CFSA and California Fairs.
We are Better Together!


CFSA’s next board meeting is Wednesday, April 8, 2020, 10:00 a.m.  You’ll find the meeting agenda here.

In the meantime, if you would like to read the minutes from past board meetings, you can do so by visiting our Board Meeting Minutes archive.

UPDATE: March 26, 2020 ~  Re: CFSA’s Master Insurance List and COVID-19

It has come to CFSA’s attention that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many participants on the CFSA Master Insurance List will be obtaining permission from their insurance carriers to delay their annual renewal for general liability and workers’ compensation insurance while the businesses are in “shut down” mode. CFSA will delay sending notice to fairgrounds regarding insurance policy expirations for those vendors on the CFSA Master Insurance List, however, we can only do this if the vendor sends us written confirmation from their insurance carrier that they have been granted a delayed renewal date.

Written confirmations can be sent to Mario Castagnola, Risk Analyst, at 1776 Tribute Road, Ste. 100, Sacramento, CA 95815, or If you have any questions, please contact Mario via email or phone at (916) 263-6145.


UPDATE: March 18, 2020 From Rebecca Desmond, Executive Director:

Dear valued CFSA risk pool members and service clients,

I want to let you all know that CFSA is fully operational in the midst of the COVID-19 situation and the unique challenges it presents to our community as an employer as well as your California fair risk pool manager and service provider.

We are taking serious precautionary measures with our staff by shifting to a full telework mode to adhere with the Sacramento County Public Health Department recommendation that all residents stay home if possible. We have been very busy the last 24 hours establishing remote working conditions for all staff members. There will also be one key staff member in the office every day Monday through Friday to take care of our critical onsite business needs.

I want you to rest assured that in addition to the welfare and safety of our team, your needs as you all are facing unique challenges never before seen in the California fair industry, are of utmost concern to us. I am in constant communication with industry leadership and CFSA is ready to assist as needed.

If you have any questions regarding your General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Special Events, or Revenue Protection coverage, please call us. Our main business line is 916/921-2213. We will either pick up or if on another line will return your call as soon as possible. You can also go to our online staff directory that will link you to staff emails. If you have an emergency at your fairgrounds that needs immediate attention, please call our mainline for key contact information.

For our financial services clients, you should have received an email from Accounting Administrator Renee Yi earlier today. That team is also fully equipped to work from home and they will be assisting you with financial services including payroll without interruption. If you have any questions about your financials or about Activity, please contact Renee .

We will keep everyone updated as we move through these challenging times together. We are here for you!

Wishing you and your team good health and peace,


Rebecca Desmond
Executive Director
California Fair Services Authority


March 13, 2020

Dear CFSA Risk Pool Members and Service Clients,

We want to assure you all that while we all are facing challenges related to COVID-19 throughout the state, CFSA is working diligently to make sure we are available to you should we be faced with an office closure and/or reduction in staff.

For all risk pool members, we strongly encourage that you follow the California Department of Public Health’s guidelines including those related to Mass Gatherings, and Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20 related to your operations. We are also working diligently with our excess carrier for the General Liability and Workers’ Compensation risk pools to determine possible coverages related to COVID-19.  As of today there are no clear answers. If you have specific questions, please contact Risk Department Manager Tom Amberson at 916/263-6180 or at

For participants in the Special Events Risk Pool program, we will process coverage cancellations and renter SE fee refunds for any events that have been canceled on your fairgrounds. Please contact Risk Analyst Mario Castagnola at 916/263-6145 or if you have any questions.

The CFSA office is currently open and operating at full staff. We have implemented protocols in adherence with the California Department of Public Health’s guidelines and Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

♦ All nonessential travel is cancelled. This includes pre-fair inspections, fair site trainings, CFSA staff trainings/conferences, etc. If there is an emergency at one of our member fairgrounds that requires our presence, we will evaluate those situations on a case-by-case basis as to who responds. If you have a training on the calendar currently in March or April, CFSA staff will be contacting you to reschedule.

♦ CFSA employees are directed to stay home if they are ill.

♦ Enhanced sanitation of the office and the Fairs Building is being done by CFSA, all tenants, and the contracted janitorial crew that cleans nightly Monday through Friday.

All members and clients will be notified immediately if the CFSA offices close and we have to resort to working offsite. We will send the notification to member and client entity CEOs and ask that the CEOs share all communications with the appropriate fair/client staff. CFSA desk phones forward to our cell phones so if there are any questions please refer to the staff directory on our website to contact a member of our team or call our main business line, 916/921-2213, for key contact information.

Due to known cases of COVID-19 in Sacramento County, the New CEO Orientation on April 1 and 2 has been postponed by a joint decision of CFSA, CCA, WFA and F&E. A separate communication is going out to all fairs regarding this.

CFSA is working closely, as always, with our partners at CCA, WFA and CDFA/F&E to do all we can to assist the Network of California Fairs during these challenging times. Please do not hesitate to call me with any questions or suggestions.

We truly are all better together.


Rebecca Desmond
CFSA Executive Director



The 2020 New CEO Orientation is Wednesday and Thursday, April 1 and 2. You’ll find details-to-date here.

Notice of Teleconference Committee Meeting, California Fair Services Authority:
Revenue Protection Program Claims Committee – March 5, 2020. Here’s the meeting’s agenda.

The  most current 2020  Master Insurance List is now available!

Have you read the latest issue of the fyi newsletter? So that you can be in the know (not the last to know), you can read it here.

Merry Everything and Happy New Year from all of us at CFSA!

Happy Holidays from CFSA










Holiday Hours: CFSA will be closed the week of Christmas, December 23 – 27. We will also be closed on New Year’s Day, Wednesday, January 1. If you need to speak with someone during these times, please call 916/921-2213 for key contact information. We are always “here” for you!

CFSA’s next board meeting is Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 10:00 a.m. We will post the meeting’s agenda as soon as it is available.

In the meantime, if you would like to read the minutes from past board meetings, you can do so by visiting our Board Meeting Minutes archive.

CFSA’s 2nd annual Risk-Pool Member Meeting was Tuesday, November 5.
Close to 30 fair managers and a few fair staff members attended CFSA’s 2nd annual Risk-Pool Program Member Meeting. After going around the room for quick introductions, CFSA staff reviewed CFSA’s 2018 annual report with the group, followed by department reports from our Risk Control, Risk Management and Finance Services departments.

The CEOs asked questions throughout each  presentations and were invited to contact CFSA if they had any additional questions after reading through the hand out materials. 

The meeting was followed by a quick box lunch, compliments of CFSA, before most headed over to California Exposition and State Fair’s Turf Club for an afternoon with staff from CDFA’s Fairs & Expositions Branch.

All CEOs who were unable to attend CFSA’s annual meeting  were emailed a synopsis of the meeting, along with copies of the PowerPoint presentation and handout materials.

Read on for more information.  

August 27, 2019
Insurance Requirements Alert
Additional language has been added to CFSA’s Insurance Requirements. Here are links to the  updated  Insurance Requirements, the updated Operating Memorandum #19-01 and the Insurance Information Alert summarizing the updates. The new Insurance Requirements go into effect on Thursday, August 29, 2019. 

Join CFSA in Congratulating Lianne Lewellen, Recognized with a CSAC EIA Eagle Award for CFSA’s Innovative Contract Review Service

Now a vital part of CFSA’s successful general liability risk transfer program, the Contract Review Service was developed and managed by Lianne Lewellen for more than 20 years before she retired earlier this year and passed the service’s reins on to Mario Castagnola. Currently back with CFSA a few days a week to work on special projects, Lianne was surprised to learn that not only had she been nominated by CFSA for an EAGLE Award, but that she had won the award for her expert work with the review service. CSAC EIA – California State Association of Counties Excess Insurance Authority – is CFSA’s excess insurance provider.

Read the full article here. >



July 2, 2019
Hand-washing signE. coli and Preventative Protocols
Four confirmed cases of E. coli-related illnesses have been linked to contact with animals at the San Diego County Fair. Three of the four young children who became ill were not hospitalized, however, the fourth, a 2-year-old toddler was hospitalized and tragically died from complications. Our thoughts are with the children and their families as well as with San Diego County Fair’s staff who are all dealing with this heartbreaking situation.

Protecting the health and safety of the fair-going public as well as that of your animal exhibitors and fair staff is a commitment and a responsibility CFSA takes seriously. This recent outbreak underscores the importance of establishing and enforcing precautions and safety protocols that can help prevent the spread of E. coli and other infectious diseases.

·         CFSA’s Risk Control specialists are stressing the importance of these preventative measures during their current pre-fair and fair time fair visits.

·         CFSA is creating an information packet for all California fairs reiterating known best practices and protocols to prevent contact with E. coli during fair time. This packet will be distributed by Wednesday, July 3.

Hand-washing signs in English and Spanish provided by CDFA’s Fairs & Expositions (F&E) Branch are available from Melissa Thurber at or you can print out your own signs from the F&E website:

In addition, below is a hand-washing themed video developed for WFA and CFSA’s Play it Safe campaign. It’s fun, it’s short, it’s filled with valuable tips about how animal exhibitors can help prevent the spread of E. coli. Acting as ambassadors of your fair and for their animals, animal exhibitors can remind fair-goers to wash their hands and their children’s hands after leaving the animal barn and before eating. (Make sure you start the video from the beginning.)

Visit CFSA’s News & Events  blog for additional information about E. coli and preventative measures you can take to help protect the health of your fair guests, animal exhibitors and your staff.

Work Safe, Work Smart! June is National Safety Month! And CFSA is definitely on board! Throughout the month of June we will be posting safety tips you can use on your fairgrounds and in your everyday life. (Okay, yes, we actually do this year-round, but  we can’t resist the National Safety Council’s full month of encouraging individuals and businesses to put in a little extra effort towards reducing “the leading causes of unintentional injury and death at work, on the road, and in homes and communities.”  Please follow along on our Facebook page and here on our website



On our blog: Hey, nQativ Activity Users, here’s a tip when you find yourself locked out of your fair’s Activity account after three failed tries to log in.