Bristol, Tenn.-Va. (January 4, 2022) – The Board of Directors of the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) today announced organizational changes that will take place immediately.
Leah Ross, who has held the position of Executive Director since the BCM was established in 2013, has assumed the role of Executive Director of Advancement and will remain the “face” of the organization. Ross requested this adjustment in responsibilities to relieve her from the day-to-day management of the Birthplace of County Music Museum, the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and Radio Bristol, all of which was extremely time-consuming, leaving her little room in her day to actually promote BCM.
Ross, who was recently cited as one of the “100 People to Know in Virginia,” will now focus on advancing BCM through her many government relations and music industry contacts and alliances, tourism groups, and fundraising efforts.
“I’m looking forward to being able to focus on promoting the Birthplace of Country Music as a whole,” said Ross. “When you get so wrapped up in the day-to-day operations of the museum, festival, and radio station, there’s just not a lot of time left in the day. We are so fortunate to have this incredible organization right here in Bristol. I know there’s so much more we can do to grow it, and I’m thrilled that I can now focus my attention on doing just that.”
BCM will immediately begin a search to appoint a Managing Director to oversee the nonprofit organization’s day-to-day business operations. Keith Liskey, retired Chief Operating Officer at Strongwell Corporation, who has been Senior Advisor to BCM since February of 2014, will serve as Interim Managing Director on a volunteer basis until the new Managing Director position is named.
BCM has recently made other significant management team personnel changes, including hiring Danielle Back as Director of Marketing, and Shauna Tilson as Director of Development, while promoting Baylor Hall to Director of Operations.
Back, who holds a BS degree from ETSU, brings significant marketing experience to BCM, having been a Marketing and Communications Manager for Ballad Health before the COVID-19 pandemic. Tilson, who holds a BA degree from Emory & Henry and a Masters in Public Administration from Old Dominion University, previously held the position of Development Coordinator for United Way of Southwest Virginia. Hall joined BCM in January of 2018 as Museum Manager, overseeing the museum front line staff and The Museum Store. She was named Operations & Events Manager in January of 2020 before her recent promotion to Director of Operations.