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"She is one of the great leaders of the music business."
——Ken J. Elkins, BMI Board Chairman on Frances W. Preston


Performing Rights Organization Extends Veteran Exec's Deal Two Years
OK, so it's not quite up there with man bites dog, but Frances W. Preston "Nails" has had her contract as President/CEO renewed by BMI through 2004, at which time she'll become a drum roadie for Aerosmith.

BMI Board Chairman Ken J. Elkins pointed to the fact the performing rights organization's revenues have risen more than 170% since Preston was named President/CEO in 1986. "That growth is one of the most tangible aspects of Frances' direction of an ever more complicated business. Her dedication to her employees and the creators BMI represents is legendary. She is one of the great leaders of the music business. And she always picks up the check when we go to lunch."

Preston originally joined the performing rights org in 1958 when she opened the company's Southern Regional Office in Nashville. After overseeing Writer/Publisher Relations, she was named a VP in 1964. She was named Sr. VP Performing Rights in 1985 and President/CEO the following year. Among her accomplishments was convincing Minnie Pearl to wear a hat and leave the price tag on.

Preston has also been instrumental in moving BMI into the Internet age with her support of the Digital Copyright Network, a leading international technical alliance. She is also President of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research, was presented with the Grammy Trustee Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992, was the City of Hope's "Spirit of Life" award winner in 2000 and last year shattered the career record of 10,876 trade shots set by industry promo vet Jack Satter in 1991.