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CIMS Executive Director Michael Bunnell To Retire

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(Hypebot) — Michael Bunnell, Executive Director of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) has announced that he will retire at the end of the year. Andrea Paschal, CIMS’ longtime General Manager, will succeed him.

Bunnell first assumed the Executive Director position in 2009.

He was a founding member of CIMS in 1995 and spent subsequent years either as a board member or as Chair of the Board until he was elected Executive Director in late 2008. As head of CIMS, he also has run ThinkIndie Distribution, which is solely owned by CIMS. He has been on the board of Record Store Day, helping to manage that organization with the leaders of the Department of Record Stores and Alliance of Independent Media Stores.

Bunnell is also the founder and owner of The Record Exchange in Boise, Idaho, with his wife Jil Sevy. With his retirement from CIMS, Bunnell plans to devote more time to the family-run store he opened 42 years ago.

“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.”

“The independent stores remain the heart and soul of this industry, and it’s where the true believers still reside. 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.”

His successor Paschal has worked closely with Bunnell to grow the coalition and keep CIMS at the forefront of the independent retail sector.

“After the past decade of working alongside Michael as the General Manager of CIMS and ThinkIndie Distribution, 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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