Introducing the Board Of Directors for the National Women in Blues.
Kyle Deibler, has been a veteran of the global Blues community for almost twenty years now. A past president of the Phoenix Blues Society and board member there for over ten years, Kyle is currently the treasurer for the Colorado Blues Society and the director of its IBC competition. One of four volunteers with over 12 years experience serving the Blues Foundation, Kyle is known for his work at the International Blues Challenge and Blues Music Awards. As an event producer, Kyle has actively produced and been involved with 10 Blues festivals and well over 100 events in total. Kyle is also part of the writing team for the CD review website, Blues Bytes, that received a Keeping the Blues Alive award from the Blues Foundation for their contributions to Internet Content.
Tim Fik, musician, artist, and producer with over 35 years experience in the music business, hailing originally from the Buffalo, NY metro area. He is the lead guitarist for the Bridget Kelly Band and member of the North Central Florida, Atlanta, SunCoast, and Memphis Blues Societies, as well as an avid and vocal supporter of The Blues Foundation. Tim is a voting member of the Producers’ Wing of the Recording Academy and founder of Alpha Sun records (an Independent Label based out of Gainesville, Florida). He holds a Ph.D. in Geography & Regional Development from the University of Arizona (1989) and is an Associate Professor at the University of Florida where he teaches a variety of courses including Popular Music & Culture: A Geographic Perspective — a course that focuses on American Roots music and “the Blues”.
Lea Gilmore, Named by ESSENCE MAGAZINE as one of “25 Women Shaping the World,” Lea Gilmore is one of the world’s most respected and in-demand Gospel, Blues, Jazz and Inspirational vocalists; writers, social justice advocate and lecturer on human rights. It has been said that “Lea Gilmore’s rich and passionate voice is a gift from her soul to our ears.” Ms. Gilmore has lent her voice, literally and figuratively, to advocacy for the underserved around the world and in her own backyard. Known for her exquisite voice, bright smile, quick wit, and infectious sense of humor, Lea is also a winner of the Blues Foundation’s “Keeping the Blues Alive” (The “Grammies” of the Blues) award for her historical work on the contributions of women to the Blues.
In recognition of Ms. Gilmore’s dedication to equality and justice, she was recently named one of the first recipients of the James Baldwin Medal for Civil Rights. She served four terms on the Maryland Advisory Board for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has worked diligently for reproductive justice for Native American women (all women), and is a staunch and vocal supporter for marriage equality and gay and lesbian rights. In 2011, Lea won the “Ally of the Year” award from Equality Maryland for her dedication and work for the LGBTQ communities. Ms Gilmore received the “Consumer Advocate of the Year” Award from the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition in November 2013, and was named one of the “Top 100 Women in Maryland” by The Daily Record for 2014. Lea has held many senior positions in advocacy, including the former Deputy Director of the ACLU of Maryland, Director of Diversity and Outreach for the National Abortion Federation. Lea also directed and managed the African American Philanthropy Initiative while the Program Director for the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG)
Brian Lukasavitz, a Minnesota-based entertainment attorney, specializes in assisting and advocating for artists in the areas of music and film with business, copyright, trademark and licensing issues. Brian credits, blues-legend, Willie Dixon and his legal battle over the rights and royalties with Led Zeppelin and all the legendary artists that have fought for what they deserved as his inspiration to pursue a career in entertainment law. In addition to legal work, he is a musician, author, lecturer/adjunct instructor and radio host specializing in blues and roots music. He can be contacted at blukasavitzllg (add @) gmail.com
MaryAnne Norwood (Bio coming)
Jenn Ocken, since the beginning of her professional career in 2002, Jenn has been consistently working on building a library of images she calls her documentingBlues fine art of life collection. Her goal: to capture the emotions that flow from her subjects during their blues performances and in their interactions with fans and other musicians. An eleven-year long self-assignment has allowed Ocken to document the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. She produced an 11 x 8.5 coffee-table book titled Blues on Beale, Memoirs of the International Blues Challenge.
Michael Reynosa (Bio & Photo coming)
Terri Robbins, worked to support Blues performers, societies, events, Blues in the Schools, and anything to help Keep the Blues Alive. Assistant to Michele Seidman, founder of National Women in Blues, helping her with festivals, showcases, graphics, or anywhere needed. Treasurer, Vice President, Program Committee Chair and acting President for the Triangle Blues Society. I have been a judge for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis for about 8 years, and volunteer at the event for the past 14 years. Stained glass artist, donating art to raise money for blues related causes. Play acoustic guitar, raise free range hens, organic gardens and honey bees.
Patricia Shaw, Philanthropist and Photographer, started early in her support of women. Her photo series of Women in Politics was shot as she traveled with the crew of the PBS documentary “Not One of the Boys”. Her photo series of Women in Politics from the convention in San Diego, to Washington DC to the Iowa legislature, are now in the permanent collection of the Schlesinger Library of Women’s History at Harvard University
Teeny Tucker (Bio coming)
Tom Watson, is a family physician in central Florida, a blues lover and musician, and a student of the history of the blues in general, and of women in blues in particular. He is developing a website called Heritage Blues to record and celebrate the history and future of the blues, and manages the Facebook group “Harmonica Masters,” dedicated to the world’s outstanding harmonica players. He appreciates the importance of the history, impact and future of women in blues, and seeks to help recognize their contributions and promote their success.