New Chief Executive to Lead ‘Day to Day Industry Development’
In a new appointment that might raise eyebrows in some quarters, the UK’s Gospel music industry body, Gospel Music Industry Alliance (GMIA), announced it ‘headhunted and selected’ Audrey Gray to be its new chief executive officer.
According to the GMIA’s press release, Audrey’s initial brief will be to drive what it calls the ‘day to day administrative running of the organisation’, as it ‘seeks to transform the collective efforts of an underdeveloped British Gospel Music scene.’
It’s a shrewd move. For many on the outside looking in (I include myself here), GMIA has been slow to capitalise on the incredible talent it now has on its roster, a serious gathering of experienced hands from across our industry.
Audrey is arguably one of the final catalysing pieces needed to deliver on the early excitement we all felt when this new GMIA iteration was announced back in 2019/2020.
Before I explain why I think that is, I’ll circle back to qualify my ‘raised eyebrow’ comment: unlike some on the GMIA board of directors, Audrey has a relatively lower public profile which in turn may lead some to query the appointment.
But – in the context of GMIA at least – it demonstrates a canny strategic move: Audrey has a proven track record in walking the talk while consistently delivering services, some of which people in our industry have probably used without realising.
She runs Leveltickets.com and artistehub.net, has several years’ worth of experience in tour and events management, as well as artist development and coaching services.
In other words: she’s highly skilled and exceedingly qualified, with a strong understanding of the idiosyncrasies of both artist and industry needs.
Most importantly, though: her real corporate superpower is delivery, something the GMIA will potentially reap significant benefits from.
If 2019 was the year of new beginnings and 2020 the year of COVID-19 disruption (and a subsequent consolidation), here’s to hoping 2021 is the year when things actually start to happen.
I for one am really looking forward to it