May 31-June 3, 2018
Robin Cooper selected to lead Great American Brass Band Festival
After a search that drew candidates from numerous states, the Great American Brass Band Festival (GABBF) is pleased to announce the selection of Robin Cooper as its new executive director. A Casey County native and 2002 graduate of Centre College, Cooper impressed the search committee with her broad professional experience, strong organizational skills, and attention to detail.
Cooper will begin her new role on September 25, and she’s eager to begin planning for the 29th annual festival, scheduled for May 31 to June 3, 2018.
The hiring process was chaired by Michael Strysick, now past president of GABBF, and the search committee included Denise Van Steenlandt, Carla Carr, Bruce Richardson, Tony Gray, and Tom Tye, along with the acting executive director, Kay Berggren.
Bruce Richardson, the new president of the board of directors, has known Cooper since she was a student at Centre, and says he’s “confident that she possesses the talents needed to work with the myriad volunteers, businesses, and attendees who have made our international event successful for over 25 years.”
Richardson cited her background in the arts, coupled with her leadership skills and her knowledge of the local community, which, he said, “will certainly help her move quickly into this important leadership role.”
Berggren, who was on the original board of directors formed in the early 1990s and also ran the festival for two years, echoed this confidence.
“Robin will, quite simply, walk right into the hearts of everyone who already loves this festival. Her quiet confidence and strong leadership will build upon the firm foundation established by Niki Kinkade, George Foreman, and others before her.”
Cooper’s impressive background includes work as a Congressional intern, volunteer service at both the 2000 and 2012 vice presidential debates hosted by Centre College, and various roles at Indian Hills Christian Church.
She began her career as a compliance auditor at Farmers National Bank, but also found time to teach dance, both at the Community Arts Center and the Steppin’ Out Studio in Stanford. After a similar compliance role at Whitaker Bank, she returned to Farmers as an assistant vice president. Most recently, she has served as director of compliance for the Compliance Resource consultancy.
“The Great American Brass Band Festival is a perfect representation of the spirit of our city,” Cooper said. “Our community comes together in our historic downtown and at beautiful Centre College to celebrate music, art, and fellowship between friends, neighbors, and visitors.”
Cooper said that she attended her first festival more than 20 years ago, adding that it’s now “a beloved tradition for my own family.”
Cooper and her husband, Keith, have lived in Danville for 15 years and have two children.