IBMA announces Leadership Bluegrass class of 2015

March 9, 2015

NASHVILLE, TN  The International Bluegrass Music Association is proud to announce the graduating class of Leadership Bluegrass 2015. Leadership Bluegrass is an intensive, three-day program focused on interactive learning and networking experiences that invite participants to examine the challenges and opportunities facing the bluegrass music industry, along with leadership development. This was the 16th year of Leadership Bluegrass, which now boasts over 350 alumni.

Leadership Bluegrass 2015 was hosted at BMI in Nashville, Tennessee March 4 through 6. An unusual and untimely snow storm hit Nashville on Wednesday evening, March 4, and forced the LBG Planning Committee to scramble and make other arrangements for the next day. Luckily, WebEx provided a great alternative, and regularly-scheduled presenters were still able to participate, making this year’s Leadership Bluegrass class an even more memorable one. Trisha Tubbs served as the facilitator, and Chris Keenan was her assistant, flying all the way from Ireland to help out.

Each year participants are selected through a competitive application process and are a cross section of current and future leaders from various aspects of the industry, and who come from various regions of the U.S. and the world.

According to graduate Joe Mullins, a radio broadcaster, band leader, and IBMA Board Treasurer, he said that Leadership Bluegrass is “a priority for any sincere professional in the bluegrass community.”

Leadership Bluegrass 2015 Graduates

Amy Gallatin, Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters, Connecticut
Bree Tucker-Myers, DVT Marketing Enterprises Inc., California
Cameron Matthews, The Bluegrass Situation, New York
Debbie Hall, Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance, Rhode Island 
Eddie Huffman, IBMA, Tennessee
Emily Epley, Executive Director of The Earl Scruggs Center, North Carolina 
Gary Loeser, The Event Company, Kentucky 
Hank Smith, musician and teacher, North Carolina 
Heidi Herzog, Red Dress Productions, Tennessee 
Jacob Groopman, Front Country, California 
Jeff Westerinen, artist and producer, Maryland 
Joe Mullins, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Ohio 
Judy McDonough, JEMMedia, Tennessee 
Kathy Chiavola, Artist, Tennessee
Laura Boosinger, Blue Ridge Music Trails of NC, North Carolina 
Laurie Greenberg, Tall Pines Media, New Jersey 
Maria E. Nadauld, Above The Bay Booking, California 
Mark Panfil, Foundation for Bluegrass Music & musician, New York 
Mitch Collman, Robust Records Inc., North Carolina 
Paul Schiminger, High Strung Bluegrass, Maryland 
Reuben Shetler, Boston Bluegrass Union, Massachusetts 
Ron Raxter, PineCone, North Carolina  
Thomm Jutz, artist, Tennessee 
Tori Gold, Gold Heart Band, Virginia 
Wendy Tyner, Wintergrass, Washington

Leadership Bluegrass 2015 Sponsors

Presenting: Wintergrass, BMI
Platinum: Richard Spratt
Gold: Bluegrass Heritage Foundation
Silver: Denise Jarvinen, Megan Brugger, John & Trisha Tubbs, Anonymous.
Patron: Deborah Durant, Archie & Priscilla Warnock, Bob Altshuler, Nancy Cardwell, Lee Michael Dempsey, Walt Michael, Nick Barr, Jean Spivey, Kitsy Kuykendall, Arnie Fleisher, Fred Bartenstein, Bill Foster, MerleFest, Louis Meyers.
Supporter: Matt Merta, Claire Ratliff, Mary Burdette, Greg Cahill, Jon Weisberger, Lynda Dawson, Ethan Burkhardt, Barry Mazor.

The Leadership Bluegrass planning committee this year included Emilee Warner (Chair), Alan Tompkins, Jean Spivey, Nolan Lawrence, Dan Keen, Beth Fortune, Trisha Tubbs (facilitator), and Taylor Coughlin (staff liaison). Chris Keenan (EBMA) was the facilitator’s assistant.

The Leadership Bluegrass Selection Committee this year included Alan Tompkins, Nolan Lawrence, Nate Lee, and Shannon Turner.

Leadership Bluegrass applications are available in the fall with a deadline in November. Stay tuned to for more information.

Contact: Taylor Coughlin, IBMA (615)256-3222,