Seattle Center is a significant center for events of all types, and remains a vital center more than half a century after the 1962 World’s Fair created the campus. Major events include Bumbershoot, PrideFest, Bite of Seattle, and Seattle Center Festal, a year-long series of 24 world cultural events, the largest of which is Northwest Folklife. Other events include arts and entertainment events at several facilities in the Center.
Over 1.8 million people attend these events annually.
It also has several permanent attractions, including the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), Chihuly Garden and Glass, Pacific Science Center and Mercer Arena.
“Seattle Center remains a vital center for events,” said Skinner. “It attracts a large cohort of visitors from outside the local area, contributing to the economic base of the regional economy, which generates jobs and income for thousands of people in King County. It is a major tourism destination.”
Silverman is the founder of Festivals Inc., a special events production company and Lifestyle Events Inc., producer of Coffee Fest – the largest and first Coffee and Tea Trade show in the U.S. A native of New York City, his background includes over 50 years in the restaurant and hospitality industry, which provided the foundation for the growth and success that both companies have experienced.
Festivals Inc. was formed when Silverman created and produce the first Bite of Seattle in 1982. The Bite has grown into one of Seattle’s largest community festivals, attracting over 350,000 people annually and remains a flagship event for the company. He was a visionary and pioneer in establishing procedures and guidelines for special events in Seattle.
An accomplished restauranteur, Silverman saw clearly the business opportunities within the fast-growing coffee and tea industry. In 1992 Coffee Seattle was born and although the event is no longer owned by him, it was his vision, drive and passion for the industry that built the foundation for what is still today the leading trade show for coffee and tea.
Silverman was also instrumental in forming ASSET (A Seattle/King County Special Events Team). “His leadership went way beyond the events he produced,” said Bruce Skinner WFEA Executive Director. “He worked tirelessly to promote ASSET’s primary goal of communicating the value of sports and special events to the City of Seattle, the media and broader community.”
Knox recently completed serving as the President and CEO of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games that were held in Seattle. Considered to be the most significant event in Seattle since the 1990 Goodwill Games, the Special Olympics showcased the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities, providing for world-class competition and inspirational experience.
Prior to that, she served as President and CEO of Seattle Seafair from 2005 -- 2015, overseeing Seattle’s largest regional celebration with 75 events – 10 of them large scale – over eight weeks.
She also was the President and CEO of the Seafair Foundation and the Boise River Festival in Idaho from 2001 – 2003. She served as a Vice President at One Reel for two different stints (1994 – 2001 and 2003 – 2005), in charge of revenue development for a $22 million operation that produced Bumbershoot – The Seattle Arts Festival, At&T Summer Nights at the Pier concert series, Teatro Zinzanni, AT&T Family Fourth and many other events.
She began her career as the Director of Promotions at Seafair, serving from 1988 – 1994.
“Knox is a natural leader,” said Skinner. “She is skilled in all facets of the events industry while being a team builder and staff and volunteer motivator. People are amazed at how calm she can be in the event industry’s fast-paced, high pressure environment.”
Mike Brennan is the economic development and Make it in Washington grant specialist for the Washington state Workforce board. He has over 30 years’ experience in private sector business and private not-for-profits, and eleven years with the State’s Workforce Board. His professional background is wide ranging from teaching elementary school; operating a SCUBA/Snorkel dive chart business on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands; serving as president/CEO of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry and chairing the Mt. Baker School District Board. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a Degree in American Studies, and West Chest State College with a Pennsylvania State Certification in Elementary Education. Mike is also certified as a Marano Fellow by the Aspen Institute. He works across the state supporting the coordination of the workforce and economic development systems at the regional level.
The original concept for his Teatro ZinZanni was sparked by that visit to Barcelona, when Norman strolled into a weather-beaten speigeltent. Inspired by the great cabarets of Europe, spiked with a fresh sense of American comedy, and steeped in absurdity, Teatro ZinZanni took shape. Since 1998 Langill has conceived and directed over 50 productions and presided over 6,000 performances in Seattle, San Francisco and Costa Mesa. Norman has been recognized for many accomplishments over the years including an Emmy for writing, a Grammy for lifetime achievement, the Royal Brougham Award, and an induction into the International Festivals and Events Association Hall of Fame.
David Doxtater founded The Workshop in 1997 with a vision for inspiring people to connect with new ideas, celebrate achievement, and participate in making our world a better place. Following this vision, The Workshop has produced hundreds of events, concerts, galas, festivals and community celebrations that strive to build stronger engaged community.
Concurrent to this work, David has also served as Director of Events at the University of Washington, overseeing hosted experiences for offices of Advancement and the President; and also served Executive Director for the Tacoma Tall Ships Festival. David has been very busy. Prior to The Workshop, he began his career as a "One Reel Vaudeville" pioneer helping create the Bumbershoot Arts Festival and building it into a world-class multi-million dollar entertainment brand. During this time, he also developed the iconic "Summer Nights at the Pier" concert destination, as well as Seattle's annual 4th of July Fireworks show on Lake Union.
Ed retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after 27 years of active duty in the United States Air Force. After 4 years with the Spokane Lilac Festival, Ed joined Global Credit Union as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Government relations and also served as an elected member of the Board of Directors for 8 years.
Ed was an active board member, past President and founder of WFEA. He also served on the Spokane County Planning Commission as Commission Vice Chair, past president and board member of the West Plains Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chair and Chair of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce Armed Services Committee, Past President of the Funding Development Board of the Vanessa Behan Crises Nursery of Spokane. Board member of Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council, Spokane British Brass Band, Spokane First Night, Spokane Area Veterans Task Force.