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The Blues Foundation Elects Its First-ever Female President:

The Blues FoundationThe Blues Foundation has selected Pat Morgan, artist manager for Pinetop Perkins and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, as the first female president of the board and Bill Wax, host of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s B. B. King Bluesville channel, as vice president. The non-profit organization dedicated to the past, present and future of Blues music, has announced its intention of establishing a permanent home in downtown Memphis.

Following the Board election, the new Board selected the Board members to leadership positions of one year each: President Pat Morgan, and Vice President Bill Wax Additional members of the Executive Committee are: Gary Anton, a Tallahassee, FL attorney and owner of Bradfordville Blues Club, Kevin Kane, and Gaynell Rogers, a Nevada City, CA marketing & publicity consultant. In addition, Clay Purdom, an attorney with the Memphis law firm of Martin, Tate, Morrow & Marston, is the Treasurer.

The plan for a permanent home proposes to centralize the Foundation's educational, audio-visual and retail opportunities, in addition to housing its staff and operations. The new board members elected will contribute their respective expertise in finance, marketing, consulting and development to the Foundation's efforts through 2012, and as Foundation members will continue to provide the worldwide Blues community with support, information and news.

The membership of the current Board voted to fill the nine available seats in this year's election, including seven new members: Phil Barkett, a Chicago area financial analyst, Steve Bryson, Chairman and CEO, Global Electronic Technology, Cypress, CA; Smart City Consulting, Memphis; Tom Jones, Stefan Levy, Big Cat Search, Barrington, IL; Craig Ray, Mississippi Development Authority, Jackson, MS; Eric Simonsen, Alix Partners LLC, Providence, RI; and Laurie Tucker, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Marketing, FedEx, Germantown, TN. The Board members re-elected two current members: Dorothy Moore, a Grammy-nominated performer, Florence, MS; and Kevin Kane, President and CEO, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. All recently-elected members will begin three-year terms October 23 at the next Board meeting in Nashville, TN.

The newly-elected members and officers join fellow Board members Barbara Blue, Betsie Brown, Thomas Cain, Jostein Forsberg, Zac Harmon, Jerry Mason, Karen McFarland, Thomas Ruf, Joey Sichting, Ricky Stevens, Cassie Taylor and C. Sade Turnipseed.

The Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary, having already seen this year their 25th anniversary of the International Blues Challenge and the largest, star-studded 30th anniversary of the Blues Music Awards.

The following Board members will be concluding their Board service in September: Paul Benjamin, Dom Forcella, Bruce Iglauer, Fred Litwin, Patrick Reilly and Chris Sabie.

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, The Blues Foundation is the hub of the Blues world. With 175 affiliated Blues societies and a membership that spans the globe, the Foundation's signature events - the Blues Music Awards, Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, International Blues Challenge and Keeping the Blues Awards - place it at the center of the Blues universe. The Blues Foundation is a non-profit organization, with a mission to preserve Blues history, celebrate Blues excellence, support Blues education and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the worldwide Blues community with answers, contact information and news.

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