Frances W. Preston, President & CEO of BMI since 1986, has renewed her contract with the performing rights organization, it was announced today by Ken J. Elkins, Chairman of the BMI Board of Directors. The new contract will take Preston’s tenure through 2004.
In making the announcement, Elkins said: “Since 1986, BMI’s revenues have risen more than 170%. The revenue growth is one of the most tangible aspects of Frances’s direction in an ever more complicated business. Her dedication to her employees and the creators BMI represents is legendary. She is one of the great leaders of the music business.”
Preston joined BMI in 1958, opening the company’s Southern Regional Office in Nashville that year. After overseeing the Writer/Publisher Relations Department there for 6 years, she was named Vice President in 1964. She was named Senior Vice President, Performing Rights in 1985 and President & CEO the following year.
She is currently a member of the Executive Bureau of CISAC (Confederation of International Societies of Authors and Composers) and alternating President of that organization’s Canada/USA Committee. Preston’s encouragement led to BMI being one of the five original performing right society members of the Digital Copyright Network, originally known as “FastTrack,” the leading international technical alliance. She serves as Vice Chairman of the organization’s Board. She was a member of former Vice President Al Gore’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council.
In addition to her position at BMI, Preston also serves as President of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer & AIDS Research. The primary research building of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, partially underwritten by the Martell Foundation, was dedicated in her name last year.
She was awarded the Grammy Trustee Award for Lifetime Achievement (1999) and she was inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame (1992). She was also named MIDEM’s “Person of the Year” (1999) and was the Spirit of Life Award recipient from the City of Hope Medical and Research Center in Los Angeles (2000).
Founded in 1940, BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents approximately 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music. Through its music performance and reciprocal agreements with sister organizations around the world, it grants businesses and media access to its repertoire of approximately 4.5 million songs and compositions.