Wednesday April 1, 2015

Meet San Juan County’s New Fairgrounds & Events Manager

Maddie Overnell is San Juan County’s new Fairgrounds and Events Manager, and County Parks and Fair Director Dona Wuthnow says that Ms. Ovenell has a clear challenge ahead of her. “The top priority is making the both Fair and the Fairgrounds sustainable as long-term community assets.” The new manager officially began work on January 7th.

Ms. Ovenell comes to San Juan County after serving five years as a community events specialist in Lake Oswego, Oregon, where she managed the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market and coordinated a variety of community events including the 4th of July Parade, summer concert series, Harvest Festival and many holiday events.  But she is no stranger to the County, having served two years as the residential environmental education and leadership Program Director on Orcas Island for the Seattle YMCA (Camp Orkila).

Ovenell says she is excited about her move to San Juan Island with her husband and two young daughters.  “We can’t imagine a more perfect place to raise our children and become active in the community.”

 “I am so excited to begin working with the community, Fair Board and staff on producing an outstanding Fair and outstanding events for this community,” she said.  “I truly enjoy the logistical steps and partnerships that go into coordinating events and creating something that the community can be truly proud to call their own.”

With a Master of Science in Recreation Administration and nine years of experience delivering community, private and volunteer events within the public and non-profit sectors, Ovenell has considerable expertise in event management.  Prior to working for the City of Lake Oswego, she worked as an event and facility coordinator for Central Washington University.  Ovenell also has experience in fundraising, volunteer management, event production and community relations.

At the same time Ms. Ovenell was appointed, Jennifer Allen, who has worked as a department assistant with the Fair and Parks departments for more than six years was promoted to program coordinator and will work closely with the new manager in producing events & programs at the Fairgrounds and park facilities.

“Jennifer brings a lot of experience and talent that complements Maddie’s background,” Director Wuthnow said. “People should watch for new programs, events and promotions for the Fairgrounds in coming months; and they’ll be meeting Maddie at all sorts of local meetings and community events.”

Ovenell replaces Rev Shannon, who left the Parks and Fair Department in September 2012.