Britt Festivals chief will leave in May

After a little more than two years leading the Britt Festivals, executive director Rick Hood plans to leave the organization in mid-May.

A former ballet dancer with a master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School, Hood said he and the board came to a mutual agreement that he would move on.

Britt Classical Festival administrator Angela Warren, who has been with Britt for 17 years, will serve as interim executive director after Hood's departure, following the organization's succession plan.

The board expects to begin the search for a new executive director later this year, the organization's 47th.

"It was a tremendous pleasure to be at Britt," Hood said. "It is a wonderful organization and I feel encouraged about its future."

Hood was hired in January 2007 and started work in February of that year. He oversaw planning for three Britt seasons, spearheaded the development and implementation of a new strategic plan, focused on board development and training, and made significant progress in plans for redesigning the Britt park entrance, the statement announcing his departure said.

Hood said he was particularly proud of the process to create a strategic plan that will keep Britt sustainable through tough times in a changing music industry, as well as building partnerships with the city of Jacksonville, Jackson County, and the county fair board, which oversees the Lithia Motors Amphitheater where the festival presents some large shows.

Hood said he plans to stay in the Rogue Valley and is exploring "a few ideas" for his next career move, but isn't ready to discuss any of them.

— Anita Burke

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