Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza 2019 Plagued with Issues (Multi-Part Issue), Part 1
Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s, Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza’s 2019 was plagued with issues from it’s conceptions in 2018. In 2018 Mississippi Wildlife federation brought on board Lindsey Lemmon to take the reins over the show after Melanie Starnes, Former Executive Director / Events Coordinator left one / two weeks before 2018 Ganza leaving. The new Director / Events Coordinator, Lemmon was thrown into the mix with a handful of issues in our opinion may have not been prepared for what she had to do and with her own way of doing things it was obvious she wanted to make changes at the last minute causing more issues which was apparently thru a wrench in the cog as it were. Starnes who was a veteran of the show did not leave on good terms from what we understood and it was not her decision with many complaints from what we found out in 2019 show was from the vendors who were just venting concerns over the show going downhill over the past several years. Starnes whom we personally liked and had great relations with was wonderful person to us and did everything we asked and provided us with information and was always upfront on everything and provided information in a timely manner, but apparently rubbed others the wrong way too from what we learned and prevented some vendors from coming too to Ganza so, I guess you cannot please everyone all of the time. Lemmon on the other hand, we as well as many vendors have had issues with her since we first meet her and she mislead us & other vendors since the beginning so much so the board of directors informed us at the end of Ganza 2018 they were considering on letting her go after that first show in 2018. There had already gone around and had received several complaints about her from 2018 so many that it brought up red flags about her abilities to lead the MWF / Ganza going forward, and the board would be following up with us after the show in the coming months. Throughout the 2019 calendar year I will say on the record, we never heard back from the MWF board or any management team member which left doubts and disappoints in our minds how the 2019 event was really going to go off. Even leading up to the 2019 event Lemmon would sent out multiple emails with wrong / incorrect information, misleading information and we even got an email stating we owed money we never owed. The Friday morning the day of check in Lemmon sent out an email with incorrect information and then followed up correcting her mistakes with is normal for her. Most emails we had gotten throughout the year were just like this full of grammatical mistakes and incorrect information which seems odd coming from a so-called Executive Director of an organization like Mississippi Wildlife. We requested fliers for the event to help boost, advertise for the event that never arrive! The same enthusiasm on advertising for the show just didn’t seem to be there as the years previous and MWF and Lemmon just didn’t put out the same number of Ad’s out to help push the show as in previous years. This thru up Red Flags for us as a vendor returning for a second year. Even during the show, Lemmon made no effort to come speak to us or the vendors on our row to see how we were doing and if we needed anything. She was nowhere on site / property day of check in. The already circulating drama unfolding regarding Victoria Darden and her Back Water Pump Project and what Lemmon had started prior to the 2019 event; I guess the MWF knew better than to question the vendors about the Lemmon during the 2019 Event on Sunday like they did in 2018 whether or not the vendors would return or how we felt the event turned out as they knew how we felt! I / we can personally speak that Lemmon avoided our booth and row during the entire Ganza Event and only spoke to her one time and it was very uncomfortable where she did something truly unthinkable; I would say stupid, but I am truly to be nice! Every time Lemmon walked down our row and got close to us she would turn and walk the other way when she got close to our booth; the one time she got close and didn’t realize where she was she was caught and had to speak to us. She stood at my booth and asked how we were doing? Really…. there wasn’t a sole (Customer) on the entire row for hours and then asked was my wife not attending the show? My wife was standing right beside her; literally my wife’s foot was inches from her foot standing right beside her! How idiotic is that? This shows how caring she is of her vendors. She had met my wife countless times and she couldn’t remember my wife, Really? If the future of Ganza depends on Lindsey Lemmon, I thing Mississippi Wildlife Federation needs to look at finding someone a little more caring and someone that knows what they are doing. They need to hire a professional event coordinator. There is nothing wrong with hiring a new Executive Director and get rid of Lemmon (Obviously) due to the Darden situation. But it they want to help repair their image of Ganza and get their vendors back, they are going to have to do something major to attract the vendors back and this is going to take someone more educated than Lemmon and a Professional Tactician in Event Coordination. First, you have to attract the vendors that stayed and offer booths to them at a reduced rate, even if it means free booths. They are the one’s that made 2019 what it was!!! Second, do not bring back the Sponsors i.e.: Will Primos and Chevrolet and any Sponsor that backed out at the last minute. Third, DO NOT Show preferred treatment to any vendor that backed out and Do Not give them their booth back. Give them what’s available and not what they want!!! Fourth, Put new measures in place so vendors cannot sell or sublet their booths to another vendor.
If you wish to file a formal complaint with the Secretary of State of Mississippi regarding Darden’s action and her team of Cyber Bully Click Here: http://www.sos.ms.gov/Pages/Contact-Us.aspx
Stay Tuned for our follow up articles on Ganza 2019
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