After exhaustive search, Charleston Wine + Food names new Executive Director
By Robin Gibson / Image provided courtesy of Charleston Wine + Food
As Interim Executive Director, the festival's staffing, funding, Culinary Village and more benefitted from her leadership.
James Island native, Alyssa Maute Smith, has been named the new Executive Director of Charleston Wine + Food (CHSWF) following a national search with over 70 qualified prospects.
“The process yielded applications from many amazing individuals with sharp skills and diverse backgrounds,” said Mamie Bush, board chair. “As strong as the pool was, we make this decision with absolute confidence that Alyssa is the right choice for the future of this organization. We have been extraordinarily impressed by Alyssa’s passion, her skill and her results in the months since being named to the interim role.”
Smith assumed the Interim role in back in April of last year following Gillian Zettler's departure. Prior to that, she had successfully served as the organization's Marketing + Communications Director for six years. During that time, CHSWF was nationally recognized with strong ticket sales and sponsorships. As Interim Executive Director, the festival's staffing, funding, Culinary Village and more benefitted from her leadership.
“I am proud and excited to step into the role of the Festival’s Executive Director,” said Smith. “I appreciate the board’s trust in me and look forward to working with them to further strengthen the organization’s work within our community. This is the city where I was born and helping to integrate this amazing Festival more fully with my beloved hometown is an honor I do not take lightly.”
With more than 100 events taking place in all three regional counties, the festival expects once again to have a serious economic impact on the area.
Smith's immediate goals include delivering “an exceptionally strong and revitalized” festival in March, stabilizing year-round revenue sources, and deepening relationships and impact in the community.
Entering its 17th season, CHSWF provides a showcase for local, regional and national talent to introduce food, beverage and products to ticket holders. With more than 100 events taking place in all three regional counties, the festival expects once again to make a major economic investment in the area.
Editor's note: Pictured above, the staff of Charleston Wine + Food. Executive Director Alyssa Maute Smith is seated, center.