Charleston Wine + Food

Following a national search that elicited applications from 70-plus qualified individuals, the Charleston Wine + Food Board of Directors have announced Alyssa Maute Smith the Festival’s new Executive Director.

“The process yielded applications from many amazing individuals with sharp skills and diverse backgrounds,” said Mamie Bush, board chair. “As strong as the pool was, we make this decision with absolute confidence that Alyssa is the right choice for the future of this organization. We have been extraordinarily impressed by Alyssa’s passion, her skill and her results in the months since being named to the interim role.”

Smith, a native Charlestonian, stepped into the Interim role in April of 2022, having successfully served as the festival’s Marketing + Communications Director for 6 years. Under her direction, the Festival garnered consistent national attention, generated strong ticket sales and attracted tremendous sponsorship investment.

In her role as interim, Smith helped stabilize staffing, secure new funding sources, re-engineer the Culinary Village and more.

Smith says her priorities for the near future include executing “an exceptionally strong and revitalized” festival in March, stabilizing the organization’s year-round revenue sources, and deepening relationships and impact in the community.

“I am proud and excited to step into the role of the Festival’s Executive Director,” said Smith. “I appreciate the board’s trust in me and look forward to working with them to further strengthen the organization’s work within our community. This is the city where I was born and helping to integrate this amazing Festival more fully with my beloved hometown is an honor I do not take lightly.”

Entering its 17th Festival season, CHSWF provides a showcase for local, regional and national talent to introduce food, beverage and products to ticket holders. With more than 100 events taking place in all three regional counties, the Festival is expected this year to once again deliver serious economic investment to the area.



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