“Bluegrass has achieved amazing and very different kinds of success over each of the last seven decades,” commented Hays. “Today, bluegrass is poised to reach new heights, and IBMA has embarked on the challenge of reinventing itself in an age of major change in the entertainment world. I’m fully in support of IBMA addressing the challenges of this era and have given my best to help set the stage for another positive evolution.”
“Approaching 2012, IBMA is poised to open doors to a new generation of opportunities – in creativity, in how we do business, and in how we connect with fans,” he continued. “The role of the Executive Director will be critical, not only in helping us to walk through those doors, but in solidifying and strengthening the emerging roles for the organization in coming years. It’s exciting to be where we are and, in my judgment, this is an opportune time for a leadership transition.”
During Hays’ tenure with IBMA, he helped the organization establish its annual Awards, the World of Bluegrass business conference, Bluegrass Fan Fest, the creation of Leadership Bluegrass, and launched “Bluegrass in the Schools” programs for young people. Additionally, Hays has also been responsible for raising several million dollars for the Foundation for Bluegrass Music and the Bluegrass Trust Fund.
“To be entrusted with the responsibilities of this position and welcomed into the family of our music has been a genuine blessing throughout the years,” added Hays. “I will be leaving with more appreciation than can be expressed for current and former board leaders, volunteers, members, staff and other supporters.”
“It’s inconceivable that we would be where we are today without the vision and dedication that Dan Hays has brought to the job of Executive Director,” said Board of Directors Chair Stan Zdonik. “Thanks to his work, we’re confident that our music—and our organization—are in a strong position to find creative ways of meeting the need to move into the future while retaining our essential connection to the music’s roots.”
The Board’s Executive Committee of Zdonik, Vice-Chair Jon Weisberger, and members Craig Havighurst, Carl Jackson and Dwight Worden, has been tasked with conducting a search for Hays’ successor. Potential candidates will be able to pick up application materials between Nov. 18 and Dec. 15 at the IBMA office or its website.