April 13, 2024
Annapolis, US 55 F

Annapolis Film Festival Names First Executive Director

The Annapolis Film Festival (AFF) Board of Directors has named Laura Richards of Scaleup Consulting Group as the organization’s Executive Director. In this new position for AFF, she will provide overall leadership and management of AFF’s business, financial, operations, and development functions and the Annapolis Film Society (AFS). Richards will closely coordinate with Festival Directors Patti White and Lee Anderson and the AFF Board of Directors. She will also work to build key alliances in the business and art communities, share responsibility for fundraising, and provide leadership and vision to AFF staff and Board while ensuring that the organization’s financial resources are used prudently and effectively.

Richards, a certified Director of Operations, worked as a marketing executive in Fortune 500 companies and as a multi-unit restaurant owner before opening Scaleup Consulting Group. She serves as an operations consultant to commercial and nonprofit organizations. Her expertise in operational efficiencies, systematizing, automating, and scaling organizations will be put to work in her new role at AFF.

Additionally, Richards has been an involved member of the Annapolis community, having held volunteer positions with the Eastport Yacht Club Foundation as Silent Auction Chair; Spa Creek Conservancy as PaddleFEST Program Manager; and The Key School as Parents’ Association President and Co-Chair of the Annapolis Book Festival. She also previously served on the AFF Board of Directors, as a Board member for the Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce, and on the Franchise Advisory Council for her restaurant concept for ten years.

“We are thrilled to welcome Laura as AFF’s Executive Director,” says Annapolis Film Festival Board President Emil Galina. “She will bring experience, enthusiasm, and great working knowledge of strategic planning and operations to the Annapolis Film Festival. We feel fortunate to have secured her talents and look forward to experiencing what’s to come with her at the helm.”

“Laura’s experience in scaling organizational operations combined with her deep passion for promoting community-based arts programs will help to further advance the mission of AFF,” said Festival Director Patti White.

“As AFF enters its second decade, we are so happy to bring on someone with Laura’s talents to focus on key organizational functions that will give Patti and me the flexibility to focus on programming, content, and event production, which is what we love and do best,” said Festival Director Lee Anderson.

“As a 25-year resident of Annapolis, I am thrilled to be working with the Annapolis Film Festival, a premier arts organization in my backyard. This is a pivotal time for AFF. It’s amazing what has been accomplished to date, but after 10 years of operations without year-round staff, back-office support, or a devoted grants and fundraising arm, now is the time for AFF to scale business operations and establish the festival as a player on the national level,” said Richards.


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