Festival names director general

The Board of Directors of the Mountain State Forest Festival announces today the appointment of Ben Shaffer as director general of the 78th Mountain State Forest Festival.

While serving as deputy director last year, Shaffer also has served as an assistant director for four years, assisting with the coordination of the Elkins City Park, music shows, band field show, 10k run/walk, cross country meets, geocaching, primitive campers, jousting, tennis tournaments, horseshoe tournament, Get Acquainted Party, publicity and banners.

Shaffer began the role of director general on Jan. 1 and has begun working with his team of assistant directors, organizing and developing the events for this year’s festival, scheduled from Sept. 27 through Oct. 5 in Elkins.

“Ben and I were both assistant directors in 2009, and I was quite impressed with his creativity and organizational abilities,” said Cliff Marstiller, MSFF board president. “Over the past several years, his valued input and problem-solving skills have been a tremendous benefit to our organization. He has surrounded himself with a very capable group of assistant directors which I am sure will be working hard in the coming months to deliver a very memorable festival.”

“I am excited and honored to serve as director general of the 78th Mountain State Forest Festival,” Shaffer said. “I would like to thank the Forest Festival Board of Directors for bestowing their faith in me and giving me the opportunity to make this ‘A Festival to Remember.'”

Shaffer has chosen “A Festival to Remember” as the theme for the 78th annual event.

“I chose this theme to celebrate the different memories that people take away from our festival,” Shaffer said. “Whether you are part of the royal court, a lifelong patron or making your first trip to the festival, I hope we can provide something positive you can remember for a lifetime.”

Shaffer is a graduate of Elkins High School and West Virginia University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. Shaffer, a professional engineer, is employed as a regional program manager for the West Virginia Division of Highways and is president of MR2 Environmental Solutions Inc.

He is treasurer of the Elkins Kiwanis Club and secretary for Elkins Elks Babe Ruth League. He and his wife, Lisa, reside in Elkins.

“The dedicated and talented team of assistant directors that has been assembled will do a tremendous job of planning and running this year’s festival. I could not put this festival together without them and the numerous volunteers and sponsors that make the Mountain State Forest Festival a success,” Shaffer said.

For more information on the 78th Mountain State Forest Festival, visit www.forestfestival.com or call 304-636-1824.