Festival Director
Shay Brown

Shay Brown holds a glass of champagne out to the viewer. She's wearing a white top and patterned skirt in front of a yellow flower sculpture.Chow Chow is happy to welcome back Shay Brown, Founder and Owner of Shay Brown Events, as Festival Director. She and her team will work with Executive Director Rebecca Lynch to bring wonderful events to Asheville this summer. 

Shay Brown makes magic happen. An expert planner and community connector, she founded Shay Brown Events more than twenty-two years ago with the mission to cultivate meaningful experiences for her clients across the Southeast. Today, Shay and her team have expanded their offerings and plan dozens of festivals, weddings, nonprofit fundraisers, and corporate events every year while also managing several independent venues throughout the region.

Before she jumped into event planning and design, Shay’s first career was as a lobbyist. During that time, she developed a love for working with people and organizations, honed her skills in relationship development, and learned how to build community connections within her personal and professional circles. After 13 years of politics Shay was drawn back to her beloved home returned to the majestic mountains of Western North Carolina.

Shay founded her company because she thought that event planning could (and should!) look different in a place like Asheville. This small town full of big city talent was home to countless business owners, makers, vendors, and culinary experts who could all play a part in designing a meaningful event. Shay has always known that we are stronger together and has prioritized collaborations and teamwork from the start.

Event by event, Shay made it a priority to source locally and build connections, and after more than two decades in the industry has built one of the most comprehensive and connected networks in the Southeast. Her “little black book” is unmatched, and everyone knows that she is the one to call to bring the Asheville community together to deliver a dreamy wedding or change the way food and wine festivals come together, for good.

As her business grew, so did the team. Shay has surrounded herself with a talented and professional staff who are equally committed to community and deliver the same quality and attention to detail that Shay has cultivated throughout her career. The Shay Brown Events team finds inspiration and delight in working together to create a unique experience for every client—and they have fun doing it.

Currently, Shay serves as the Festival Director for Chow Chow, An Asheville Culinary Event Series, where she is responsible for producing every event and oversees the Culinary, Beverage, and Volunteer Directors. She is also the President of Asheville Strong, a non-profit with a mission to support local small businesses through fundraising, education, and community collaboration.

Shay is very passionate about a lot of things in life like hiking, cooking, books, and spending time supporting her community and friends in Asheville. Most of all, though, she is in love with her family and furbabies Hazel, Eastwood, Max, Onyx, and Addy.

Welcome, Shay!

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