Jamie Deering takes over at Deering Banjos

Jamie Deering, daughter of founders Greg and Janet Deering, has been announced as the new CEO of Deering Banjos. The company, located in Spring Valley, CA, is the largest manufacturer of banjos in the United States, starting out as a small shop operation in 1975 and now building dozens of different models used by beginner through professional pickers.

The Deering family likes to relate how Jamie attended her first NAMM show at 6 weeks old, and she truly has been involved in the business since she was a little girl. Initially tasked with cleaning out the bathrooms, her responsibilities grew to include assembling banjo pots, punching out flanges, and organizing office files. By the time she was in high school, Jamie was staining and sanding wooden parts, and wiring and installing pickup systems in the Deering Crossfire banjos.

Now as a grown woman, she sees the value of the many jobs she learned within the business.

“It is a great honor to have grown up a part of a family company and get to be a contributing part of it. Seeing how hard my folks and their team through the years have worked to make Deering Banjos what it is, has been inspiring. I learned the importance of hard work, doing a good honest job, and the amount of persistence in both the challenging and easy times that you must have in order to succeed. Growing up experiencing the value and fruits of hard work will always be one of the greatest gifts my folks have given me.”

Since 2010 Jamie has managed Artist Relations for Deering, and has served as VP of Public Relations since 2017. Now assuming the top management role, she sees ways that the company can become even more efficient in serving the needs of banjo players worldwide.

“Taking on this role has been a process of learning, and over the last year gradually taking on aspects of it. My view is looking at the next 20 years of Deering with a vision in the direction of streamlining our processes, and towards even greater efficiency to the benefit of all who work at Deering, and all our current and future customers.

We have the mission as a company: to champion the banjo and inspire freedom of creativity around the globe by supplying the best quality, American made banjos available to players of all abilities. This, and our company values will not change and are stronger than ever. Our efficiency and ease in how we accomplish it will be a larger focus. We are more than a company that builds banjos. We are a company made up of people who are passionate about taking care of our customers. We take great pleasure in seeing the cultural and emotional uplift that music brings to individuals and communities and are proud to do our part in that through the banjos we make.”

Greg Deering, who was the primary luthier with the company from the start, while his wife, Janet, worked as CEO, says that they see Jamie as better prepared than they were when they launched the business.

“We are delighted and very excited to have Jamie become the CEO of Deering Banjo Company, to take it into the next generation. While Janet and I have accomplished a lot in 44 years, Jamie, if anything, has more horsepower and is smarter than we are.  She has stellar people and communication skills. Deering Banjo Company will see a wonderful and expanded banjo world with Jamie as our CEO.”

Mom and Dad will remain with the business, Greg heading up R&D efforts and Janet serving as an executive mentor. The executive team will remain in place: Jamie Latty, VP of Administration and Chad Kopotic, VP of Operations. Deering Banjos are sold through a network of dealers all over the world, and directly from their web site.

Congratulations, Jamie Deering.

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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.