The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced the hiring of two new staff members in their Nashville office. Leah James has come aboard as Director of Member Services, and Shannon Wayne Turner as Director of Communication and Development.
This completes the full-time staff for new Executive Director, Paul Schiminger, who also retained the services of Eddie Huffman as Director of Convention Services.
Leah comes to IBMA from Visalia, LA where she worked for seven years in constituent services for a United States Congressman.
Her first task will be working to streamline member services and increase membership within the professional bluegrass community in its various categories.
She says of her new position…
“Music has always been a passion, and I appreciate the opportunity to discover new artists and sounds. I feel so blessed to be a part of the IBMA, as it offers, in my opinion, some of the best musicians in the world. As Member Services Director I have the privilege of connecting with our members and being their voice in our association. I encourage our members to get involved, whether it be by voicing their opinions for improvements or serving on one of our various committees. An engaged membership is very important to us and is vital to the success of our organization.”
Shannon is more of an old hand in the music business, with 25 years experience in radio, television, online, and print. Much of her time was spent as a country music journalist, though she has more recently turned her attention to bluegrass. Long time Bluegrass Today readers will recall the many articles and reports she had contributed here a few years back.
In her new position, Shannon will be concerned with communication with both the IBMA membership and the wider music media, and with developing the presence of the organization and bluegrass music within the music industry and general public.
Turner says that knowing people in the bluegrass world makes her eager to work with them more closely.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the IBMA. People in bluegrass are wonderful to work with at every level. The dedication to the music is unmatchd, and the musicianship and artistry are simply stunning. I am devoted to increasing educational opportunities for our membership and reaching out to our diverse communities in truly new and exciting ways. I’m ready and energized to contribute to the Association in every way I can.”
Schiminger feels like he has assembled a strong team.
“I am excited to have Leah and Shannon join the IBMA staff. They are true professionals with whom our members will enjoy working closely.
They bring valuable experience to their roles and are already making valuable contributions with new ideas.”
Members are encouraged to reach out to either Shannon or Leah with any questions or concerns. Their contact information can be found on the IBMA web site.