Angel Postell, Sara Donahue, and Randi Weinstein
Big news from Charleston Wine + Food Festival. They’ve announced that Director of Events extraordinaire Randi Weinstein is leaving after seven years with the festival. Weinstein, the logistics guru of the four-day event, had handled everything from organizing Marion Square to managing event schedules to communicating with chefs. In a press release Weinstein says the decision to depart has been difficult, adding, “I love what I do, and I love what I’ve done. There is a short window for me to depart for a smooth transition, and that’s now. I’m sad to go, but excited for new opportunities. My heart will always be with the festival, and I believe it will grow and do great things in year 10 and beyond.”
We caught up with Weinstein, who’s in New York, and she echoed the press release sentiments. “It was an extremely difficult decision,” she says. “I love what I do and I was bitten by the bug in the second year at the festival. I got to do some great, unique, one-of-a-kind, never-able-to-be-replicated events, like Fort Sumter. I learned a lot.”
For Weinstein part of the transition is about allowing New Executive Director Gillian Zettler to put her stamp on the event. When former Executive Director Angel Postell was in charge, Weinstein says, “Angel was the face, I was the engine that made it happen.” But following Postell’s departure, Weinstein had to take on that role. “I want to be able to give Gillian that limelight and see what she has in store so she can put her name and face to the festival and see what she does in the next few years.”
The former director of events will stay in Charleston and is currently looking for a new position that combines her love of event planning, logistics, and food and beverage. The amicable departure includes Weinstein staying on to help transition responsibilities to her replacement.
In regards to Weinstein’s decision, Zettler says in a statement, “Randi leaves some big shoes to fill. Even in the timing of her departure, Randi is thinking about the festival, and for that we are grateful.”
With the loss of former Executive Director Angel Postell and Director of Communications Ashley Zink, Weinstein marks the third staff member to depart the organization since the 2013 festival.