Development and marketing veteran David Wheeler to helm internationally recognized festival
ORLANDO, Fla. (July 19, 2023) – Continuing its mission to use creative media as a catalyst to inspire and educate people to initiate positive change in their local communities and worldwide, the Global Peace Film Festival (GPFF) is embracing new leadership as it steps into its 21st year. Veteran development, management and marketing executive David Wheeler has been appointed CEO, assuming the leadership from Founder / Executive Director Nina Streich, who will move into the role of festival director.
An innovative thinker with a successful track record of building business and managing organizations domestically and in international markets for more than 40 years, Wheeler’s responsibilities include expanding GPFF’s board of directors; strategic planning, policy development and implementation; budgeting and forecasting; organizational and team performance; and marketing leadership, among other duties.
“I’m delighted to take on this position and have the opportunity to grow both the annual festival and the organization as a whole,” said Wheeler. “The festival will remain in Nina’s capable hands, enabling me to establish more partnerships that advance our mission.”
“This is a banner day for our Festival,” added Streich. “I am thrilled to be able to turn over the reins of the GPFF to David and I look forward to the new growth opportunities he will develop.”
Prior to joining GPFF, Wheeler was vice president, Innovation and Development for the Better Business Bureau of Central Florida. He began his career in advertising sales at the Louisville Courier-Journal, eventually holding posts of increasing responsibility in news, production and programming at various media outlets including PBS, Gannett Newspapers and The Weather Channel before moving into senior management and operations positions with advertising and digital marketing agencies in Central Florida.
Wheeler studied broadcast journalism at the University of Louisville and furthered his studies in business administration and management at Sullivan University, as well as in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership at the Edyth Bush Institute. He is past ExOfficio of the Downtown Arts District, past executive director, ExOfficio of the Miss Orlando Scholarship Competition, and currently serves on the board of directors for Central Florida Community Arts.
In years past, this unique festival has brought up to 7,000 filmmakers and filmgoers from all walks of life to Central Florida, inspiring them to take action in their daily lives and to leave the world a more peaceful place than they found it. GPFF continues this tradition with a full in-person program as well as virtually through online feature, documentary and short film screenings, panel discussions and art exhibits.
Like last year, there will be both a ticketed and a free way to watch the virtual films that will be available from Monday, Sept. 25 through Sunday, Oct. 1. Both ticketed and free films will be accessible through the GPFF website – as will the filmmaker interviews and information about the in-person events.
About the Global Peace Film Festival
Established in 2003, the Global Peace Film Festival (GPFF) uses the power of the moving image to further the cause of peace on earth. From the outset, the GPFF envisioned “peace” not as the absence of conflict but as a framework for channeling, processing and resolving conflict through respectful and non-violent means. People of good faith have real differences that deserve to be discussed, debated and contested. GPFF works to connect expression – artistic, political, social and personal – to positive, respectful vehicles for action and change. The festival program is carefully curated to create a place for open dialogue, using the films as catalysts for change.