The Napa Valley Film Festival has hired Tom Tardio, the former longtime chief executive of entertainment marketing and PR giant Rogers & Cowan, as its CEO. He starts in the post immediately and will oversee all aspects of the annual festival including managing staff, fundraising, and developing new and existing programming.
Tardio, who exited as R&C’s CEO in 2015 after 27 years at the company, was chosen after a six-month search by the board of directors at nonprofit festival organizer Cinema Napa Valley, which also said Tuesday it had appointed four new members: Robert Bassett, founding dean of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University; Hello Sunshine head of brand parnternships Zoë Fairbourn, producer-manager Geyer Kosinski, and venture capital and technology exec Daniel Schryer.
The news comes after the organization announced the retirement of fest co-founders Marc and Brenda Lhormer. This year’s fest, the ninth annual, is set to run November 13-17.
“As we embarked on the search process, we defined the criteria for the person in that role as someone that not only would possess the attributes to expertly manage the complexities of delivering a world class film festival, but also would bring the creative vision to fulfill the desire to see the festival grow and reach its full potential,” CNV chairman Patrick Davila said in today’s release announcing the hire. “Tom has those qualities, and more, and his highly regarded reputation in the film and entertainment industry will serve the festival and our community well as we continue to evolve.”
Tardio exited Rogers & Cowen in 2015 to become chairman and CEO of Socialtext, a communication software provider in Silicon Valley. He also has been a managing director at PeopleFluent.
“Ultimately, my vision is reimagineering Napa Valley Film Festival with the proper worldwide brand image and reputation deserving of the Napa community as we approach our 10th anniversary in 2020,” Tardio said. “The fundamental goals still remain to develop strong relationships with established and emerging filmmakers, structure the proper promotional vehicles for consumer brands, and to accelerate our support of community educational initiatives.”