Longtime Wichita Festivals vice president of program development Linda Davidson announced she will retire later this month, officials said Tuesday.
Davidson, who started volunteering for the Wichita River Festival in 1982 and was hired in 2001, said she decided to retire in February after serving 11 years in the position. She will leave Wichita Festivals Inc. to work more closely with her husband, Jack Davidson, and son, Joe Davidson, who operate Jimmie’s Diner and Kings X Restaurant. The family has owned the businesses for about five years, she said.
“The demands are more, (and) I feel like it’s time for me to help,” Davidson said. “It’s my new retirement.”
“Not only is she a great asset to our staff, but she’s also become a good friend,” Wichita Festivals president and CEO Janet Wright said. “We will just miss her all around.”
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Davidson will be replaced by Dana Plummer, who has more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment and concert industries. She has worked as executive director for the Sangamon County, Ill., Habitat for Humanity and the Historic State Theatre in Modesto, Calif.
Most recently, Plummer was assistant general manager for the Springfield Sliders, a summer collegiate baseball team based in Springfield, Ill.
She started at Wichita Festivals on Aug. 8. She moved to Wichita in late 2011 with her husband, Gary Plummer, president of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.
“She’s had a lot of nonprofit management experience, so we’re hopeful that she will fit right in,” said Wright, who plans to retire at the end of the year.
Dana Plummer said she hopes to expand Riverfest’s offerings, book fresh entertainment and ask the public what they want to see at future festivals.
“I think I bring a lot of just good common sense to this job,” she said. “I’m impressed with the festival. I think that they have a really great base to build on here, and even though the economy is gloomy … this festival has stood the test of time.
“Wichita is a great community, and I’m excited to be here and excited to be a part of the Riverfest.”