After 17 years guiding the U.K.’s Association of independent Music (AIM), Alison Wenham is stepping down as chair and CEO of the trade body to assume a new global role as CEO of the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN).
Wenham’s decision ushers in a new era for the decade-old WIN, which was created in response to business, creative and market access issues faced globally by the independent music business.
The British exec founded AIM in 1999; is a founding board member of IMPALA; she helped set up AIM’s U.S.-focused sister organization, the American Assn. of Independent Music; and has served as the inaugural president of WIN, which was unveiled at the MIDEM trade fair in January 2006. In 2010, Wenham was honored with an OBE.
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“As the music marketplace becomes ever more global it is time for the worldwide independent music community to focus its collective attention on the big issues affecting all of us,” Wenham says in a statement issued today. “I am extraordinarily proud of our achievements at AIM, which I know will continue to effectively represent and help the U.K.’s independent music companies, but I am relishing the challenge of taking on this new position at WIN and representing our sector on a global level. The music industry continues to evolve at a pace and it is vital that our membership has a voice and a place at the top table when decisions affecting the livelihoods of independent music companies and the artists they represent are being decided.”
Martin Mills, chairman of the Beggars Group and one of the original founders of AIM, paid tribute to Wenham as “a force of nature in the growth of AIM, to the extent that it is impossible to imagine the U.K. record industry without it.”
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Now the hunt is on for a new CEO to head-up AIM, which represents the interests of more than 850 independent music companies based in the U.K. WIN will then become a standalone trade association and will be based in London. Until now, WIN had not been allocated its own infrastructure, dedicated staff or resources but had been administered by AIM as an informal umbrella organization for the global indie trade association community.
“Happily,” adds Mills, “AIM has grown to the point where with the identification of a new chief executive and the continuing work of its experienced and skilled management and staff, we can be confident in its continuing success and growth as a core member of WIN.”