IBMA releases job description for next Executive Director

The International Bluegrass Music Association has published the job description for their ongoing job search for a new Executive Director.

Current ED Paul Schiminger notified the Board of Directors in December that he planned to retire at the end of his contract in May. Board Chair Ben Surratt has convened a search committee to find someone to take Paul’s spot, and is asking the membership and the wider bluegrass community to help them find suitable candidates.

Schiminger came to IBMA from a career in banking and finance. In fact, he learned of the opening when a headhunter contacted him for suggestions, knowing that he played bluegrass banjo. After thinking about it, he decided to throw his own hat into the ring. The Board is hoping that some other ideal candidate is out there, beyond the typical reach of executive search firms, and has written a letter to IBMA members asking that they help identify potential candidates soonest.

As we communicated in December, the IBMA’s Executive Director, Paul Schiminger, has decided to retire on or about May 31st of this year. As Board Chair, I have formed a search committee to initiate a search for Paul’s successor. We are fortunate to be doing this now since the IBMA is as strong as it has been in my time on the board, and we have an experienced and very capable staff to help make this transition as smooth as possible.

Before engaging a professional search firm, I am reaching out with this letter to encourage interested and qualified individuals to contact us directly. We are confident there are professionals who meet the qualifications of this position and who want to serve this association to help bluegrass music thrive for years to come. It is a dynamic, rewarding, and impactful role in which an ideal candidate generally has (but is not limited to):

      • Knowledge of, and passion for, bluegrass music
      • Strong business and financial skills to handle detailed budgets as well as strategic and operational plans
      • Strong communication skills
      • Experience working with a board of directors
      • Supervisory experience
      • Sponsorship, fundraising, and development experience
      • Working familiarity with diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities

By clicking this link you can review the full Executive Director job description. It is important our search include a diverse group of candidates so we can ultimately select someone we feel is best suited to lead future of our association.

If you have any questions, please send them to me at If you are interested in being considered, please include your résumé so I may share it with the committee. I look forward to hearing from anyone excited about this opportunity.

My sincere thanks,

Ben Surratt, Board Chair
International Bluegrass Music Association

The complete job description is available as a PDF file online.

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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.