A recognized leader in the fairs, festivals, and events industry, Barry brings extensive experience in creative visioneering, operations and risk management, emergency planning, and many other key disciplines needed to produce successful events.
With a Master of Nonprofit Management from the University of Central Florida and an undergraduate degree from The George Washington University, Barry is also a graduate of both Lead Virginia and Leadership Fairfax. Barry Feil has completed the highest level training program for the International Association of Venue Management and developed integrated event management concepts based in the theories of human resource management, social capital, nonprofit organizational management, ethical leadership, governance, and fund generation.
Beginning his professional career in the day-to-day management of the Charles E. Smith Center at his alma mater, The George Washington University, Barry served as tournament director for GW’s NCAA Tournament competitions, managed all aspects of the human resource needs for events including university commencements, major concerts, and the International Press Center for the Bush/Gorbachev Presidential Summit.
After 14 years at GW, Barry moved on to Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. (CFI), serving as the organization’s Program and Operations Director from 1998 to 2004. Responsible for all aspects of CFI’s festival direction, including booking of all concerts, recruitment and management of more than 200 exhibitors and vendors annually, and direction of the organization’s leadership team, Barry was the driver of CFI’s program and operations success.
In 2004, Barry assumed the role of Director of Special Events for Virginia Tech, taking the leadership of the office responsible for fund generating events for the university’s Development Division. Including coordination of Virginia Tech donor events at the Sugar Bowl and the ACC Basketball Championship, along with development-focused galas, dinners, and receptions, the Office of Special Events was and remains an integral part of Virginia Tech’s success.
In 2005, Barry was invited to return to CFI as its President & CEO, a position he held until late-2018. Responsible for all aspects of the organization’s management, Barry implemented theories of engagement to attract and retain sponsors, volunteers, and staff while also being the primary relationship-holder with local government officials, corporate and nonprofit sector leaders, and community influencers.
During his tenure at CFI, Barry was directly responsible for raising more than $4 million in cash sponsorships and double that amount in in-kind corporate and community support. Barry launched CFI’s efforts in online ticketing, implementing a still-in-place strategic plan that has seen advance sales of festival tickets steadily increase revenues. Along with an outstanding team at CFI, Barry’s tenure included the creation and growth of a VIP Experience initiative, providing individuals to gain sponsor-like benefits and receive personalized ROI.
During Barry’s first tenure with CFI, he launched the original EVENTS 101 Conference, a national-quality events education program delivered on a regional level. Targeted toward Fairfax County’s non-professional event producers, EVENTS 101 was created to raise the quality and quantity of events for Fairfax’s citizens. Within two years of its 2003 launch, the conference was sold out of its 200-person capacity and attracting both professional event planners and attendees from all parts of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In 2014, Barry launched the Celebrate Fairfax Events Education Workshop Series as a pilot program for the organization. Incorporating as many as a dozen different workshops, the Events Education Workshop Series was designed to provide sustained learning programs for producers of events and programs of all sizes. Today, the Workshop Series’ offerings are part of Foundation Events’ educational workshops and EVENTS101 program, able to be tailored to the specific needs of any organization.
Along with his wife Julia, an amazing pre-K Special Education teacher, their talented twins Claire and Ethan, and Lexie, the smartest pug in the world, Barry lives in Burke, Virginia.