On June 20th, and June 21st, 2019, in separate announcements, both Festival Office Manager, Donna Saville, and Festival Executive Director, John Rosenberger, notified the Festival Board of their intentions to retire.
Ms. Saville’s brief announcement was delivered by hand to Festival President, Barry Carper; Festival Treasurer, Kip Rutherford; and Executive Director, John Rosenberger, at Festival Headquarters, on June 20th. Ms. Saville has named October 15th, 2019, as her last day of work for the Festival in her present position.
Mr. Rosenberger’s much longer announcement [which he states was pre-planned, but obviously had to be released ASAP after Ms. Saville’s] was sent to the entire Board by email on the evening of June 21st. Mr. Rosenberger has named September 21st, 2019, as his last day of work for the Festival in his present position.
Despite the timing, both Ms. Saville and Mr. Rosenberger have stated unequivocally that there is no connection between their announcements. They simply reached similar conclusions at the same time.
Ms. Saville started her employment with the Festival in 1983. Prior to that, she had worked several local jobs including working as a buyer for the Leggett Department Store. In 1983, when her employer at that time, the Bank of Frederick County, merged with First Virginia Bank, she decided that she needed to look for another position. She was already familiar with then-Festival Executive Director, Bill Collins, through their mutual involvement in the Winchester Royals. Bill offered her a job with the Festival; and, as she says, “I never left.”
Mr. Rosenberger was employed in his family’s building supply business, John W. Rosenberger and Co., from 1972 through 1997. In 1997, after 90 years in business, the Rosenberger family decided to close their business due to ever-increasing national-chain competition. He spent the next year overseeing the shutdown. Mr. Rosenberger was already on the Festival Board; and, in 1999, when the position of Festival Executive Director suddenly became open; he applied for it and won the job, stepping down from the Board in the process.
One of Mr. Rosenberger’s first decisions was to split the duties at Festival Headquarters into two jobs, creating the position of Office Manager for Ms. Saville, while retaining the position of Executive Director for himself. Thus began a very happy and productive twenty-year business partnership for two pink-and-green loyalists.
Ms. Saville gave no particular details in her notification for her retirement. Mr. Rosenberger noted that his retirement date of September 21st, 2019, will be his 70thbirthday. He stated rather plainly that, at this point in his life, he wanted to lighten his load of time worked at Headquarters, and his load of Festival responsibilities.
The Festival Board has been saddened to see what may be the end of an era; but, understands the reasoning behind both retirements. The Festival Board has accepted the retirement notices with very kind and gracious language. Neither Ms. Saville nor Mr. Rosenberger wants to completely leave the future service of the Festival, whether that would be as Volunteers or as part-time help at Headquarters. The Festival Board is currently working on what path the future of the Festival will follow; but, they want the entire Bloom Nation to know that the 2020 Festival is currently being planned, as usual, with, input from Ms. Saville and Mr. Rosenberger.