what works and what doesn’t.
As if this weren’t enough work for the young man, he has additionally been selected to serve on the Friends of the Fair Foundation. Board of Directors. Friends of the Fair is a non-profit that works to improve the infrastructure of the Expo. Dimick was selected to this position at the same time as the Fair Board appointment.
Commissioner Smith said the Board selections were made on the basis of youthful energy and these Board members certainly have that, but it is tempered by the benefit of long experience. These traits should give new Board members good perspective to work to find solutions for financial challenges that face the Expo. Both are open to new ideas and have a belief that the Expo is a venue that can have greater impact on the citizens of Jackson County.
By Ralph McKechnie
for the Independent