Bristol, Tenn./Va. (June 1, 2022) – The board of directors of the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) today announced Paula Hurt as the nonprofit’s new managing director. In this role, Hurt will report directly to the board and will oversee staff and day-to-day business operations of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, the annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and WBCM Radio Bristol.
“After evaluating nearly 90 candidates from all over the U.S., Paula impressed us with her experience, skill set, and interviews,” said Keith Liskey, a BCM board member who served as volunteer Interim managing director during the five month search. “We consider it a tremendous bonus that Paula is from our region and has prior work experience in Bristol. We expect her to be an outstanding leader for the talented and dedicated BCM team.”
“I am thankful to be part of the BCM family and honored to have been entrusted to lead the organization,” said Hurt. “The staff is talented, driven, and resourceful. The board and volunteers are so passionate, welcoming and willing to step up to fulfill the mission of BCM. To be a part of such an excellent team and to contribute to its success moving forward is a priceless opportunity.”
“My passion is for the Bristol community,” Hurt continued. “To think back through the evolution, from U.S. Congress designating Bristol as the birthplace of country music to the growth of the festival and the opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, there is such a sense of pride. It’s a wonderful opportunity to join an organization that celebrates and promotes our beloved music heritage and to educate future generations of Bristol’s impact on the music of today.”
The daughter of a career Marine, Hurt spent much of her youth traveling but calls Elizabethton, Tennessee home base. After graduating from Elizabethton High School, Hurt went on to earn her Bachelor’s of Business Administration from East Tennessee State University with a concentration in accounting. For seven years Hurt acted as purchasing agent for Snap-on Tools, a global producer of quality hand tools. For 19 years Hurt served as vice president of finance and administration for the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and interim president/CEO. During that time, Hurt also coordinated the LEAD Bristol! and Bristol Youth Leadership Programs. For more than five years Hurt served as accounts payable supervisor for AGC Flat Glass North America, a global producer of glass for building projects and automotive use.
Hurt has been a Bristol resident for more than 30 years where she lives with her husband of 31 years, James, who is employed by Sullivan County, Tennessee. Together they have a 26-year-old son, Logan, who works at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Hurt is an avid walker who also enjoys gardening, books, word games and puzzles.
The hire is a result of organizational growth at BCM that includes Leah Ross assuming the new role of executive director of advancement, focusing her talents on government, tourism and music industry relations, and fundraising.
For more information about the Birthplace of Country Music and its mission, click here.