Seattle’s Seafair Seeks New Leader As Planning for Annual Summer Festival Ramps Up

Nonprofit names interim top executive while search for permanent replacement is underway.
 
 
  • Nonprofit names interim top executive while search for permanent replacement is underway.
Annual Seafair festival names interim top executive while search for permanent replacement is underway.

Richard Andersen, the president and CEO of Seafair, Seattle’s iconic summer festival featuring some 75 events, has announced that he is retiring. He had served as the nonprofit’s top executive since October 2015.

Eric Corning has been appointed as the interim president and CEO while a formal search is begun to find a permanent replacement, according to Seafair’s board of directors. Corning most recently served as the vice president of production for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, where he oversaw some 40 staff and more than 1,500 volunteers. He also served as director of operations at Seafair from 1993-2001.

Preceding Andersen in the top post at Seafair was Beth Knox, who served for 10 years as the top executive of the nonprofit and is credited with helping to stabilize Seafair’s finances and expanding its range of events. Knox is now principal of Knox Executive Productions LLC.

Knox, like Corning, played a leadership role with the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, serving as president and CEO.

“We are extremely grateful to Richard {Andersen] for his leadership and many positive contributions during his time here,” says Michael Kim, Seafair board chair. “We appreciate his support and commitment during this transition and consider him a lifelong member of the Seafair family.”

 

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