OCT. 6-14 2018

Event News & Updates

Jan 5, 2018

Balloon Fiesta Announces Leadership and Staffing for 2018

Staffing Related to Flying Events and Event Operations Announced


Contact: Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group 505.898.8689, media@balloonfiesta.com 

Albuquerque, NM – The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® (AIBF) Executive Director Paul Smith announced leadership in key areas related to the October 6-14, 2018 event.

Key positions related to flying events will involve people who are familiar with the event, including:

Sam Parks, who will continue to be the event’s BalloonMeister, a role he has held since 2013. Melissa Bond will join him as this year’s Assistant BalloonMeister.

Henry Rosenbaum, who will be Balloon Fiesta’s Chief Safety Officer for a second year.

Michelle Healy, who will serve as the Balloon Fiesta’s Chief Launch Director. Michelle has been the event’s Assistant Chief Launch Director for the past several years.

Tammy Luna, who will be Balloon Fiesta’s Chief Scoring Officer, a role she has held since 2015.

Brad Temeyer, who will be Balloon Fiesta’s Chief Meteorologist for a second year.

Nancy Wertz, who will serve as the Chief Land Owners’ Relations Official for the third year.

Making the announcement today, Mr. Smith also announced the organization will conduct some internal reorganization based on the respective departures of two staff members.  Paul Petrehn, event director since 2015 left the organization to pursue other interests.  Sandy Wylie, who has served as the event coordinator, will be joining the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe.

“Both Paul Petrehn and Sandy Wylie helped to move Balloon Fiesta forward as an organization,” says Executive Director Paul Smith. “They both leave the event on excellent terms and we wish them well in their future endeavors. Our existing team member, Jennifer Garcia, will take a larger role in the administration of our pilots as the Associate Event Director for the 2018 event.”

In the weeks to follow, Balloon Fiesta will be evaluating the respective staff positions with the potential of some reorganization and/or expansion of current staff responsibilities.

About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® 

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® is an annual festival of hot air balloons that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.  It is the largest gathering of balloons and balloonists in the world. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website www.balloonfiesta.com and follow us in on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.