The board of BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival has hired a consulting firm to help recruit a new executive director, saying the high-profile leadership position should be filled by the fall.

Charleston-based Knowledge Capital Group has worked previously with other local nonprofit organizations to fill key management positions, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Jack Hoey Jr., a senior consultant with the firm, will be in charge of the search effort.

He will be meeting with board members, staff members and others involved in the annual March event over the next 30 days to help determine “the preferred qualities, characteristics and skills for the next executive director,” said John Wallace, Charleston Wine + Food chairman.

“Jack and his team will ensure the search process will be transparent and inclusive,” Wallace said in a statement. “We hope to make our final selection by early fall.”

That gives the new leader less than six months in the job before the March 6 start of the 2014 event. The board expects to start taking applications in July.

Angel Postell, a co-founder of the annual culinary extravaganza, announced that she was stepping down from the $118,000-a-year executive director position after this year’s festival to return to the public relations industry.

Her role is being filled on an interim basis by past board chairman Rick Jerue, former president of the Art Institute of Charleston. He said in March that Wine + Food organizers would be “looking for somebody who has a sense of our festival and our city but also who can take the festival to the next level.”

BB&T Charleston Wine + Food marked its eighth year in 2013. It drew 23,000 people and had an estimated $10.7 million economic impact, organizers said.

Editor’s note: The economic impact figure has been updated from the original version of this story.