FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) At least three members of the Three Rivers Festival Board have announced their resignations the same week it was learned Operations Director Rick Kinney quit and two festival sponsors pulled their support.

Leslie Chalfant, who works for the City of Fort Wayne, confirmed her resignation with WANE 15 on Thursday afternoon.

She said in an email to WANE 15 she resigned March 20.

“As a Fort Wayne native and long time Festival goer and volunteer prior to my Board involvement, I wish the Festival success,” Chalfant wrote in the email.

Earlier Thursday morning, Shelly Barton announced her resignation from the Executive Committee and Board of Directors via a Facebook post:

Please be advised that I have resigned from my position as a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Three Rivers Festival, effective immediately. While it has been a pleasure to be associated with such a heritage event, I can no longer effectively serve in a capacity that’s mutually beneficial. I wish them the best as they move forward.

Shelly Barton – Former TRF Board Member

WANE 15 has also learned Adam Ehle has resigned from the board. He posted a similar message on Facebook. WANE 15 is working to learn if any other board members have quit.

The Three Rivers Festival website no longer has board members listed on its website. It also no longer lists sponsors.

Prior to blocking the webpage that previously had the names of board members, these are who were listed as the festival’s board:

  • John Nichter, President
  • Brian Cote, VP-Administration
  • Adam Ehle, VP-Programming
  • Shelly Barton, Secretary
  • Sara Roach, Treasurer
  • Ryan Gardner, Legal Counsel
  • Doreen Benavente, Board Member
  • Nathaniel Cardelli, Board Member
  • Leslie Chalfant, Board Member
  • Kate Dippold, Board Member
  • Mike Holley, Board Member – Headwater’s Appointee
  • Adam Petersen, Board Member
  • April Rivas, Board Member – City of FW Appointee
  • Keri Roby, Board Member
  • Daryn Schwartz, Board Member – FW Parks Appointee
  • Jerry White, Board Member
  • Justin Meisner, Board Member

The City of Fort Wayne shared a statement on the situation:

The City of Fort Wayne is hopeful that the Three Rivers Festival Board of Directors will be able to hire a new director, obtain necessary sponsorships, and ensure that the Three Rivers Festival will move forward in 2023. The Three Rivers Festival is an important part of Fort Wayne. Residents and visitors alike look forward to this annual event. The City of Fort Wayne and Mayor Henry do not have oversight of the Three Rivers Festival board and event. There is one mayoral appointment to the board. Mayor Henry and his leadership team will continue to monitor the situation.

John Perlich, public information officer

This is a developing story and it will be updated when more information becomes available.