AIIF Changes Announced

Dear AIFF Friends and Supporters:

As our current fiscal year comes to a close, the Ashland Independent Film Festival Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing support, and to share upcoming organizational changes that we are implementing to ensure our continued success and stability. 
We are delighted to announce that Richard Herskowitz, who has served as the AIFF’s Director of Programming since 2015 and as Interim Executive Director since February, will become the Artistic and Executive Director effective July 1. “In addition to the innovative programming skills he demonstrated these past two years in Ashland and at festivals in Virginia, Houston, and Eugene, Richard brings to AIFF over 20 years of experience in the executive role leading festivals,” says Maylee Oddo, Board President for AIFF. “We are incredibly blessed and thankful to have a person with these enormous talents, deep experience and deft leadership skills.”

The Festival’s year-round staff will include both new and returning talent. Sean Sullivan, who has been with AIFF since 2012, has accepted the new position of Associate Director of Business and Systems. Mary Beth Johnson, an experienced fundraiser formerly with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra who became devoted to AIFF this past year as a first-time festival volunteer, joins the organization in the newly created position of Associate Director of Development. Long-time Festival Production Manager Bruce Hostetler will expand his responsibilities as Festival Producer. Also returning to the Festival in expanded roles will be Emily McPeck, Communications Manager; Erica Thompson, Assistant to the Director/Filmmaker Liaison, and Judy Plapinger, Programming and Publications Coordinator.

Alas, the new festival organization will move forward without its long-term Director of Operations, Wendy Conner, who is moving on from festival employment. In her ten years with the AIFF, Wendy has welcomed hundreds of volunteers into the film festival fold, and served as an invaluable Senior Programmer. In Richard Herskowitz’s words, “While I am very grateful that Bruce Hostetler and a new seasonal Volunteer Coordinator will take charge of our volunteer program, none of us will forget that the foundation and reputation of that program owes everything to Wendy’s character and leadership.” 

Again, thank you for your ongoing support of the AIFF. We look forward to seeing you October 6-12 for Varsity World Film Week, and April 12-16 for the 17th Annual AIFF.

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