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Published: Wednesday, 6/20/2007

Erie market vendors welcome manager

Operators of the Erie Street Market say that another change in leadership is exactly what the doctor ordered for the struggling Toledo site.

After former manager Carl Schmidt resigned earlier this month for medical reasons, the board of CitiFest Inc., which operates the market, promoted Connie Huffman, who had worked closely with Mr. Schmidt, to fill his shoes as the market's general manager.

Larry Boyer, chairman of the CitiFest board, said the change in personnel came about strictly because of Mr. Schmidt's health problems and not because of any problems in his performance at the market.

Mr. Schmidt had been the manager at the market since February.

Initially, Mr. Boyer said, he did a great job and made a lot of headway until his medical conditions began to interfere with his work.

Mr. Schmidt was on medical leave for about a month before his resignation.

Ms. Huffman, who was named acting manager of the market after Mr. Schmidt resigned, had managed Bay 3. She is now also in charge of the Bay 2 antiques mall and the Bay 4 food area as well as the restaurant space and the corridor.

The market, which has suffered from a lack of customers and vendors in recent years, has had a steady string of managers quickly resign since it opened in 1997.

Mr. Schmidt's predecessor, Peter Kepler, resigned in August, a few months after the food bay was closed for renovations and the antiques mall vendor abruptly moved out.

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