NASHVILLE, Dec. 8, 2020 – Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), has announced his plans to retire from the organization when his contracted term ends on May 31, 2021.

Board Chairman Ben Surratt informed IBMA board members of Schiminger’s retirement on Monday; Surratt also announced that he would assemble a search committee, as well as engage an executive search firm, to assist in finding a new Executive Director. Schiminger has offered to stay beyond his May 31 retirement date, if needed, to assist with the new ED’s transition.

“When Paul was selected to be our Executive Director in 2015, the organization was in a time of transition,” said Surratt. “He hit the ground running, and brought much-needed, systemic change to many areas of IBMA. There’s no doubt that the organization has flourished under Paul’s leadership; the list of the organization’s accomplishments during his tenure is long. Paul has been a steady hand at the helm for the last 5 ½ years.”

“Paul’s commitment to our music is strong; I know we will benefit from his expertise in many ways in the years to come,” added Surratt. “Though Paul will be retiring from our organization, I don’t expect to see him disappear from bluegrass. I hope you all will join me in thanking Paul for the tremendous work he has done for IBMA, the IBMA Trust Fund, and the IBMA Foundation.”

During the nearly six years that Schiminger oversaw the organization, the team’s many accomplishments included converting the IBMA to a 501(c)(3) organization; creating greater awareness for IBMA’s Trust Fund and Foundation for both potential recipients and donors; increasing awareness of, and programming for, greater diversity and inclusion in bluegrass music; continuing to work with the city of Raleigh, North Carolina to improve and build on IBMA World of Bluegrass, one of the industry’s major yearly events; improving IBMA’s visibility and communication through greater online reach, a new website, new e-newsletter, new membership portal, and more cohesive branding for all events during IBMA World of Bluegrass; quickly adapting to COVID-19 by creating an online resource page and streaming calendar for the bluegrass community, mobilizing the IBMA Trust Fund to help those in need during the crisis, and moving the full IBMA World of Bluegrass event onto a virtual platform for the first time, with over 120 sessions, meetings, and performances.

“I was honored and humbled by my selection in early 2015, and I feel more so today knowing the true weight of the responsibilities in my role,” said Schiminger. “It was impossible to foresee the incredible experiences and friendships I have gained throughout this time. I arrived embracing the challenges facing all of us to build upon the IBMA’s successes and make impactful progress to strengthen and move the association forward for even greater future success. I could not be more proud of the achievements we have all made together.”

“This was a difficult decision, but one I feel is best for my family and me. I also feel this is excellent timing for the IBMA to make a transition to a new Executive Director. I want to make this process a smooth and successful one, so I am offering a six-month notice and will assist in any way possible with the coordination of the search and transition.”

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About IBMA

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is a nonprofit professional organization that connects, educates, and empowers bluegrass professionals and enthusiasts, honoring tradition and encouraging innovation in the bluegrass community worldwide.

Press Info: Judy McDonough, Karen Campbell Media
[email protected], (615) 243-5994

General Info: Casey Campbell, IBMA
[email protected], (615) 256-3222

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