MARIA Executive Director To Go On Leave

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Sam Baardman, Executive Director of the Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association (MARIA), will go on a one-year leave effective January 1, 2008.

Baardman, who has been in his position for nearly eight years, will continue to work with MARIA as a special program consultant to help create a new multi-year development plan for the Manitoba music industry. Baardman intends to work as a consultant on other projects that will impact on the development of the music industry on a national level.

Baardman has been instrumental in strengthening MARIA, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2007, and diversifying its services and capacity as a strong voice for the Manitoba music industry. He has also been a force for change and cohesion in the national industry, serving as chair of the FACTOR National Advisory Board, president of the Western Canadian Music Alliance, and a director for Folk Alliance Canada during his tenure at MARIA.

“We have achieved nearly everything I could have hoped for when I first sat down in our tiny, cramped office on Arthur Street in May of 2000,” says Baardman, “and I believe that MARIA has become a model for what a great music industry association can be.”

“The Board is happy to support Sam in his decision to take a leave from heading up the organization,” says MARIA’s President Ginette Lavack Walters, “Sam has worked tirelessly for many years and has done an outstanding job in growing MARIA beyond our expectations. We are fortunate to have him at the helm and wish him all the best during his leave of absence.”

During Baardman’s leave, current MARIA Programs and Operations Manager Sara Stasiuk will serve as Interim Executive Director. Stasiuk has been with MARIA for over six years, and has been a key factor in every aspect of MARIA’s success. Among Stasiuk’s many duties, she has managed the creation, development and implementation of the successful Manitoba Music and Motion Pictures (M3P) Development Project.

MARIA would like to thank Sam for his contributions and wish him success during his leave.

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