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A familiar face will take over as executive director of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Mayor Mike Houston has named Fred Puglia to the job of promoting Illinois' capital city to visitors. He starts Monday, though the city council must approve his permanent appointment.

Puglia was the agency's first executive director and ran the LincolnFests in the early 1980s, created the city's Elvis impersonator competition and helped launch Springfield Air Rendezvous.

Puglia left city government to start an entertainment management and booking company, and created Decatur Celebration. He was that festival's producer for 25 years until stepping down last year.

He replaces Tim Farley, who's held the Springfield job since 2003. Mayor Houston fired Farley, saying he wanted to change direction.

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