by MATTHEW NASH
The newly created Sequim Lavender Farmers Association has appointed Scott Nagel as executive director. He will produce the Sequim Lavender Farm Festival, July 15-17, and represent the association to the community.
Nagel will work with the lavender farmers to ensure that the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association capitalizes on opportunities and events to position and promote the association.
“I am honored and pleased to have this opportunity to not only work with these world-renowned farmers and their amazing product but to also be part of creating and expanding the economic health and growth for our beautiful valley,” Nagel said.
Nagel had been executive director for the Sequim Lavender Festival, which the Sequim Lavender Growers Association owns. The farmers association separated from the growers association on Jan. 8.
Steve Ragsdale, lavender farmers association president, said having Nagel lead the organization is perfect.
“He has the passion and experience needed to take this event to the highest level while allowing us the time and opportunity to do what we do best — grow and market lavender,” Ragsdale said.
“His input and influence will be invaluable as we build a strong future for this organization and this city.”
Organizers for the Sequim Lavender Farms Festival plan to hold their event the same weekend as the Sequim Lavender Festival.
An already busy weekend becomes busier on July 15-17 with both the Sequim Lavender Festival, going into its 15th year, and the Sequim Lavender Farms Festival hosting events.
The lavender growers are planning a self-guided farm tour, with farms to be announced. The street festival on Fir Street is planned for the same time and location.
Oen said the farmers association intends to create an event similar to the Sequim Lavender Festival’s Street Fair and is in negotiations with the city of Sequim to find a location.
Neither association has plans for collaboration with the other.
Terry Stolz, president of Sequim Lavender Grower’s Association, said Nagel’s leaving came as a surprise. Nagel resigned as the Sequim Lavender Festival executive director on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at a board meeting, saying he took a different offer.
“I had six wonderful years with the Sequim Lavender Growers Association and I feel we made real strides in positioning that festival and their programs for the good of the community, Nagel said.
“However, the opportunity to work with the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association and their vision for the future gave me a broader sense of what we can create here for the good of Sequim Valley, the products and the farmers. I hope to build on our international reputation and bring more of the world to our doorsteps to enjoy and experience Sequim lavender.”
The Lavender Growers Association intends to pursue a new director and continue the original lavender festival.
“We still plan to mount the festival for its great 15th anniversary and have a world-class event,” Stolz said.
“Two-thirds of our membership is intact, and we just plan to keep going as we were.”
The farmers association attributes the split from the growers to philosophical and administrative differences.
A ‘proven track record’
Stolz said the original lavender festival group will focus on engaging the community more and promoting charity through commerce. Stolz said he didn’t want to divulge any information at this time on how the lavender festival would promote charity through commerce.
“We want to get to know our neighbors even more,” he said.
“We also don’t want this (festival) to be perceived as us doing it simply for money. We want to promote this region as the lavender capital of North America. People are going to love what we’re doing. We have a proven track record.”
Read more about the Sequim Lavender Festival at www.lavenderfestival.com and Sequim Lavender Growers Association at www.lavendergrowers.org.
For more information about the Sequim Lavender Farmers Association, contact Vickie Oen, 683-1714, or e-mail Vickie@sequimlavenderfarmersassociation.org.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.