Family Festivals Association, Inc., founded in 1993, is a family-owned and operated business led by husband and wife team, Dave and Debbie Stoner. Best described as hands-on, professional promoters, Debbie and Dave have pooled their collective education, talents and skills to successfully produce more than 105 high-quality shows over the past 21 years.
Dave brings with him more than 24 years of experience in the convention and trade show business. Dave, who has a master’s degree in facility management, was the assistant director of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and a national sales director for the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau.
For Debbie, event coordinating is a bit off the course from her formal education. Debbie graduated from Laurel Highlands High School and California University of Pennsylvania and has worked extensively in the medical field, specifically as a medical technologist at the Pittsburgh Medical Center in Oakland. But it is perhaps her medical background that has helped her with the tedious work involved with promoting. Strong attention to detail, a keen sense of timing and the ability to effectively prioritize are shared attributes between the medical field and the festival promotion business.
The Stoner’s backgrounds and collective knowledge in public show management have well-enabled them to successfully direct events such as rib, wing and music festivals, as well as traditional, country and fine art and crafts shows. Although they both truly enjoyed the opportunity to work on a variety of productions, they prefer to specialize exclusively in the arts and crafts venues. Family Festivals Association shows are held in and around southwestern Pennsylvania and Morgantown, West Virginia.
Debbie and Dave are involved in literally every aspect of producing high quality shows. Hundreds of details are involved from sending out thousands of applications to crafters all over the country, screening craft and vendor applications, marketing and advertising the festivals, scheduling entertainment, hiring and training staff, to the countless lists of things to be before, during and after each and every show. Whether working together to choose a location for a show, selecting food vendors or auditioning for quality entertainment, every part of the show is given its due attention, because ultimately, each aspect of the show lends to the overall experience for visitors. They are dedicated to each and every facet of their work, and they expend enormous amounts of time and energy on advertising for the shows.
Together, they collaborate in creating and editing advertising campaigns for television and radio, as well as writing and designing print advertising. They take great pride in having designed and written many of the scripts and verbiage for show advertising. And they see the fruits of their labor reflected in the large numbers of visitors at each show. Some shows have drawn more than 30,000 visitors from all over the tri-state area.
Hearing positive comments from both vendors and exhibitors, as well as the visiting public is very fulfilling for the Stoners. Additionally, many of the Family Festivals Association shows have received national recognition. Sunshine Artists Magazine, the leading trade publication for arts and crafts shows, ranked four of their shows in the ‘Sunshine Artists 100 Best Shows in the United States’ and ‘Sunshine Artists 200 Best Shows in the United States.’ And, the annual Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts Christmas Festival was named the ‘#1 Christmas Show in Pennsylvania.’
To reach Debbie or Dave via email: