Buffkin / Baker Recruits President for the Music Business Association

September 3, 2019 – Executive recruitment firm Buffkin / Baker has recruited respected industry veteran Portia Sabin as the new president of the Music Business Association (Music Biz). The organization’s current longtime president James Donio will be stepping down from the post, but will continue in an advisory role. Tom Truitt, a partner and head of the entertainment practice, led the assignment.

“We are excited to have Portia coming on board,” said Music Biz board chairman Matt Signore. “She is a thought leader in the industry and has her finger on the pulse of important issues facing our community. From spearheading the creation of the A2IM Libera Awards to starting a podcast to educate musicians and others, Portia has been a strong advocate for the music business as a whole.”

“Her extensive experience serving on several national boards, including A2IM, the RIAA, and the Recording Academy, will add to her effectiveness as president of the association,” he said. “We are looking forward to benefiting from her leadership and vision as the organization moves forward.”

Dr. Sabin started her career in music as the drummer in New York City pop-punk band the Hissyfits before she launched artist management company, Shotclock Management, before taking over the reins at indie label Kill Rock Stars in 2006.

In 2014, she launched the music business-focused podcast The Future of What, which showcases the efforts of people in the music industry who help artists succeed in the digital era and the business side of being an artist. In addition, Dr. Sabin serves as chair of the board for trade organization MusicPortland and the original Portland Rock’n’Roll Camp for Girls.

“I am looking forward to embracing this new challenge,” said Dr. Sabin. “I’ve been very impressed with how the Music Biz conference has become a hub for the important discussions that need to be taking place in the industry, and I am excited to be joining an organization that embraces all aspects of the community. I am grateful to Jim for building such a strong foundation and am confident he’ll be just as successful in his future endeavors.”

Related: Alexander Whitehead Places Artistic Director at Arts Club Theater 

“I wish Portia the best in her new adventure and look forward to working with everyone to help the organization continue to grow and prosper,” said Mr. Donio.


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The Music Business Association is a not-for-profit membership organization that advances, promotes and invests in the future of the music business by providing a forum for ideas and cooperation. Through events, education and engagement, the organization brings together the full breadth of the industry for access to networking, resources and thought leadership.

A Specialty Boutique Firm

Buffkin / Baker is a specialty boutique search firm composed of industry leaders in their respective fields and each has over a decade of retained search experience. Its focus is to recruit leaders in digital marketing/advertising, technology, healthcare, media/entertainment, finance, higher education and non-profit. The firm serves public, private, venture and private equity-backed companies. Its office locations include Nashville, TN; New York; Washington, D.C.; and Winston-Salem, NC, with affiliate offices in London.

Buffkin / Baker is a member of Panorama Search, an international federation of retained firms with 18 firms and over 30 offices globally. Buffkin / Baker formed in 2017 with the merger of the Buffkin Group and Baker and Associates LLC.

Mr. Truitt, who is based in the firm’s Nashville office, focuses on senior-level executive placements in all areas of entertainment companies with emphasis on music, technology and production related enterprises. In this role, he brings 19 years of executive recruitment experience and relationships throughout the world. Previously, Mr. Truitt founded and ran his own boutique search firm called MusicRowSearch.

Related: Isaacson, Miller Finds Seventh President for Juilliard

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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