Clarence Valley Independent

Festival manager settles in

Mark Blackader is looking forward to being involved in this year’s 85th Jacaranda Festival, as the Jacaranda Festival Manager. This position has not been held by a male in over 30 years. Image: contributed.

Lynne Mowbray |

The new 2019 Jacaranda Festival manager Mark Blackadder is settling into his new job and is excited about being a part of this year’s festival.

He is the first male in just over 30 years, to hold the role of Festival Manager.

Mark said that he was born and bred in Grafton and attended school at South Grafton High.

“At the completion of my HSC in 1992, I left Grafton to take on an optical mechanics/optician apprenticeship with OPSM on the Gold Coast,” Mark said.

“After completing my apprenticeship, I continued working at OPSM until 1998.

“In 1998, I began my wholesale eyewear career with Silhouette Eyewear from Austria – based on the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

“In 2004 I moved from Brisbane to Sydney where I became national manager for Silhouette,” he said.

Mark said that in 2008 he had a huge career change after he commenced work with Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), to set up and manage their new eyewear division in Australia and New Zealand with TAG Heuer Eyewear.

“In this position I had to manage a full sales and marketing team and was heavily involved with corporate sponsorship events, travelling approximately 300 days a year all over Australia and New Zealand as well as three trips to Europe each year.

“In 2016 I opened my own luxury Eyewear Wholesale business, MyM Group, which was based on the Gold Coast – supplying the brands Von Arkel and Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses

“In 2017, I moved back to Grafton to be closer to my mother Jill and my two nieces.

“I decided that as MyM Group is now manageable part time, I would like to be more involved within the community and give back, hence I applied for the role of Jacaranda Festival manager,” he said.

Mark said that he has been blessed to work with such a proactive and supportive committee and that plans are well under way for a very successful 85th anniversary, for the Jacaranda Festival this year.

“I look forward to meeting members of the community at the 2019 Grafton Jacaranda Festival information evening on Tuesday February 12 at the Grafton Hotel, commencing at 6pm,” he said.

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