New director of programming leaves Wichita River Festival after a month

Dana Plummer is out as vice president of program development for the Wichita River Festival after a little more than a month on the job.

In an interview, Plummer wouldn’t comment on the reasons for her departure. She declined to say whether she had resigned or been fired.

But in an e-mail Thursday to the board of directors of Wichita Festivals Inc., the nonprofit organization that puts on the festival, Plummer said she had “serious concerns about operations, finances and board structure; which I am guessing is what got me in this predicament, as well as me getting to know and like members of the operations committee.”

In the interview, Plummer praised the organization.

“Just getting to know the volunteers, they were the hardest-working, most dedicated group I’d met in 20 years. I wish the organization the best and I’m sorry it had to end this way,” she said.

Janet Wright, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals Inc., declined to say why Plummer is no longer with the festival.

“It’s a personnel matter. She is no longer here,” Wright said.

The organization will look to replace Plummer as soon as feasible, she said.

Wright will leave her job at the end of the year, and Plummer said she is interested in becoming a candidate to replace her.

“I was not going to be before, but I am contemplating that now,” Plummer said.

Plummer started with the festival on Aug. 8. She was tasked with coming up with new events for the 41-year-old festival, which reported losing money this year for the fourth straight year.

Plummer brought more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment and concert industries to the post. She had 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 moved to Wichita in late 2011 with her husband, Gary Plummer, president of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle