Carolyn Vanagel to Retire from Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival
Carolyn Vanagel, the long-time President for the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival, an Island event second only to the PGA’s RBC Heritage, has announced that following the eighteenth annual event this fall (October 24 – November 3, 2019) she will be retiring.
Vanagel, who has served in the role as President for the last 16 years, was responsible for building the event from the then two-day show with 6,000 attendees to what it has become today – a ten-day, nationally-recognized lifestyle event with over 20,000 guests from around the world. The 2019 event will gain even further exposure when it is streamed live by the HistoricRacingNews.com team.
“I have been blessed to have spent the last 16 years leading the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival,” said Vanagel. “We would not be where we are today without the support of our sponsors, exhibitors, judges, and local governments. I will cherish the many great relationships I have formed and am proud of the economic impact on the community. I am even prouder of what the Concours has done to support local and national charities through our Driving Young America Fund.”
“I am pleased to announce that Lindsey Harrell, our Vice President of Operations, will step into the role as my successor. Lindsey is a tremendous leader and has brought her creativity and passion to the Concours for the last 12 years. Under her leadership as President, the Concours can only become better and continue its presence on the national stage,” added Vanagel.
Merry Harlacher, Chairman of the Board shared, “the event has progressed from a two day event at the island’s Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn in 2002 to an over one week festival including vintage car racing, a vintage aircraft display and a 200 car, invitation only car club meet, all capped by a nationally recognized Concours d’Elegance. Exceptional vision and operational skills have inspired this 18-year progression to the Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival.”
“Carolyn Vanagel has applied vision, vivacious leadership, enthusiastic hard work and engagement of all of our constituencies throughout her 16 years. Lindsey Harrell has provided operational excellence through attention to detail, personal accountability and leadership by example to our selfless volunteers. Carolyn and Lindsey have worked together to build our small yet highly professional staff,” said Harlacher.
Harlacher concluded, “the Board of Directors and I along with all of our supporters (community, volunteers, exhibitors, judges, sponsors and vendors) will miss Carolyn’s smiling, energetic focus on improvement as well as her high-profile representation of the festival. At the same time, we look forward to working with Lindsey to enhance the festival. As we transition our leadership, we wish Carolyn all the best and look forward to working with Lindsey in 2020 and beyond.”
Lindsey Harrell, who has worked as the Operations Manager and then Vice President of Operations, has been with the organization since 2007 overseeing operations and marketing. Harrell will assume the role of President on January 1, 2020.
“The last twelve years of working with Carolyn have been enriching,” said Harrell. We have worked together tirelessly to build the event to what it has become, and I have learned so much from my time under her wing. While we will all miss Carolyn and her endless enthusiasm, we are excited for her as she takes this next step in her life.”
Harrell added, “I am uplifted by the trust both Carolyn and the Board of Directors have expressed in me and look forward to the future, to building this event even further. The future is bright, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the ride.”
The 18th annual Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance Motoring Festival is scheduled for October 24 – November 3, 2019.