Search for new IBMA Executive Director underway

The International Bluegrass Music Association has officially launched its search for a new Executive Director in the wake of their most recent ED, Pat Morris, taking his leave earlier this year to deal with a family health issue. Prior director Paul Schiminger has stepped in to serve as interim ED.

This is a challenging and important position, which requires a wide range of skills and experience, but which also allows someone with the requisite leadership and financial background to work in the wonderful world of bluegrass music.

The IBMA is a membership organization which serves the professional interests of its members in the bluegrass industry, including recording and touring artists, songwriters, producers, record labels, event producers, artists representatives and managers, instrument builders, radio programmers, graphic and visual artists, media, merchandisers, and anyone else who is a part of this business.

The position is for their offices in Nashville, TN.

The IBMA encourages all of its members, and everyone with a love for bluegrass music, to consider whether they might have the necessary requirements to fulfill the needs of this position, or to consider anyone you know who may be a likely candidate, and reach out to IBMA Board Chair Mike Simpson ( 270-782-8282)

Here is the official job description:


The Executive Director for the International Bluegrass Music Association is a key leader driving goals and objectives as well as working with the board of directors to shape and articulate the overall strategic plan for the organization. In essence, the Executive Director provides overall leadership, direction, and guidance of IBMA’s activities. The Board of Directors is seeking a strong leader, one who can evaluate the effectiveness of the organization’s operations and develop and maintain organizational structure, as well as oversee and develop staff.

The Executive Director will also represent the IBMA to regulatory bodies, other agencies, community and civic organizations, donors, funders and supporters, and the general public. In addition to ensuring the day-to-day success of the operations, the Executive Director will also work strategically to position the IBMA for future growth, sustainability, and relevance.

Responsibilities include the following:


  • Manages all aspects of IBMA World of Bluegrass including both internal functions and those contracted to others
  • Oversees efforts to grow membership and serve members to ensure their needs are met
  • Provides oversight of all other programs and goals
  • Acts as the spokesperson for organization
  • Develops and implements operational plans, policies, and goals that further strategic objectives
  • Attends Board Meetings as an ex-officio member
  • Executes board-approved policies
  • Efficiently maintains a competent and effective staff
  • Provides leadership to organization personnel and contractors through effective objective setting, delegation, and communication
  • Ensures that appropriate salary and wage structures are maintained
  • Delegates authority and responsibility to staff and contractors
  • Oversees the execution of established office procedures
  • Ensures that job descriptions are current
  • Conducts performance appraisals as required
  • Formulates and implements corrective action as needed


  • Maintains full awareness of the complete financial, statistical, and accounting records of the organization
  • Ensures that operating results established in the annual budget are achieved and the control of operating expenses within budget
  • Ensures the accuracy, integrity, and timeliness of all financial accounting and reporting
  • Signs all checks and obtains secondary signature when required
  • Ensures the preparation of the annual budget for board approval
  • Facilitates fundraising activities including short term and long term sponsorship relationships
  • Creates diversified income streams


  • Ensures administrative staff remains current to organization business and Board directives/approvals that affect their functions and areas of responsibility
  • Works with the Board of Directors on governance policy issues by providing support and by initiating approved recommendations or actions
  • Ensures compliance to minimum standards in accordance with all government legislation, regulations and guidelines pertinent to the organization’s role as an employer and non- profit agency
  • Recommends to the Board changes to policies and procedures that would improve the organization
  • Maintains an effective and cost efficient office environment
  • Determines staff training and/or equipment needs of clerical and administrative employees, taking into account annual budget allocations
  • Submits all information, reports and records as requested or required by law to appropriate government officials and/or the Board of Directors


  • Bachelor’s degree in Business or other relevant field
  • Experience leading an organization or department to include hiring, developing and directing staff, setting organization objectives and managing a budget
  • Experience leading a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) a plus but not a requirement
  • Experience in development and fundraising in a nonprofit organization a plus
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors a plus
  • Experience setting and achieving financial goals and productivity agendas
  • Experience with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals and initiatives
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Strong planning skills
  • Working knowledge of bluegrass music, the industry, and stakeholders as well as an overall understanding of the broader music industry
  • An excellent communicator, both written and verbal
  • Creative, flexible, and adaptable
  • Strong organizational and execution skills
  • A relationship builder
  • Results-oriented
  • Proven problem solving skills
  • Leadership skills to translate strategy into specific goals and objectives


  • Starting salary range: $95,000 – $110,000, based on candidate experience
  • Competitive benefits available include health, dental, and vision insurance, as well as a Defined Contribution Retirement Plan.


Mike Simpson, Board Chair International Bluegrass Music Association 270-782-8282

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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.