Rebecca Lynch named Chow Chow executive director

Press release from Chow Chow:

Chow Chow, the 501C3 organization which held its inaugural celebration in Asheville in 2019, has hired its first executive director — Rebecca Lynch — in anticipation of this year’s event September 10-13, 2020. Chow Chow has also retained Shay Brown Events of Asheville to oversee festival operations, design and logistics.

“We are pleased to announce our first executive director for Chow Chow,” said Chow Chow Board President Katie Button. “Rebecca brings her deep farming roots in Western North Carolina along with her considerable expertise as a leader and fund development professional to our organization. She is prepared to take our organization and our event to new levels.”

Lynch joins Chow Chow following a 15-year fundraising career with the Asheville Art Museum, most recently managing the successful capital campaign for the recently reopened new museum. She is a fifth-generation Fairview, NC, native and culinary maker with deep roots and strong ties to the area’s agricultural, culinary, artistic, civic and business communities.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to support our region’s unique community of creative makers bringing us together around our Southern Appalachian table,” said Lynch. “Chow Chow strives to provide transformative and immersive experiences that celebrate our culinary and creative landscapes and I am eager to be a part of the organization and its mission.”

Chow Chow’s new festival director, Shay Brown, owner and designer of Shay Brown Events and Shay Brown Events Management, is also a native of Western North Carolina with 20 years of planning and event experience. Shay Brown Events is one of the Southeast’s most popular wedding planners and designers. The sister company, Shay Brown Events Management, oversees event management at seven local venues – Asheville Masonic Temple, The Horse Shoe Farm, Asheville Art Museum, Franny’s Farm, Morris Hellenic Cultural Center, Catawba Brewing and Olivette.

“We are excited to bring on the expertise of one of the Southeast’s premiere event planners,” said Button. “She offers a wealth of organizational and creative skills that will help us make our 2020 Chow Chow an exemplary event.”

The Chow Chow Board and its committees and community volunteers are planning for this year’s festival following two public meetings with month to gather input and ideas for the festival. Programming development is underway and the organization invites interested parties to submit additional ideas and sign up for volunteer opportunities on its website. Tickets for Chow Chow 2020 are slated to go on sale by late March or early April.

Founded by a group of volunteers who believe in the unique creative community of makers who sit around our collective Appalachian table in Asheville, Chow Chow elevates farmers, chefs, artisans, producers, writers, craft makers and thought leaders who understand the transformative power of our local food economy and our local creative community.

For more information about Chow Chow and how to become involved, visit

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