Pat Morris named new IBMA Executive Director

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced Pat Morris as the organization’s next Executive Director. He will step in for current director Paul Schiminger, who has announced his retirement effective at the end of May. Morris is expected to take over as of May 24.

The IBMA Board has taken the same tack in selecting Morris as they did with Schiminger, choosing someone from the corporate world with experience in the financial, associations, and fundraising sphere. Pat has served previously as Chief Executive Officer of ACA International, President & CEO of the Association for Corporate Growth, and the Executive Director of the Washington DC-based InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards.

A former Marine officer, Morris developed a love for bluegrass music while working one summer at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA, where bluegrass groups performed regularly during park hours. There he heard a young Jim Lauderdale leading a band on stage, and the reso-guitar work of the late Gene Wooten. Pat was inspired to take up the guitar, a passion that has followed him through his career to this day.

He says that he is eager to get to work on behalf of bluegrass music and the bluegrass industry.

“I am so honored to be selected as the next Executive Director of the IBMA. This position combines my passion for bluegrass and pursuit of excellence as an association leader. The future of bluegrass is bright, and I look forward to learning from IBMA staff, leaders, and members and drawing upon my own experience in applying best practices, leveraging creative ideas and technology, finding strategic partners, and turning opportunities into reality to help IBMA and the bluegrass industry. I look forward to working with IBMA’s members, and helping to advance the organization’s mission and values.”

He has the enthusiastic support of outgoing director Schiminger.

“I’m excited for the future of our association. The IBMA is fortunate to have Pat taking the helm with his extensive association leadership experience and passion for our music. I hope everyone will welcome and support him in the same incredible way you did with me. Pat and the strong staff will continue to advance the IBMA’s impact by achieving even greater things with your help!”

That is a sentiment shared by the Board of Directors, as expressed by Chair and President, Ben Surratt.

“Pat’s impeccable resume and love of bluegrass is the perfect combination for the next Executive Director of IBMA. I’m so happy to have Pat working alongside us for the benefit of bluegrass and the bluegrass community. Our association is in great hands.”

IBMA members and bluegrass fans will have a chance to meet Pat during September’s World of Bluegrass events later this year. He can be reached at the IBMA offices after May 24.

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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.