Bluegrass Museum announces new Director

Chris JoslinThe International Bluegrass Music Museum, located in Owensboro, KY, has announced Chris Joslin of Nashville as their new Executive Director. He will assume these duties on September 1.

Joslin has experience in both the worlds of business and bluegrass. Educated in Tennessee, where he received both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Business Administration from Belmont University, he has worked as the operations manager for a healthcare company and as an Executive Recruiter for a retained search firm.

Before “settling down” as a husband and dad, Chris had toured as a member of Crucial Smith, a band he helped form while in college. They performed a form of contemporary bluegrass with a rock n roll attitude in the late ’90s and early aughts with Joslin on banjo and reso-guitar. Two albums, Crucial Smith and Morning Light, were released during that time. A third containing tracks that were in process when the group disbanded came out in 2009, titled Unfinished Business.

Here’s where the story gets interesting… When the firm where he worked, The Sanford Group, was retained to assist in the search for a new Executive Director for IBMM, he threw his hat into the ring for consideration. And he was exactly what they were looking for.

Board Chairman Mike Simpson said that they knew right away that Chris had what they were after.

“In my first meeting with Chris it was clear he possessed all the characteristics our Board was looking for to lead the museum and the future International Bluegrass Music Center. He has a passion for Bluegrass Music and the Executive pedigree we need to lead this organization. I am excited about the possibilities for the Center, Owensboro, and the Commonwealth, with Chris at the helm.”

Joslin said that this was the first time he had ever been tempted to submit his own name for consideration while working as a headhunter for corporate clients.

“What drew me to the Museum is the historic preservation – I grew up with the music of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, first generation folks – but the museum and ROMP have also done a great job celebrating where the music is and where it’s going,” says Joslin, “as the museum prepares to break ground on a new facility in downtown Owensboro, it is poised to play an even greater role in preserving, highlighting and celebrating Kentucky’s gift to the world – Bluegrass music. I am honored to be a part of seeing the hard work of so many become a reality.

This leadership role with the International Bluegrass Music Museum enables me to fully leverage my background and experience in the corporate realm with my passion and relationships in the bluegrass music world. I can think of nowhere else I would rather devote my career and energy than with the IBMM and the City of Owensboro.”

With ground about to be broken for a new facility in Owensboro, Chris will have to hit the ground running in September. He will manage the ongoing construction, the eventual move into the new International Bluegrass Music Center, and the day-to-day operation of a busy museum.

Congratulations to the Bluegrass Museum and to Chris Joslin. Long may they thrive!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.