Hays Resigning as IBMA Executive Director

DAN HAYS DEPARTING AS IBMA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Board of Directors of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced today that it has reluctantly accepted the resignation of Executive Director Dan Hays, effective February 29, 2012.  In doing so, the Board expressed its profound appreciation for Hays’ 21 years of effective, dedicated service in the position, noting that his contributions have been indispensible to the organization’s stature as a force for professionalism within the industry and as an advocate for the music in broader circles.

Citing new opportunities facing the music and the organization in coming years, Hays noted that: 

“Bluegrass has achieved amazing and very different kinds of success over each of the last seven decades.  Today, bluegrass is poised to reach new heights, and IBMA has embarked on the challenge of reinventing itself in an age of major change in the entertainment world.  I’m fully in support of IBMA addressing the challenges of this era and have given my best to help set the stage for another positive evolution.”

“Approaching 2012, IBMA is poised to open doors to a new generation of opportunities - in creativity, in how we do business, and in how we connect with fans.   The role of the Executive Director will be critical, not only in helping us to walk through those doors, but in solidifying and strengthening the emerging roles for the organization in coming years. It’s exciting to be where we are and, in my judgment, this is an opportune time for a leadership transition.”

 Click Here for a Letter to the IBMA Membership from Hays

Hays’ contributions are intertwined throughout the organization’s efforts of the past two decades, including:

  • the establishment of the IBMA Awards and its worldwide broadcast
  • a successful annual World of Bluegrass business conference offering a wide array of professional development opportunities
  • the annual Bluegrass Fan Fest, a multi-day festival with an enormous talent lineup that raises money for IBMA and the Bluegrass Trust Fund (which offers financial aid to music industry professionals in time of emergency need) 
  • the creation of Leadership Bluegrass, a high level industry educational program which boasts hundreds of alumni
  • “Bluegrass in the Schools” programs, which have reached out to millions of young people and, in recent years, spurred the creation of a new Foundation For Bluegrass Music as a means to connect charitable giving with these and similar public programs.
  • a variety of industry-wide marketing initiatives that have helped to elevate the profile of the genre around the world.

Hays has also been responsible for raising several million dollars through corporate relations for IBMA and in charitable contributions to the Foundation for Bluegrass Music and the Bluegrass Trust Fund, in addition to representing the organization in public and to the world of entertainment.

 “To be entrusted with the responsibilities of this position and welcomed into the family of our music has been a genuine blessing throughout the years,” Hays added.  “I will be leaving with more appreciation than can be expressed for current and former board leaders, volunteers, members, staff and other supporters.”

“It’s inconceivable that we would be where we are today without the vision and dedication that Dan Hays has brought to the job of Executive Director,” said Board of Directors Chair Stan Zdonik.  “Thanks to his work, we’re confident that our music—and our organization—are in a strong position to find creative ways of meeting the need to move into the future while retaining our essential connection to the music’s roots.”

The Board announced that its Executive Committee—Zdonik; Vice-Chair Jon Weisberger; and Board members Craig Havighurst, Carl Jackson and Dwight Worden—has been tasked with conducting the search for a successor to Hays, who pledged his full support in carrying out a smooth transition.   Job posting details can be found  by clicking here.    Deadline for submitting an application is December 15, 2011.