Longtime ASCAP Exec Karen Sherry Is Retiring

Brian Ach/Getty Images for ASCAP
Karen Sherry, ASCAP Foundation Executive Director speaks onstage at the ASCAP Centennial Awards at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on November 17, 2014 in New York City.

Longtime ASCAP executive Karen Sherry has announced her retirement after 36 years at the performing rights organization. Sherry, who conceived such events as ASCAP's awards shows and the "We Write the Songs" concert at the Library of Congress, is leaving her position of senior vp of industry affairs at the end of June. The former songwriter, who began her ASCAP career in 1979 as head of public relations, is also stepping down as the executive director of the ASAP Foundation, which promotes music education in schools, among other things.

"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."

During her tenure, Sherry also helmed ASCAP's grass-roots advocacy network and produced celebrations for the rights society's 70the, 75th and 100th anniversaries.

"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."

Before joining ASCAP, Sherry enjoyed a career as a teacher, freelance publicist, songwriter and recording artist, most notably with her sister Lois in the 1960s girl duo The Sherry Sisters. Listen to their worldwide million-seller for Epic, 1964's "Sailor Boy," below.