Board of Directors hope to simplify festival planning

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By Victoria Bowles
Old Town Lansing staff writer

 Board of Directors hope to simplify festival planning

OLD TOWN LANSING — Soft music played in the background of the Feb. 20 Old Town Commercial Association Board of Directors meeting, as Board Members sipped wine and discussed local issues at a roundtable.

Old Town Board of Directors Meeting Photo by Victoria Bowles

Old Town Commercial Association Board of Directors Meeting Photo by Victoria Bowles

“One of the things Old Town does really well is put on festivals,” said Karen Stefl, who is entering her second year as president of the Old Town Commercial Association Board of Directors.

“We decided that to save our volunteer’s energy and maximize our yearly cost setting up an RFP would streamline things,” said Stefl

RFP stands for requests for proposals, and by asking companies to put together bid proposals we can find the best fit for our budget, said Louise Gradwohl, executive director for the Old Town Commercial Association.

The membership dilemma

“We are a membership organization and we always ask our members if they would like to participate,” Gradwohl said.

One of the ways RFP’s hope to make festival planning easier, is by filling the gaps in services members of the Old Town Commercial Association

cannot provide.

T-shirts and glassware are two things we are sending out RFP’s for because no one in Old Town can provide those services, Gradwohl said.

“We can reach a whole new spectrum of potential costumers,” Gradwohl said.

Stefl also said entertainment is also a service that Old Town is hoping to simply by sending out RFP’s to local booking agents.

“Finding a booking agent is way to simplify our efforts instead of having the executive director act as a booking agent, which is too much for an individual person,” Stefl said. “It is worth paying money to have someone use their skill-set to do it.”

“I really feel like this [RFP’s] is a grown-up step for us,” said Jennifer Estill, Board Member and Owner of Redhead Design Studio.

Karen Stefl, President of the Old Town Commercial Association Board of Directors  Photo by Victoria Bowles

Karen Stefl, President of the Old Town Commercial Association Board of Directors
Photo by Victoria Bowles

New Faces

Along with figuring out new ways to tackle the issue of festival services, new members were added to the board of directors.

This is my first meeting, I was just elected to the board, said Sara Christensen, newly elected board member and owner of Katalyst Art Gallery and Gift Shop.

“I hope that I can serve on the board and serve the community at large through the board,” Christensen said.

Board members Ian Smith and Melik Brown also became part of the Board’s Executive Committee after being members for a year.

For more information contact Victoria Bowles, bowlesvi@gmail.com,

(810) 429- 1079

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