After the Cherry Blossom Festival Board conducted a national search and received 29 resumes to find its next president and chief executive officer, it selected a Montezuma native for the job.
The search committee selected Stacy Campbell, who has had a long history with the festival. She accepted the position Friday morning, and it is effective immediately, according to a news release. Interim President/CEO Thomas Wicker will remain in an advisory capacity through April 28.
“We are thrilled to be able to complete the process and name Stacy before the festival begins next Friday,” festival Chairman Don Bailey said. “I look forward to working with her and the fantastic team to produce a successful event for the community.” Bailey, publisher of The Telegraph, served as chairman of the search committee.
The kickoff to this year’s festival is at noon Friday at Central City Park, and it runs through April 2.
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Campbell has served as vice president for the festival since November and worked with it from 2004 to 2012. This will be her ninth festival.
“I am extremely humbled to have been offered this opportunity,” Campbell said in the release. “Having worked for the Festival for eight years, my passion for the Festival never waned.”
An attempt Friday to get additional comment from Campbell was unsuccessful.
“Stacy has the unique experience of having served the festival as an event planner, marketing director, royalty program coordinator and sponsorship sales and fulfillment director,” board Chairwoman Stacy Ingram said in the release. “She knows the organization intimately and was able to rejoin the team in November 2016 with virtually no learning curve.”
About a month before coming back to the festival last fall, Campbell became deputy director of the 21st Century Partnership after serving as director of marketing and media relations at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter for about two and a half years.
When she left the festival in 2012, she was named president of the Perry Chamber of Commerce where she remained for about 20 months.
In early September, the festival board asked for the resignation of then President and CEO Jake Ferro, as the board decided to bring in new leadership. Earlier this month, Ferro sued the board, Ingram and others in Bibb County Superior Court for his job back, and he alleged his reputation was damaged. No new documents have been filed in the case as of Friday.