Sonoma-Marin Fair CEO Pat Conklin has stepped down after accepting a position with the Dixon May Fair in her hometown of Dixon. She is leaving Petaluma after almost five years with the fair.

"Even though I'm very happy, I have mixed feelings because Petaluma is one of the nicest towns I've ever lived in," said Conklin. "It's become home for me."

Conklin began with the Sonoma-Marin Fair in January of 2008. She replaced Tawny Tesconi, who had accepted the manager position at the Sonoma Fair in Santa Rosa. Conklin, who earned a bachelor's degree at California State University, Chico, arrived in Petaluma after having served as CEO of the Butte County Fair in Gridley for nine years and the Solano County Fair for one year. Prior to that she was the Solano County Fair Exhibits supervisor for eight years. From 1987 to 1994 she was a director for the Dixon May Fair. Her salary was $82,000 per year when she first arrived in Petaluma.

Fair board president Nicole Marzo said that Conklin has been an outstanding fair CEO. "We've had excellent fairs under her management," Marzo said. "She's leaving some big shoes to fill."

Conklin said that she will work part time in Petaluma until the Sonoma-Marin Fair has found someone to replace her. "I just want to make the transition as smooth as possible," she added.

The fair has posted the job announcement online and plans to stop accepting applications on Oct. 19. For more information visit