Charlotte Alexander has been named Festival Director of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival effective July 1. Previous Festival Director Wendy Eidson remains with the organization, moving into the role of Artistic Director. She and Alexander will work together to support the growth of the Festival in its mission to entertain, educate and inspire filmmakers and filmgoers.
Alexander, a resident of Nipomo, has been active in the SLO County nonprofit community for 25 years in both executive and volunteer positions. She has been CEO of United Way of SLO County and most recently was executive director of ARTS Obispo, the SLO County Arts Council. Elected in 2010 as a trustee of Cuesta College, she has taught journalism and public relations at both Cuesta and Cal Poly.
As a volunteer Alexander has served as president of the board of directors for the North County Humane Society and the Central Coast Natural History Association, and was chair of SESLOC Federal Credit Union’s Supervisory Committee for several years.
State Senator Jack O’Connell named her Woman of the Year for California Senate District 18 in 1998, citing her work as director of public affairs and community relations for Cuesta College as well as her contributions to the community.
Alexander and her husband, radio talk show host Dave Congalton, have been in the news recently for their roles in bringing an independent feature film, Authors Anonymous, to the big screen. Alexander served as associate producer on the project, and Congalton wrote the screenplay. They expect a theatrical release of the film later this summer.
Alexander and Congalton were co-directors of the Cuesta College Writers’ Conference for 11 years, and they are the authors of an award-winning book, When Your Pet Outlives You: Protecting Animal Companions After You Die. As a contributing writer to Tolosa Press newspapers, Alexander also has reviewed theatre productions on the Central Coast.
Alexander graduated from DePauw University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with an emphasis in theatre, and she holds a Master of Arts degree from Ball State University. She is a graduate of the first SLO County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy as well as the SLO Chamber of Commerce Leadership San Luis Obispo, Class III.
Wendy Eidson, who has helmed the SLOIFF since 2006 will now focus on year-round programming and marketing, while Alexander will oversee fundraising, grant-writing and administrative duties. “I am really delighted to welcome Charlotte to our organization. We are confident that her experience and knowledge will be a huge asset at this exciting stage of the Festival’s growth.” The SLOIFF will celebrate its 20th Anniversary during the next festival, scheduled for March 5-9, 2014.