The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is seeking a full-time executive director after having Greg O’Byrne serve in the role part time under contract for 25 years.

“We have determined that we have grown to the point where it is imperative that we move towards a more business approach to our operation,” Hal Leonard, the festival’s newly elected president, said in a news release.

O’Byrne will remain under contract, responsible for the production and operation of the annual September event. The new executive director will assume administrative duties and be the organization’s liaison with the festival’s restaurant partners and the business and civic community.

“Our 2020 event was tough, but we kept our Fiesta alive by doing virtual wine tastings, wine maker dinners and wine auctions during our normal fall fiesta time period and we look forward to being back to in-person celebrating come the week of Sept. 20 this year,” Leonard said.

The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta was started 30 years ago by restaurant operators to fill the lull in tourism in late September between Labor Day and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The wine and chile event features 70 restaurants and nearly 100 wineries.

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