Women in Music Honors Frances Preston

Posted in News on October 30, 2003
Women in Music honored BMI President and CEO Frances Preston at a luncheon in New York on October 28, where she was given the organization's Touchstone Advocate Award. Isaac Hayes made the presentation of the prestigious award, which was created for her in recognition of "her extraordinary leadership that has not only guided, but in many ways, reshaped and redefined important aspects of the music industry." BMI artist Patti LaBelle performed during the luncheon.

BMI's Frances Preston (left) is congratulated by Isaac Hayes and Patti LaBelle. photo: Chuck Pulin

Following are her acceptance remarks:

"Thank you, Isaac, for your words. We've been together so often lately it's beginning to feel like our own world tour. Thank you to Women in Music for this prestigious Touchstone Advocate Award. I am proud to be in the company of such distinguished honorees. Since I was asked to accept the award, I've thought a lot about the word 'advocate' and what it means to us as executives and as women.

I believe women are born advocates. We know instinctively how to support our families, friends, colleagues, communities, and, in the case of this audience, our artists, songwriters and other music clients. We are the strong arm, available ear, source of information, gentle prodder, organizer, financial planner and the head of the fan club. We usually know how to do it all when it comes to other people and I would suggest you also take all that talent and energy and communication skills and use them for yourself.

No one will ever be a bigger advocate for you than you. Ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. Learn every aspect of your company or your business, from the mailroom to the board room. Volunteer for the hard jobs and do them eagerly. Join industry organizations and charities and work towards leadership positions within them. Let people know what you're doing, what you know and where you're headed. Do all the things you normally do for others but always be mindful that you are your own advocate.

During my years in the music business I have enjoyed the company of many genuinely creative artists and business people. I count you all among them, and thank you again for this honor."