Johnstown’s Joseph C. Robertson III is being honored posthumously today, Aug. 3, as one of six people to be inducted into the 2017 Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame.
A ceremony was held at 12:30 p.m. in Cardinal Hall at the state fairgrounds, 717 E. 17th Ave.
Robertson’s service to the Ohio State Fair can be described as a labor of love, said Melissa Carrick, the fair’s public-relations and marketing coordinator.
He served the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair on the Ohio Expositions Commission as both an ex-officio and an appointed member for about 16 years.
“Unfortunately, Joe passed away in 2008 (at age 60), but his legacy is still remembered on a local, state and federal government level,” Carrick said. “As described by friends, Joe was a seasoned government executive with a strong passion for betterment of the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair. He was a brilliant financial analyst, a loyal friend and a devoted team player.”
His son, Joey Robertson, said his father would be honored that he was considered and that he was named to the Hall of Fame.
“The Ohio State Fair was very important to him,” Robertson said. “He would be extremely honored he was included with other Hall of Fame members.”
The Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame has inducted dozens of notable fair contributors since 1976, including Bob Evans, Dave Thomas of Wendy’s and Sen. George Voinovich.
Under the leadership of three Ohio governors, Robertson was appointed to serve as assistant director and director of the Ohio Department of Development from 1991 to 2001.
As director, he was responsible to the governor for overseeing the daily administrative operations of ODOD, which had about 480 associates and a total biennial budget responsibility of about $1 billion.
In December 2002, he was appointed to a six-year term as a member of the Ohio Expositions Commission, which is responsible for the Ohio State Fair and other events at the Ohio Expo Center.
Other 2017 Hall of Fame inductees included Brett D. Chance of Hilliard, R. Warren Flood of Columbus, Jerry Powell of Urbana and Jack and Donna Moore of Somerset.
“The Ohio State Fair is honored to recognize the 2017 Hall of Fame inductees,” said Virgil Strickler, Ohio State Fair general manager. “From longtime employees to dedicated agricultural supporters, each inductee has made a lasting impression on the fair. With their contributions, the fair has grown and will continue to grow for years to come.”
The governor chooses inductees annually.
The Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame was established to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions toward making the fair one of America’s premier expositions.
The state fair runs through Aug. 6.