After an intensive search, the Des Moines Wine Festival Foundation has named Natasha Sayles the new executive director of the event. Sayles started her new role on Aug. 21.


Most recently, Sayles was a marketing account executive for LS2 Group. In that role, she managed marketing services for more than 20 client companies. Previously, Sayles was the executive catering director and event coordinator for Occasions Made Right, where she was responsible for growing the startup business into a full-service catering company that successfully executed more than 150 events per year.


Winefest's incoming president, Joyce Chapman, said in a news release that the search committee was looking for an energetic person that could blend a passion for food and wine with marketing and development experience.


Sayles said she is looking forward to making her mark on the Greater Des Moines entertainment scene.


"Events like Winefest make Des Moines a great place to live," Sayles said in the release. "I'm excited to continue to grow our food and wine culture by adding new events to the calendar."


Sayles succeeds Nikki Syverson, who recently joined the staff of the Des Moines Community Playhouse as development director.