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When Kurt was about 10 years old, he met a man his Dad was purchasing a travel trailer from. For some reason Kurt found this man to be very interesting and liked something about him. Later he asked his Dad what the man did, he said "he owns a couple of different businesses, he is a real entrepreneur." Kurt told his Dad, "That's what I want to be!" Kurt's folks said he could be anything he wanted to be. Fifty something years later after starting a lawn cutting business at 12, Kurt has owned; an entertainment booking agency, video taping service, festival food concession, college corner bar, ice cream/sandwich shop, web development & hosting company, rental real estate and FestivalNet. Along the way he managed a movie theater, delivered news papers, pumped gas, picked peaches, sold newspapers, worked as an insurance claims adjuster, boarded horses, ran a ball park concession, managed his singer/comedian brother, Kier
and managed a rock band... Currently Kurt is co-owner of FN, owner of SingingValentine.com
and is involved with a non-profit Musicforhumanity.org
. He has a BS in Financial Management from Clemson University and 30+ years of experience in the festival business and the entertainment business. Kurt claims he revived the word "groovy", much to the amusement and sometimes embarrassment of his friends and wife. He and Connie lived in Asheville for 20 years, but now live in a small town on the southwest coast of Florida. Kurt plans to be an entrepreneur the rest of his life.
Connie is co-owner of FestivalNet and the CFO of the company. She is a major animal enthusiast and passionate about animal welfare. She created and manages Lost Pets of Western NC
, a free lost/found animal web site. Connie lived in the Asheville area for 20 years with her husband and business partner, Kurt and their cats. They now live in a small town on the southwest coast of Florida, but keep close ties with Asheville. They are down to one cat, which is just wrong, so that will likely change soon! She has a degree in Urban Planning that, thankfully she hasn't used in a long time. In addition to a long history in the special events business, she and Kurt also buy and renovate a house now and then, one of Connie's favorite pastimes. She has had large gardens most of her life, but Florida is tough. Her most successful crop there has been lettuce. Connie loves and appreciates every wonderful person on the FestivalNet team and is grateful for each member and customer. As orders are recorded, she actually says a quiet thank you to each person by name.
Working at FestivalNet since 2004 with a staff of five and a tiny office, Julie has her hands in most departments here at FN and loves the festival and events market. With a Communications Degree from Dreyfoos School of the Arts and a Bachelors in Liberal Arts from the University of Central Florida, Julie has done lots of cool stuff like a European backpacking adventure, exhibited photography in shows and competitions, & performed with the Asheville Rebelles theater troupe. When she's not working at FN or raising her awesome kid Fable, Julie is growing an amazing Young Living Essential Oils Team in Asheville, NC
Event Database Manager
Updating, adding events and answering festival promoters questions since 2006, Sara enjoys her job at FestivalNet and can't imagine working anywhere else! In addition to taking care of our database, Sara also takes care of 5 head of cattle, 5 chickens, 3 dogs, 2 parakeets and 1 barn cat named Gonzo out in the country of Western North Carolina with her husband and son. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.
For most of her career Judith has dealt in the visual arts. She has represented artists to the international level. Judith enjoys working in advertising because it enables her to work with diverse people across North America. She enjoys the give and take of working with clients in order to discover their individual advertising needs. Judith has developed a loyal customer base and approaches each prospect with a long-term relationship in mind.
Richard was born in Vilnius, Lithuania and studied at Vilnius University. A computer programmer since the end of the last century, Richard has been programming for FestivalNet since 2005. In 2009 Richard moved to the US and is now a resident of Florida's Gulf Coast. We are happy to now have him in our time zone!
Customer Service & Newsletter Editor
Jackie is an artist, a nerd-of-all trades, and is professionally friendly. She has a penchant for technology, art, fun events, and Batman. Jackie has experience organizing events, including a large-scale horror event in Asheville, NC. She also loves getting creative, taking on fun projects, and staying on top of the newest web-based features and applications. She currently resides in Savannah, Georgia with her bunnies and her Drew.
Shawn started with FestivalNet.com in 1997. Those were the early days when the office was in the basement of Connie and Kurt's home. Shawn lived right around the corner from the office, so the morning commute could be done by bicycle. Still updating and researching for the FestivalNet database of fairs and festivals, Shawn otherwise can be found volunteering at her son Tanner's school, gardening, and camping.
This is Marisa's fourth manifestation of service and fun. The first was as a television news anchor and reporter, then co-owner of two restaurants, followed by stay-at-home mom and board member at her son's school and now (drumroll, please): customer service at FestivalNet! "For the first time in my life, I have no pets but am surrounded by pet lovers who welcomed me into their awesome company anyway. How wonderful is that?!" Marisa also has a NC real-estate license and a certification in feng-shui. Her bucket list includes: sky-diving, learning to tango, an African safari and snorkeling in Tahiti.
A few of our Furry Co-Workers
Lola came onto Sara's life unexpectedly through circumstances that could not be ignored. She was a rescue that had been lost in the woods for an unknown period of time, only weighing 39 pounds when she was found. She was brought to Sara's attention by a friend that knew how much she loved Boxers and dearly missed her pet of 10 years Roxie. After a weekend trial stay it was clear that Lola was a keeper. She is now the baby of the family and runs freely in the pasture and swims in the creek as often as she can. She is a true country dog now.
Cada (aka Wild Thing)
Cada (aka Wild Thing) is always looking for adventure. Will settle for unrolling an entire roll of toilet paper if nothing more interesting comes along. Will chase anything you throw for as long as your arm holds out.
Ghost, Omar, & Ramona
Ghost, Omar, and Ramona are the fluffy bunnies that live in Jackie's office. They prefer to spend their time flopping, knocking things over, chewing on shoes, and begging for bunny treats. They are constantly causing mischief in the cutest way possible.
Sola Kitty manages Julie's office by pushing the paper, waltzing on the keyboard, and warming the chairs. When she is not bird watching, you can find Sola dreaming of bird catching, or stretched out and sunning on the deck. This feline of festival affairs is a proud member of the FestivalNet fur babies!
We said farewell to our little moon-eyed, zen kitty Rascal at the beginning of 2013. She was feline luke positive and had a wonderful, fun life for over 3 years.
McNulty left us all too soon, but had a happy bunny life while he was with us. He was always curious, and never steered away from adventure. He loved going outside to play in the grass, and he was the only bunny to cluck like a chicken. He is still missed by his life-mate, Omar.
Roxie was an avid believer in labor laws, so as not to break them, she only worked about two 15 minute shifts a day. Which included, patrolling the premises for any unknown beings to greet and searching for food that had been dropped. She then rested the other 7 1/2 hours. =)
As you can tell in her picture she was laid back and always out for a good time. Her favorite things to do were playing frisbee, fetch, and being the welcome wagon wherever she was. Roxie, we miss you so much!
Smoothy worked very hard at distracting
the humans at the office and got paid in doggy
treats. She loved coming to work and her tasks included napping,
playing with her toys, running around and messing up the rugs, begging
for lunch scraps, and making sure squirrels didn't get too close to the
She was also a big activist for Connie's website Lost Pets of Western
When she was not at work, her hobbies included
creek-swimming, sitting on the front porch, following mom (Julie)
around the house, walks around the block, snow-flake-catching, and
tug o' war. We'll miss you, Smoothy.
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