The Fairgrounds Heritage Foundation of Santa Clara County (FHF) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is the preservation, promotion and development of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds as the County’s premiere community gathering place. Our mission concerns the whole fairgrounds — all 150+/- acres including the various buildings, the annual Fair, and the year-round activities and events. Our focus is representing the diverse county residents and their desire for maintaining this iconic public space as it is built into the future.
The FHF was founded in 2015 for the primary purpose of accepting donations in support of the county-owned Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. The Fairgrounds is managed by a nonprofit, the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Management Corporation (FMC), but is loosely controlled by the County. The Heritage Foundation was formed as a separate 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization due to the the concern of some private donors to donate directly to the FMC. Their concern was that the County could divert donations for other non-Fairgrounds purposes.
The FHF Board is all-volunteer with no employees or facilities. We work with FMC to determine the Fairground’s needs and solicit funding and in-kind support accordingly. We serve as independent stewards pledged to ensure that all donations are applied directly to the needs of the Fairgrounds. Current needs include preservation projects, maintenance and the beautification of the Fairground’s land and buildings, and the acquisition of equipment and memorabilia.
Our Board Members
David is a founding member of the Fairgrounds Heritage Foundation (FHF) and serving as president. David was born and raised in Saratoga and has a long history with the fairgrounds through 4-H, Youth Hall of Fame and as a board member of The Clover Foundation for over 30 years. David enjoys giving back to local youth in thanks for the support he received during 9 years in 4-H, as a livestock exhibitor at the Santa Clara County Fair, and as a 4-H Diamond Star. David also served as a board member for the SJA Water Polo Club in the Almaden area. He is currently employed at AWS as a Global Account Manager and has focused his Silicon Valley high-tech career in Telecom.
Keri, founding members of FHF; recently retired from Wells Fargo Bank, managing small business accounts. She became familiar with the Santa Clara Fairgrounds as one of the Bank’s clients.
Lynne Brown, member, joined the FHF Board within a few months of its formation. A Fair fan for many years in the Midwest, FHF’s struggle to maintain the Fairgrounds as a public space was an immediate draw. Lynne’s 35 years of business experience in high tech and nonprofit boards has enabled her to fill many roles in the Heritage Foundation. She has frequently combined her engagement with the arts in San Jose with her Board membership to the advantage of both.
Marcella Gulmon was born and raised in San Jose, married and raised her children in San Jose. In addition to serving on the Fairgrounds Heritage Foundation Board, Marcella is the Fairgrounds Heritage Curator. She played a vital role in 2019 to re-establish the fairgrounds archives to locate, record, and preserve the fairgrounds history to curate the Diamond Jubilee 75th Annual Fair Heritage Exhibit. In 2021 she introduced the use of virtual walkthroughs of the Exhibit for those that did not feel comfortable attending the Fair in person, a feature that still continues to be used. Her research into the history of the Fair and Fairgrounds never stops, including keeping an eye out for historical memorabilia and artifacts advertised in online sites, speaking with long-time fair attendees and supporters, and researching historical archives.
A graduate of San Jose State University, Marcella has served in a variety of leadership roles in the YMCA, Notre Dame High School of San Jose, 100 Women Charitable Foundation and 4-H. She and her husband have lived for many years in Almaden Valley.
Member since 2020
Board membership is currently OPEN.
We are looking for new members with a passion for preserving the Fairgrounds’ Heritage and/or building for its future. Board meetings are held monthly. Committees are formed and meet as needed.
Want to get involved?
The Fairgrounds Heritage Foundation (FHF) invites community involvement back to revitalize this amazing property. The key to our success is through incredible, dedicated volunteers. It doesn’t take big commitments to make big changes. Every little bit of time impacts the forward progress of the Fairgrounds.