World Stamps

Departure of NY 2016 executive director leaves critical void in show’s leadership

Mar 26, 2015, 4 PM

It came as a surprise to us to learn of Donna Richardson’s departure from World Stamp Show-NY 2016 as executive director.

With just over a year to go before opening day May 28, 2016, the show lacks leadership in a key position.

As we reported in the April 6 Linn’s and here, World Stamp Show-NY 2016 president Wade Saadi announced in a March 13 memo to the show’s organizing committee that Richardson “would part ways” with the show.

For what reasons?

A parting of ways leaves room for interpretation.

When I contacted Saadi for clarification, he made it very clear what was not open for discussion.

“I cannot comment on personnel matters,” Saadi told me.

However, he pointedly told me that the decision was not because the show no longer needed executive-level support.

“Donna’s parting of ways did not come from our thinking that the show did not need an executive director,” Saadi said.

“In our evaluation going forward, we are discussing our needs.

“We think a high-level executive assistant will help us complete our remaining goals.”

Saadi then pulled the curtain back a bit to reveal what the organizing committee is looking for in a possible replacement for Richardson.

“The individual should have the ability to bring people together, the ability to execute the show’s plan and to carry the message of the show,” he said.

“We want the person to be a visible face for the show.”

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At this point in the preparations for the next U.S. international show, Saadi told me, things are on track.

“We are at a point in our timeline where we are pleased with where we are,” he said.

“We want to hold a steady course through the completion of the show. The show itself is the biggest test.”

And what about Donna Richardson? What is her take on this rather sudden turn of events?

She told me that while the decision was unexpected, she is pleased with the contributions she made to the show’s development.

“While I am surprised by the change of direction at this late date, I hope that the momentum that we built while I was part of the NY 2016 team can continue,” Richardson stated.

“There is much to be done, and this is a critical time for overall show development.

“It is regrettable that I will not be seeing this project through to its potential. I extend my best wishes for a successful show to all those who are working hard.”

Richardson, no doubt, will find another outlet for her talents and enthusiasm.

In the meantime, the 2016 show has a vacancy in its leadership team that needs to be filled sooner rather than later.

We hope that an announcement from the show’s organizing committee, indicating that this has been accomplished, will be forthcoming in the near future.

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