Michael Bunnell, Coalition of Independent Music Stores Founder, Announces Retirement

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Coalition's general manager, Andrea Paschal, will succeed Bunnell in 2020

Michael Bunnell, who served as the executive director of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) since 2009, said he will retire at the end of 2019. Andrea Paschal, CIMS’ longtime general manager, will succeed Bunnell in January 2020.   

“I’m very proud of the work I have done over the last 11 years at CIMS, and I hope that I have represented my group of stores and the independent physical retail sector in a favorable light,” Bunnell said. “Managing the organization during the recession and all the dramatic changes in the music industry presented many difficult challenges which myself and the CIMS Board worked vigorously to overcome."   

Bunnell was a founding member of CIMS, which he established in 1995, to liaise between independent record stores and record labels. He also ran CIMS-owned independent distribution company ThinkIndie Distribution and served on the board for Record Store Day, which CIMS co-founded.   

Bunnell said he plans to devote more time to The Record Exchange, the family-run store he opened with his wife Jil Sevy in Boise, Idaho in 1977.   

“The independent stores remain the heart and soul of this industry, and it’s where the true believers still reside," Bunnell continued. "In an age of instant gratification and digital domination, our stores still fight the good fight and bring art and excitement to communities around the world. They all deserve respect from an industry that hasn’t made it easy for them to survive. I hope that by providing them all a platform to share ideas and marketing muscle, the CIMS stores are stronger and more resilient than they were when I arrived.  

“Stepping into the role as the future Executive Director of the company feels like a natural transition,” Paschal said. “I am beyond honored to have some of the best independent record stores in the country place their trust in me to be a voice for this valuable organization as well as independent retail as a whole, and I look forward to all the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”


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