May 21, 2015

Longtime ASCAP Executive Karen Sherry Retires

Senior VP Industry Affairs and Executive Director of ASCAP Foundation Dedicated 36 Years to Organization

Karen Sherry

ASCAP's Karen Sherry

NEW YORK, May 21, 2015 -- ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, today announced that longtime ASCAP executive Karen Sherry is retiring from her position as Senior VP, Industry Affairs and as ASCAP Foundation Executive Director.  She will remain at ASCAP through the end of June. 

Sherry, a former singer-songwriter, began her career with ASCAP in 1979 as head of public relations. During her time with the organization, she worked with numerous ASCAP presidents, beginning with Stanley Adams, and then Hal David, Morton Gould, Marilyn Bergman and Paul Williams.  A visionary, creative leader, she has been a trusted adviser to the ASCAP Board and her peers on the ASCAP executive leadership team as well as a mentor to countless colleagues at ASCAP. 

“Karen has left an indelible mark on what ASCAP has become today, earning the respect and friendship of ASCAP members and music industry notables as well as her colleagues around the world,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews. “We thank her for her expertise, passion, loyalty, dedication and for some of ASCAP’s most memorable moments over the past four decades.”

"For the past 36 years, I've devoted myself to the work of ASCAP and I couldn't have spent my time better,” said Sherry.  “I have had the most fulfilling experiences, the most rewarding relationships, and the opportunity to interface with the greatest talents in the business.  It has been a thoroughly magical journey beyond all expectations and I will cherish the memories I carry with me."

Sherry created many of ASCAP’s signature events.  She conceived ASCAP’s Awards Shows honoring its members for their achievements and the annual “We Write the Songs” concert at the Library of Congress, where she spearheaded the effort to house the prestigious ASCAP Collection at the Library.

Sherry also established ASCAP’s grass-roots advocacy network and produced the celebrations for ASCAP’s 70th, 75th, and 100th year anniversaries.  She spearheaded memorial tributes on Broadway for ASCAP greats and other events honoring some of the most revered songwriters and composers of the American songbook.

Sherry became head of the ASCAP Foundation in 1998 and used her passion to further its mission of identifying and nurturing new talent, promoting music education in the schools and expanding its humanitarian “Music Heals” Division.  She grew the body from a local entity with small resources to what is now a national organization with a $10,000,000 fund balance distributing over one million dollars each year to scholarships, grants and prizes and to worthy internal and external programs.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With 700,000 members representing more than 11.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.

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