The non-profit Cincinnati International Wine Festival is pleased to welcome Kelly Weissmann as its new executive director. Weissmann brings more than 20 years of local event strategy, planning and logistics expertise to the world-renowned, annual festival, which is approaching its 30th year of giving back to the community, one glass at a time.
Weissmann has been the helm of several significant events over the years including the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, the Heart Mini, Ride Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Redlegs Run and more. Her multi-faceted expertise has been honed by her knack for leaning into and thriving in fast-paced environments. She has been responsible for leading and overseeing all aspects of these complex events including volunteer and project management, sponsorship solicitation and activation, marketing and communications strategy, community relations and more in addition to event planning, logistics and implementation.
“We are delighted to bring Kelly on as our wine festival’s executive director,” says Connie Wiles, Cincinnati International Wine Festival board president. “Her vast experience in planning and executing major events is extremely impressive. We believe her fundraising expertise with local non-profits, both large and small, will be an incredible asset to our team.”
Prior to her most recent position as senior director of the University of Cincinnati Bicentennial, Weissmann spent several years as an independent events consultant for a variety of major organizations, often directly managing multiple aspects of her clients’ events simultaneously. A proud Cincinnatian at heart, she focused her talents to support the local initiatives of her clients, which included Fifth Third Bank, Cintrifuse, the American Heart Association, the Ride Cincinnati Foundation and the Cincinnati Reds. She was also a founding team member of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon. She spent the early years of her career managing events at The Walt Disney Company.
“Cincinnati is such a great place to live, work and play.” says Weissmann. “I find such fulfillment in creating memorable experiences that connect people with their passions, locally. I am so looking forward to working with an organization where I will not only immediately see my impact, but I will get to be hands-on in every aspect of the event planning process, from beginning to end. I really enjoy being part of events that make people feel proud to call this wonderful city home. And well, there’s wine! So mark your calendars for the 30th annual Cincinnati International Wine Festival, March 12-14, 2020.”
As the wine festival’s executive director, Weissmann will be responsible for managing all aspects of the festival’s operations and financial performance, building and sustaining stakeholder relationships, marketing and promotions, volunteer recruitment and management, board relations and event management activities.
The wine festival is comprised of five, prominent annual events: an international wine competition, The Winery Dinner Series, Grand Tastings, and Charity Auction and Luncheon, all held in March each year. The Russ Wiles Memorial Golf Tournament is held each June. The organization has raised and donated more than $5.6 million dollars to local non-profits over the past 29 years. In 2018, it donated a record $400,000 to 35 local charities. Nearly 7,000 people attended the festival’s events last year.
The Cincinnati International Wine Festival is a Cincinnati-based 501(c)(3) organization established to raise funds for local charities through the celebration of the wine industry. It features 700 wines from 250 wineries across the globe, all for a great cause. The festival benefits 35 Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky arts, education, and health and human services charities, and has been giving back to the community since 1991. The patronage and support of the Greater Cincinnati community enables the festival to continue giving back locally, one glass at a time. The 30th annual Cincinnati International Wine Festival is set for March 12-14, 2020, at the Duke Energy Convention Center. For more info, visit winefestival.com.