The Association of Artist Managers (AAM)’s Leanne de Souza has stepped down from her role as Executive Director.

The peak body representing artist managers in Australia announced the news today, offering thanks to de Souza for her role in developing programs such as the Manager’s Sanctuary at Bigsound and Fairgrounds, Music Passport, Fast Track and Gimme Shelter.

“We are so grateful for Leanne’s hard work, dedication, leadership and friendship over the past three years and wish her all the best in her future endeavours. A replacement will be announced in due course,” read the official statement.

Leanne de Souza wrote the following letter of gratitude for the role, which she was tapped for in 2016 as part of a three year strategic plan. In the letter she announces her plans to join Nightlife Music, “[…] Now the time is right for me to focus my energy, skills and abilities to benefit our family business as a company director.”

leanne-de-souza 2019
Credit: David Kapernick

Read de Souza’s letter of farewell in full below:

In October 2016, I was invited to facilitate a 3-year strategic plan for the AAM. I had had a break from the music industry following a 20+ year career as an artist manager.  I relished the opportunity to lead the AAM, the peak industry organisation for artist managers, through a period of strategic growth and advocate to protect, promote and develop artist managers.  Managers, with their artists, are the very core of the music industry and it has been an honour to give a few years’ service to those who were previously my peers.

The time has come for me to move on and focus on my studies and new professional horizons.  I have been helping the leadership team at Nightlife Music for 25 years and now the time is right for me to focus my energy, skills and abilities to benefit our family business as a company director.

It has been a privilege for the past 2.5 years to serve the artist management community and the greater Australian music industry.

As I step aside, I would like to take a moment and express my gratitude to a few folks. To Rick Chazan, Greg Carey and Tom Harris as the Executive Management thanks for always being there to hear me out and support the big visions that kept coming for building capacity for the AAM. To the regular AAM board members across my tenure: Bill Cullen; Catherine Haridy; Dan Medland; Claire Collins; Maggie Collins; Alastair Burns; Renee Williamson; Monique Rothstein and Buzz Bidstrup – thank you for your support and encouragement through an intense period of growth in programs and advocacy.

The AAM’s growth has not been possible without the staff team. Leonie Yeoman as our membership and administrative whizz, Brie Jorgenson’s grant writing prowess and the addition of the program management experience and integrity of Trina Massey in 2019 – thank you all for everything!!!

Thank you to every member of the organisation. Every idea and decision always had the 300+ of you at its heart.  Management is the toughest gig with the least amount of professional development, resources and care given to it. I am most proud of the highest member retention in the organisation’s history and the peer support networks and programs now in place and in the pipeline.  You all deserve it and remember to stay curious, transparent and ethical – you all rock and are some of the best operators globally, I am told often.

It is business as usual for the short term with the AAM programs and activities in the very capable hands of Trina and Leonie. I’ll be retreating back from the frontline of the music business (again!) and the AAM will continue to go from strength to strength under the board’s leadership in coming months. 

You’ll find me when you need me on social media platforms and the world wide web.

Thanks everyone!

Leanne de Souza

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