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Friday, October 19, 2012 - 10:29am

Macon Cherry Blossom Fest. CEO Resigns

The CEO of Macon's Cherry Blossom Festival is out after just four months on the job.

Richard Brewer tendered his resignation on Tuesday, saying he intends to move back to Charleston, S.C. and continue with the festival consulting business he shuttered when he came to Macon.

Festival board chair George McCanless says he was not totally surprised by the news. "When Richard came here, he was very up front. His wife had a very good job in Charleston," McCanless said. "I just think after four months into it, his heart was really in being back in South Carolina with his wife."

Brewer and McCanless jointly decided it would be better for him to leave now than closer to the festival, McCanless said.

McCanless is also the publisher of the Telegraph of Macon, which partners with GPB on Middle Georgia news coverage.

Responding to rumors that fundraising for Macon's iconic, 10-day spring festival is down this year, McCanless said "while the [sponsorship] contracts haven't all been signed, a lot of that has been due to the fact that there were some changes being made in [festival] events, and the companies that have historically sponsored those just wanted to wait until all the details were in place."

The board sees no long-term problems ahead for fundraising, he said.

Looking ahead to the spring, McCanless said "we'll probably higher an interim CEO that will get us through the festival" before starting the search for a permanent replacement. The interim CEO will be festival's sixth chief in a decade.

Many of the candidates from the search four months ago may still be interested, McCanless said.

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