Special/Signature Issues » 2013 Top 40 Under 40

Stephen Lecky, 34

Festival Manager, Venture Richmond

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Stephen Lecky decided a long time ago to commit to Richmond. Not just to raise his family here, mind you. He also had "RVA" tattooed on his arm.

A musician since his high-school days at Collegiate School, Lecky knew early on that he wanted to work in entertainment. In 2005 he found the perfect gig as festival manager at Venture Richmond, which means he's a main force behind Friday Cheers and the Richmond Folk Fest — not to mention a community-run festival he helped launch this year called the Fall Line Fest.

"Every day he's looking for ways to make Richmond a better place," Venture Richmond's Lisa Sims says. "The quality that most often comes through with him is this raw honesty and raw sincerity."

When he took over Friday Cheers, it showcased mostly regional talent. Lecky switched things up to May and June, bringing in up-and-coming national bands such as Alabama Shakes while keeping ticket prices low. "It's very tricky," he says. "The way you work around it is keeping an ear to the ground, booking bands early."

He's helped the leadership council of Hype Richmond with events, was a player in TEDxRVA and is a member of the Richmond Green Events Committee, which explores ways to make events more environmentally sound. And when Richmond is hit by the spotlight of the 2015 UCI World Road Cycling Championships, it will be Lecky's work to make the city look more bike-friendly and green to visitors. He's already helped get 100 free recycling bins.

And as for his musical beat? He still plays percussion for the bands Farm Vegas and Poston Brown Project.

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