The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Association has hired Cyndi Mudge as its executive director to carry out Clatsop County's plans for the area's signature event in November 2005.

LCBA is coordinating local programs as part of the nation-wide effort to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the historic journey west by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

"Cyndi brings a wealth of experience planning large-scale community events and she has a broad base of skills that are needed to pull all our planning together," said Les McNary, president of the LCBA board.

Mudge, who is scheduled to join LCBA March 1, comes from a background in marketing and events management that includes owning a Seattle firm whose clients included the Pike Place Market Street Fair, which hired her as director of the annual Pike Place Market Street Fair.

She was also executive director for Theatre Puget Sound and worked 11 years for Seattle Children's Theatre. Many of her clients were youth-based organizations including Very Special Arts Washington, Seattle International Children's Festival, the Q-13 Kids Fun Fair, and the Puget Sound tour of Dorothy Hamill's Ice Capades.

"Her background with Seattle Children's Theatre was one of our reasons for hiring Cyndi," said Chip Jenkins, Superintendent of Fort Clatsop National Memorial. "We feel her work with youth organizations brings the experience we need to make the Bicentennial programs accessible to families."

Mudge is moving to the coast following work with the Salem Public Library, where she established its first community relations office. During her time with the library Mudge was instrumental in raising $35,000 for the construction of a Kapok Tree by sculptor Tom Allen. The tree was used as part of a hands-on Forest Education exhibit and is slated for permanent installation to the entrance of its children's section.

"The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial is an exciting opportunity for me and I'm enthusiastic about being part of this important commemorative event," Mudge said. "I truly feel honored with this assignment and fortunate to be doing something I love in such a beautiful location."

The Bicentennial was kicked off in Charlottesville, Va., last month. Locally, businesses and cultural organizations have already begun honoring the Bicentennial with scheduled lectures, art exhibits, and through sales of books and other materials that focus on Lewis and Clark.

Commemorative events in Clatsop County will kick off in November 2005 and continue through February 2006. To learn more about the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Association or to become a member of LCBA, visit their Web site at http://www.lewisandclarkoregon.com

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