Kira Florita Exits Leadership Music

Kira Florita

Kira Florita

[Press Release with analysis below] Kira Florita has submitted her resignation as executive director of Leadership Music, the Leadership Music Board of Directors announced today.  Her resignation will become effective on Jan. 18, 2010; however, Florita will remain engaged as a consultant to assist with the transition to a new management team.

A 30-year music industry veteran, Florita has successfully helmed the 501(c)(3) educational organization for five years, which included the substantial growth of major events such as the Leadership Music Digital Summit and the Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award.  She served as the organization’s third executive director, following the late Dale Franklin and Tabitha Daly.

“I’ve been blessed to know and work with the ‘cream of the crop’ and for that opportunity I will be eternally grateful,” Florita said. “It has been very satisfying to see many alumni become re-engaged to strengthen our organization’s infrastructure.

“My front-row seat has allowed me to see how the relationships and understanding created by the Leadership Music Program facilitate a deeper commitment and passion for music – for both the creators and the business people who serve as its stewards,” Florita said.  “I look forward to continuing to serve the organization in the future as one of many alumni volunteers whose contributions are essential.  I have been mulling over exploring new opportunities for quite a while, and following the 20th Anniversary event is an ideal time to make a transition.”

Pat Collins, the president of Leadership Music’s Board of Directors, said the board will engage a search committee to conduct a national search for a new executive director. “Kira’s dedication to Leadership Music will be hard to replicate,” Collins said. “Rarely have I experienced an executive who could accomplish so much with limited resources. Her guidance going forward will be appreciated by the entire music community.”

Producer Garth Fundis, who serves as Leadership Music’s program facilitator, said, “As a participant in many significant milestones of Nashville’s music business and an alumna herself of Leadership Music, Kira brought a unique perspective that enhanced our organization immensely.  Her contributions, love and dedication to Leadership Music and its participants should never be underestimated and I am grateful for her stewardship.”

Bill Ivey, member of the Leadership Music Founding Council and Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, said, “I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Kira on dozens of Leadership Music projects and program days. She’s made a solid, positive, and lasting contribution to the strength of this important Nashville organization.”

Florita is an alumna of Leadership Music Class of 2000 and Leadership Nashville Class of 2006.  She currently is the Chair of the Partnership Council for Arts, Media and Communication for MNPS’s High School Small Learning Communities and serves on the mayor’s Nashville Music Council.  Volunteer activities have included serving on the boards of the Nashville Alliance for Public Education, the Audio Publisher’s Association, the Downtown YMCA, and the National Folk Music Alliance.

After Jan. 18, Florita may be reached at [email protected], (615) 438-7545.

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Analysis: Florita’s departure marks an unprecedented year that has seen four music industry executive directors/organization heads exit all within a few months. In September John Styll left the GMA after more than six years leading the trade association. Next to leave—abruptly—was Country Radio Broadcaster Executive Director Ed Salamon in October. And the first week of December saw CMA CEO Tammy Genovese exit the organization where she had worked in various roles for 24 years. The malaise is international, Kat Salvador also recently departed her post as Canadian Country Music Executive Director. [DMR]

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