Jennings honored as fair supporter, innovator

Matt Jennings of Kenton was awarded the Director’s Award for Innovation and Excellence and the Hardin County Fair’s 2021 Outstanding Fair Supporter at the Ohio Department of Agriculture Awards Breakfast during the Ohio Fair Managers Convention in Columbus. The Hardin County Fair Board voted to recognize Jennings at the state level as their outstanding supporter because of his contributions to the county’s premiere event, a phrase he coined himself.

“Matt is a fantastic supporter of the Hardin County Fair,” said Brad Murphy, Hardin County Fair Board President. “Matt has facilitated our strategic planning sessions, helped us to revolutionize our partnership and advertising structure, supported moving the fair into the 21st century with information technology upgrades and grounds-wide WiFi, and is now serving on the development committee as we build for the future.”

Jennings exhibited at the Hardin County Fair as a youth and continues to support the fair efforts. As CEO of Quest Federal Credit Union, Jennings has supported youth exhibitors at the Junior Fair Livestock Sale for several years. This past year, across three counties, Quest Federal Credit Union supported 205 livestock projects totaling $46,378.62.

“Some may ask why we support the fair sales so heavily,” wrote Jennings in his October ‘From the CEO’ address to credit union membership. “The answer is simple. We can use our marketing budget for fancy ad campaigns, or we can invest those dollars into the youth of our communities which equates to investing in our future.

“I have read countless letters and thank you notes from exhibitors that plan to use the funds for future projects, for their first car, down payment on a house, or to further their education. All of these are valid and strong reasons to make sure that our kids have a great start into adulthood and beyond,” he said.

Quest supports the Hardin County Fair financially as a Grand Champion Partner, by partnering to deploy public-access wireless internet for fair guests, and supporting the development of the Hardin County Fair app.

Each county nominates a fair supporter for that year to recognize someone that goes above-and-beyond for that specific county fair in a given year. Those award applications are pooled and reviewed for one of six director’s awards chosen by the Ohio Fair Managers Association to bestow upon a recipient.

Jennings is in his 25th year at the helm of Quest Federal Credit Union. He and his wife Marcy have a son, Mitchell, who has also exhibited at the Hardin County Fair.

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