The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the organisers behind Scotland’s pioneering sound and light show, The Enchanted Forest, has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of a new Executive Director and, for the first time ever, a female Chair.

Lesley Williamson takes up the reigns this month as the Trust’s very first female chairperson. With decades of experience within the hospitality, tourism and events industries, including senior positions such as the Non-Executive Director of Northumberland Tourism, Chair of Made in Northumberland, and Vice-Chair of the North East Hoteliers Association, Lesley brings a wealth of expertise to the role.

Lesley is joined by Nela Popovic as Executive Director. Nela is a senior events professional with over twenty years’ experience, including working in large sporting and mass participation events, museums, and galleries. Nela joins the Trust from her position of Managing Director at Make It Right Projects, a mass participation and charity consultancy specialising in all aspects of event and project management, which has provided services for high profile events such as the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The moves are expected to strengthen the charity’s leadership team to develop The Enchanted Forest’s growth strategy, bringing additional expertise and innovation to the much-loved event, which already draws in over 80,000 visitors to Highland Perthshire annually. While the 2020 Enchanted Forest event had to be cancelled due to covid-19 restrictions, the Trust is busy planning this year’s milestone 20th anniversary event, subject to the easing of restrictions and it being considered safe to operate.

Looking to the future, the Trust will also be bolstering its board of trustees during 2021 with the launch of a trustee recruitment campaign this Spring.

Lesley Williamson, Chair of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust said:

“The Enchanted Forest is such an iconic Scottish autumn event, and I am excited about taking up the role of Chair as we look to the future and strive to make it a bigger and better event year on year. Of course, it has been a challenging time for the events industry, and we dearly hope the 20th anniversary event will run as planned. We want it to be a real celebration of how much the event has achieved in the last twenty years and the joy it has bought to the thousands of visitors that have attended every year.
“I am delighted to be welcoming Nela to the team. She brings decades of experience and expertise from working at a senior level in the events industry and we’re both excited about the future of The Enchanted Forest as we look to the next decade of growth.”

Nela Popovic commented:

“It’s a privilege to be working for such a highly esteemed event, and I look forward to working with Lesley and the board of trustees to deliver an event which continues to exceed visitor expectations year on year.”

For more information, please contact Emma Davies on 01738 700134 or 07963 817302 or email: e.davies@volpa.co.uk.