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Nathan Baker

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Downtown group scrambling to cover Blue Plum vacancy

April 9th, 2014 11:52 am by Nathan Baker

Downtown group scrambling to cover Blue Plum vacancy

Brandi Woodall, director of the annual Blue Plum Festival and the monthly First Friday events, handed in her resignation two weeks ago. (Press file photo)

The Friends of Olde Downtowne’s events coordinator resigned last month, leaving the organization’s board of directors to divvy up her planning responsibilities two months before downtown Johnson City’s biggest summer festival.

Jenny Lockmiller, president of the downtown nonprofit’s board, said Brandi Woodall, director of the annual Blue Plum Festival and the monthly First Friday events, handed in her resignation two weeks ago, citing a desire to focus more on her private businesses.

Woodall, owner of Positive Approach Events and VENUE at the King Centre, was hired by the organization in January 2013 to replace David Pennington as the lead planner for the events.

At that time, she told the Johnson City Press she was excited to get the chance to work with the Friends and help to grow the events and downtown revitalization efforts.

Woodall did not return a message left Tuesday seeking comment regarding her resignation.

With the sudden vacancy of the key position so close to the summer festival season, Lockmiller said Woodall’s duties were divided among the board’s 10 members.

“We definitely are all having to jump in and figure out where we stand,” Lockmiller said Tuesday. “I’m mostly working with the music people, we’re setting up merchandise and we’re going to be announcing some new sponsors in the next couple of weeks.”

She said the group will likely look to hire a new events coordinator in the future, but it will be after the Blue Plum Festival.

“Right now, we’re focusing on getting 80,000 of our closest friends downtown,” she said. “But we are planning on having one person that handles that down the road.”

In the coming weeks, Lockmiller said the Friends of Olde Downtowne will announce the music lineup and sponsors for Blue Plum, as well as debut a new website for the event.

Even with the board members’ new responsibilities, Lockmiller commended Woodall on her work during her year-and-a-half working for the organization, saying she brought some positive changes to the city’s events.

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