If you have been a Santa for a year or for several decades, you know there is always something more to learn, something new to buy for the suit, something cool to know about how to answer that question about where the reindeer are right now?!!! When you Portray one of the greatest Icons in the World, you're supposed to know the answer to everything and be somewhat all knowing. Unfortunately, the job itself prohibits you from talking to other Santas (at least in public) about their experiences and tricks of the trade. Unless you have a private Mentor, you're pretty much on your own except for ClausFest. At ClausFest there will be full fledged Workshops held by the best of the best in the Santa Claus Community and otherwise. The knowledge you will receive through the Workshops is priceless and also, another great teacher is learning from each other, through interaction with one another at ClausFest. The organizers make sure there's enough time for getting together through their huge Hospitality room that is open 24/7 throughout the Festival/convention.
Here are your Executive Directors, Assistant Directors and Chairpersons that make up YOUR ClausFest Team, or the "Dream Team" as we've been called by many in 2012.
Santa Charlie and Cindylu Thomas, hail from Alabaster, Alabama where they have resided for the last 27 years.
They received their calling, from the North Pole in 2003 and spent the next year studying the highly coveted positions as Santa & Mrs. Claus and went public and professional in November, 2004.
Santa Charlie and Cindylu celebrated their 41st Wedding Anniversary August 7, 2013. Both have appeared as Santa & Mrs. Claus in every type venue imaginable and say they are just 'getting started'! "Receiving this gift is truly one of the most rewarding and enjoyable journeys we have ever taken and we will continue this path of travel for as long as the good Lord will allow it; we are truly "Blessed!", according to Santa Charlie and Cindylu. Check out their website at: www.Bamasanta.com
Cindylu will also serve as the Chairwoman for Entertainment and "Special Events" and Santa Charlie will be assisting her as well as serve as our C.F.O. in the same capacity as he did in 2012.
He will also be the overseer for The ClausFest Parade. You can contact Santa Charlie or Cindylu at : [email protected]
ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS -
SANTA TED JACKSON AND VICKI JACKSON
Santa Ted and Vicki 'Meme Claus" Jackson have been a part of the Santa community for over 20 years. From humble beginnings as Santa and Mrs. Claus at their local church, they have become more and more involved every year. Both are on the founders committee for Georgia's Peachtree Santas, and now enjoy serving as Assistant Executive Directors for Clausfest.
Year round children are thrilled to catch a glimpse of Santa Ted whether in a 4th of July parade, at Clausfest, or just grabbing a bite to eat (cookies and milk please). They are always blessed to see the children's joyful smiles. When asked if they ever get tired of the dinner interruptions, etc., Santa Ted always says, "When I get tired of it, I'll shave."
~ Executive Director Assistant ~ Debra Ann
I was born and raised in the beautiful but sometimes frigid state of Minnesota. I have been married to my wonderful husband Santa Randy for 36 years. We have 3 beautiful children and 1 lovely granddaughter. I am wheelchair bound with Muscular Dystrophy. We have a busy but wonderful family life, one that I am very grateful to God for.
I am a “Mrs. C." behind the scenes” of 10 years. Each year as the calendar turns to the next month I know we are always one month closer making sure Santa is ready to go with all the information he needs, to be the best Santa he can be. I love chatting with the clients and fullfilling their requests. You can check out our santa website: www.santarandy.com
I also have taken on the position of keeping the Minnesota North Star Santas Roster of over 100 updated and arrange a few group gatherings each year, as well as pass on e-mails of jobs for the season that need to be filled in Minnesota.
I look forward to being an active part of ClausFest 2014. It was a rewarding experience helping in 2012. The sincere gratitude from people attending was heart warming. I am always ready to roll up my sleeves and help Cindylu and Charlie in whatever capacity they need help in. Debra Ann can be contacted at: [email protected]
~Vendor Chairman-Doug Baird~
Doug was instrumental in starting the Buckeye Santa’s and was their first president. He is an independent Santa moving from one appointment to another throughout the holiday season. He got started in the Santa World in St Louis Mo. After two years, his wife’s company transferred her to Columbus Ohio, where he moved his trade there. In 2010 he had a total of 142 bookings during the month of November and December. Starting in 2011, he is working with Make A Wish Foundation, finding Santa’s when a special wish is granted. Doug was the Vendor Chairman for ClausFest in 2012 and did a Fantastic job. He is back by popular demand and we at ClausFest are delighted ! Vendors/Potential Vendors; This is the person you want to contact if you have any questions about spacing, location, Regulations, etc. Doug will bend over backwards to assist you in every way possible. Doug can be contacted at: [email protected]
~AUDIO/VISUAL CHAIRMAN - EDWARD BURCH~
Santa Eddie Burch and his wife, Linda Troy-Burch reside in Grove City, Ohio and both are employed full time. In 2012 Eddie and Linda worked diligently in many areas and facets of ClausFest. Eddie was the MC for the Snowball, assisted by Linda and both provided all the beautiful Christmas Music for the many events held
both at the Gatlinburg Convention Center and our Host Hotel, The River Terrace. Eddie also worked behind the scenes on numerous occasions in bring us the audio/video visuals at the opening and closing ceremonies. Eddie and Linda both
work at their part time love as Disc Jockeys and have appeared at numerous events, too many to name, actually. Those of you that know Eddie and Linda know what a great and talented couple they are and those of you who haven't met them yet are in
for a real treat at ClausFest 2014! Santa Eddie can be contacted at: [email protected]
~WORKSHOP CO-CHAIRS~ Lou and Loretta Knezevich
Loretta and Lou Knezevich have been married for over 44 years. Both grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but fell in love with the South many years ago when Lou was transferred to Florida. They now reside in Marietta, Georgia where they are both members of the Peachtree Santas.
Loretta has been active as an instructor in the Santa Claus Academy teaching various subjects about Mrs. Claus. She has developed a loyal following as Mrs. Claus and is frequently requested to make appearances with Santa Lou during the Christmas season. A highlight of her career was to appear as Mrs. Claus for a series of commercials for the Coke Cola Company.
Santa Lou is everyone’s Santa and one of his greatest joys is to help new and established Santas. He originated the Legendary Santas Mentoring Program as a self help guide for beginning and seasoned Santas. Santa Lou was co-founder and Head Master of the Santa Claus Academy and the Direct Descendents of Real Bearded Santas. He is an avid writer, contributing articles to the North Pole Observer, ClausNet.com, Santa America and other publications on a variety of subjects.
Loretta and Lou have both been active instructors and will utilize their work shop experiences at ClausFest 2014. “We are going to do our best to offer the attendees a variety of interesting and knowledgeable workshops to suit everyone’s interests.”
Both are eager to hear from you with your ideas, suggestions or general comments, about making the ClausFest 2014, workshops better than ever.
You may reach them at [email protected] or [email protected]
Parade Chairpersons ~ John & Joan Wilder ~
Santa Bob Boyer and his wife, Ramona, live in Huntsville, Alabama and have 2 daughters who sometimes have doubled as his 'Elves" in his appearances. If you look closely at the photo to your left, you just might spot one of his 'elves'! He is assisted in his Santa Business by his wife Ramona who works behind the scenes to make sure Santa Bob gets where he's going and on time!
We are delighted to announce that Santa Bob will be our Media and Public Relations Chairman for ClausFest 2014. Bob has emerged from some very serious health issues of the past a Victor and although he wasn't able to make it to ClausFest 2012, he assures us that God Willing, he and Ramona will be present in 2014. Bob will be issuing the various press releases about ClausFest from time to time and handling all matters involved with Media and Public Relations through the planning and implementing of ClausFest 2014. Additionally, Bob will be a valued Instructor for at least two of our Workshops giving us all helpful tips on how to market yourself and working with the Media.
If you have news or newsworthy remarks regarding ClausFest, this is who you will want to contact. We urge each and every one to get the word out in your Santa Groups that ClausFest 2014 plans are underway for March 2014!