The Gettysburg Festival is pleased to welcome our new Executive Director, Randy Prasse. He stepped into his new role on Monday, March 18 and has hit the ground running in preparation for the 2013 Festival.
Selected from 200 applicants responding to a national search, Gettysburg Festival Board Chair, Edith Jardine, explains the board’s decision: “We believe that in Randy Prasse we have the perfect combination of experience and demonstrated success. He brings an extensive background in major festival and event management, including five years as CEO and Executive Director of the Wisconsin State Fair and an impressive history of consistently designing programming that attracts people to the downtown area with a focus on food, art, culture and street performers – which was very important to us, since supporting our local economy is part of the Gettysburg Festival mission.”
Prasse’s tenure with the Wisconsin State Fair – the state’s largest event – saw the event go from a $3.7 million deficit in 2005 to consecutive $1.5 million surpluses in 2007 and 2008, with increased multi-year corporate sponsorships and higher attendance.
Additionally, Prasse has been active in industry leadership, including serving on the President’s Council of the International Festival and Events Association (IFEA) and filling the role of President of IFEA’s local Wisconsin chapter. Most recently, he served as the Director of Destination Marketing for Discover Mediaworks in Madison, Wisconsin and Executive Director of the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, representing over a dozen communities in northeastern Wisconsin.
“I am so excited to be joining the Gettysburg Festival at this time – although it has already established itself as a viable festival – it has such real potential to be one of the truly great festivals in North America,” says Prasse. “I believe a community is defined by how it celebrates – the community’s similarities and differences…its culture and heritage. Gettysburg is so rich in culture and heritage- including but also in addition to the Battlefield. The Gettysburg Festival celebrates the community and region for all of its assets.”
Hailing from Freeport, Illinois, Prasse was raised on a dairy farm that has been in his family for six generations, dating back to 1873. He and his wife, Susan, have three daughters and are in the process of relocating to Gettysburg. A long-time Harley-Davidson owner, Prasse is anxious to explore south central Pennsylvania on his motorcycle.