The Seattle International Film Festival has tapped Mary Bacarella, a longtime exec at the Space Needle facility, as managing director effective Feb. 1.

Bacarella will lead the organization in tandem with artistic director Carl Spence and succeed Deborah Person, who has served as managing director since 2005. Bacarella has been VP of brand management at the Space Needle and oversaw all aspects of the tower’s 50th anniversary last year. Bacarella worked in PR, handling accounts including Nintendo, Radio Disney and Wolfgang Puck.

Person has been involved with the festival for more than 32 years starting as a volunteer. She joined the board in 1999 and served as president for four years.

The festival, launched in1976, will run from May 16 to June 9 with more than 250 features and 150 short films.