Terry Stewart, Former Rock Hall CEO, Joins El Dorado Festivals & Events

Terry Stewart, former president and CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland, has accepted the position of CEO and chairman of the board of El Dorado Festivals & Events.

Established in 2011, El Dorado Festivals & Events has a mission of celebrating Southern arts and culture through annual festivals, special events and theatrical productions.

The nonprofit was formed to help create a $50 million arts and entertainment district centered on the renovation of the historic Rialto Theatre in downtown El Dorado. The organization also started the Southern Food & Wine Festival.

The organization had total revenue of about $4.7 million and total expenses of about $339,000 for the 2012 fiscal year, according to tax documents available on GuideStar.org.

Austin Barrow, president and COO of the organization since its inception, said it became apparent that El Dorado Festivals & Events needed someone who had “national exposure.”

The organization reached out to Stewart and “through a coup of interest” was able to convince him that the El Dorado job was a unique opportunity, Barrow said.

“Nothing like this has been done in a city this size,” he said.

Barrow said Stewart’s background made him the perfect fit.

“We want to make El Dorado a cultural destination focusing on entertainment and great food that will draw people from around the region and potentially around the country,” Barrow said in a news release.

Stewart retired from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in December. His total compensation from the Hall of Fame and related organizations was $578,670 in 2012, according to its IRS Form 990.