Dan Hays Letter to IBMA Members

November 4, 2011

Dear friends,

     This letter is to inform you of my plans to resign as Executive Director of IBMA.  I joined the organization as your staff leader in August of 1990 and, with the board’s approval, my last day of employment will be February 29, 2012.

     It is said that timing is everything in music and equally important in my decision.  A good friend and mentor told me that “life is not a marathon…but a relay race” and to succeed – especially working with others – includes finding the right time to hand off the baton.

     Bluegrass has achieved amazing and very different kinds of success over each of the last seven decades and we honor each generation’s contributions with deserved pride.  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.

     IBMA will find it easier to communicate changes in the industry and its role with a new staff leader, someone less identified with what we have been and what we have achieved in the past.  It’s also time for me to explore the next stage of my own career and I look forward to discovering what that chapter will bring once my work here is done.

     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.  I will be leaving with more appreciation than can be expressed for current and former board leaders, volunteers, members, staff and other supporters.  Nothing I may have contributed could have been accomplished without your commitment.

     The daily interactions with you through IBMA will be missed, but there is great comfort in knowing my wife Suzanne and I will continue friendships in the bluegrass community which will last a lifetime.

     During the transition period, you will have my full attention to the responsibilities of IBMA and its priorities.  Further, should needs arise after my departure, I will do everything possible to help our next Executive Director and IBMA succeed.


Dan Hays
Executive Director