A2IM renews contract of CEO Richard James Burgess, makes raft of promotions

The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) has renewed the contract of Dr. Richard James Burgess as President and CEO for a third term.

Burgess took the helm of A2IM in January 2016, and has since spearheaded a 28% membership growth for the company, it says.

In addition, Lisa Hresko has been promoted to General Manager at A2IM, and Sheryl Cohen to Head of Strategic Planning.

Before stepping up as CEO of A2IM, Burgess served on the board for two and a half years, and was chair of the board for the last six months of 2015.

He was promoted to President and CEO in 2019, and Burgess’s current contract, which commences in January 2022, will run for four years.

In his new role, Burgess will continue his work in advocacy, education, and community across the independent music industry, says A2IM, which includes efforts to promote diversity and gender equality, as well as equal pay policies.

In 2018, says A2IM, the company was the first US-based organization to sign on to a Keychange pledge that urged festivals to achieve 50:50 gender balance by 2022.

In her four years with A2IM, the organization says that Lisa Hresko has spearheaded growing its membership team and developing flagship programs.

Also with the organization for more than nine years (including four under its prior leader Rich Bengloff), Sheryl Cohen is the program director behind A2IM’s Indie Week and creates what A2IM calls “dynamic and diverse programs” for the organization’s membership.

In early 2021, A2IM launched the Black Independent Music Accelerator (BIMA), a fellowship grant program designed to amplify Black voices in the independent music community.

“The recorded music industry is at an inflection point.”

Richard James Burgess

Richard James Burgess, said: “The recorded music industry is at an inflection point.

“We are faced with the maturation of the streaming business model in the U.S. and the ongoing challenge of preserving the value of copyrights.

“A2IM will be at the forefront of leveling the playing field for independents and returning more of the value generated by recorded music to its creators and investors.”

“Richard has proven to be a dynamic leader.”

Zena White, A2IM Board and Partisan Records

Zena White, Chair of the A2IM Board and Managing Director of Partisan Records, added: “Richard has proven to be a dynamic leader, expanding the reach of A2IM in the past several years.

“The team he leads is stronger than ever, having been able to grow its membership and execute meaningful community initiatives, such as BIMA, at a time when our community is most in need.

“The board of directors looks forward to continuing A2IM’s mission with Richard at the helm as our industry faces new challenges, both known and unknown.”Music Business Worldwide

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