IBMA Welcomes New & Returning Board Members

IBMA’s professional members recently participated in annual elections to fill several vacant positions on the organization’s board of directors. We are grateful to all of the candidates who agreed to serve if elected; thank you for your support and dedication to IBMA!

Returning Members

Congratulations to Craig Ferguson, re-elected to his chair representing Event Producers. Craig is the founding father of Planet Bluegrass, which owns and operates several world-class Colorado music festivals including Telluride Bluegrass, RockyGrass, Rocky Mt. Folks Festival, and the Wildflower Pavilion in Lyons.

New Members

Danny Clark is welcomed to the board as a new director-at-large. Originally from California, where he and his father operated the traveling Bluegrass Bus Museum, Danny is the Marketing Director for the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY. He studied at East Tennessee State University’s prestigious bluegrass music program and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree emphasizing marketing and the recording industry. He plays fiddle and mandolin. Danny is heavily involved in promoting the museum’s ROMP festival, which last year operated under the “big tent philosophy” for the first time and consequently grew in attendance by 900%. He is also the museum’s Radio Station Director, Tour Guide, Children’s Music Teacher, and ROMP Street Team Coordinator.

Brian Smith of Leadership Artists, LLC, in Marietta, GA is welcomed as new board rep for Agents, Managers, and Publicists. Prior to launching Leadership Artists, Smith was a partner in a national retail music chain and also a marketer for the Spin Street/Mohegan Sun Casino. Leadership Artists, the full-service artist management firm Smith launched in 2009, counts Mountain Heart, John Cowan, and Tiller’s Folly among its clients. Smith is a voting member of IBMA, NARAS, AMA, and CMA, and an alumnus of Leadership Music (Class of 2002) and Leadership Bluegrass (Class of 2003). He was a guest speaker at the 2004, 2008, and 2010 World of Bluegrass conventions, served on the Leadership Bluegrass Planning Committee from 2006 through 2009, and served as its chair in 2010 and 2011. In 2011 Smith was invited to serve on the Board of Trustees of the International Bluegrass Music Museum.

Representing Labels & Recording Services, Ben Surratt was born in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and graduated with a BS in Communication Arts from James Madison University, where he helped produce a daily three-hour show dedicated to bluegrass and folk music, and studied Music Business at Belmont University. Ben is an independent recording engineer and owner of The Rec Room Studio in Nashville, TN, which works primarily with bluegrass and Americana artists. He continues to do a great deal of live sound engineering with traveling artists and at Nashville’s famed Station Inn. He has served on several sound-related WOB business conference panels, and is a 2001 graduate of Leadership Bluegrass, whose planning committee he chaired from 2002-2004. He served on the IBMA Site Selection Committee and for years has co-produced the Special Awards Luncheon held every Thursday at IBMA's World of Bluegrass.
Multi-instrumentalist Tim Surrett of Canton, NC will represent Artists & Composers for 2013. Tim currently plays bass and Dobro with Balsam Range (2011 IBMA Song of the Year) and has spent more than three decades as a touring musician. He is also founder of Mountain Home, the label for Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Boxcars, Balsam Range, The Grascals, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, and Mountain Faith. He was a member of America’s Bluegrass Band with Don Rigsby and Larry Cordle; appeared on recordings with Tony Rice, Larry Sparks, Don Rigsby, and hundreds of others; produced records for Rice, Mountain Faith, and others; and is an occasional member of The Tony Rice Unit.
Board members were elected to a three-year term, which begins this month. The board is IBMA’s policy-making governing body and determines long-range goals and priorities for the association. Members serve without compensation and bear the full expense of attending IBMA events and board meetings. Visit for more information on IBMA’s Board of Directors.