Annapolis Film Festival names first executive director

The Annapolis Film Festival (AFF) The board has appointed Laura Richards of Scaleup Consulting Group as the organization’s executive director. In this new position for AFF, she will provide overall leadership and management of the business, financial, operational and development functions of AFF and the Annapolis Film Society (AFS). Richards will coordinate closely with festival directors Patti White and Lee Anderson and the AFF Board of Directors. She will also work to build key alliances in the business and arts communities, share responsibility for fundraising, and provide leadership and vision to AFF’s staff and board while supporting ensuring that the organization’s financial resources are used prudently and efficiently.

Richards, a certified COO, worked as a marketing manager at Fortune 500 companies and as the owner of several restaurants before opening Scaleup Consulting Group. She is an operations consultant to commercial and non-profit organizations. His expertise in operational efficiency, systematization, automation and scaling organizations will be leveraged in his new role at AFF.

Additionally, Richards has been an involved member of the Annapolis community, having held volunteer positions with the Eastport Yacht Club Foundation as Chairman of the Silent Auction; Spa Creek Conservancy as PaddleFEST program manager; and The Key School as President of the Parents’ Association and Co-Chair of the Annapolis Book Festival. She also served on the AFF Board of Directors, as a member of the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and on the Franchise Advisory Board for its restaurant concept for ten years.

“We are delighted to welcome Laura as Executive Director of AFF,” says Annapolis Film Festival Chairman of the Board Emil Galina. “She will bring her experience, enthusiasm and deep practical knowledge of strategic planning and operations to the Annapolis Film Festival. We feel lucky to have secured his talents and can’t wait to find out what awaits him at the helm.

“Laura’s experience in scaling organizational operations combined with her deep passion for fostering community arts programs will help advance AFF’s mission,” said festival director Patti White.

“As the AFF enters its second decade, we are delighted to have someone with Laura’s talents to focus on key organizational functions that will give Patti and I the flexibility to focus on programming, content and event production, which we love and do your best,” said festival director Lee Anderson.

“As a resident of Annapolis for 25 years, I am thrilled to work with the Annapolis Film Festival, a premier arts organization in my backyard. This is a pivotal period for AFF. It’s amazing what has been accomplished to date, but after 10 years of operations without year-round staff, administrative support, or a dedicated grants and fundraising arm, now is the time for the ‘AFF to expand its business operations and establish the festival as a national player,” said Richards.

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