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Leah Ross

Executive Director,
Birthplace of Country Music
Bristol, VA, USA
Leah Ross is the Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. Over the past 15 years, Ross has played an integral role in the development and growth of Bristol establishing its identity as the birthplace of country music. From serving as a Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion volunteer during the first Festival in 2001 to becoming the executive director of the Festival in 2005, Ross’ dynamic vision and creativity led the Festival to become the region’s largest annual three-day event, which now has over 45,000 attendees annually.

In 2011, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance merged, and Ross was named executive director. Today, Ross continues to lead the Birthplace of Country Music team that oversees the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, and Radio Bristol.

Prior to leading the efforts at the Birthplace of Country Music, Ross worked extensively at Waste Management and Wellmont Health Systems. Ross is very involved in the local community serving on the Board of the Directors for the International Bluegrass Music Association, Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Virginians for the Arts, and Virginia’s Crooked Road.

Over the years Ross has also been honored with a number of awards, including, the Service Award for the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau, a recipient of the YWCA Tribute to Women for the Arts award, and a graduate of International Bluegrass Music Association Leadership Class to name a few.

Ross was born and raised in Lebanon, Virginia, and has been married to her husband John for over 40 years. She has two children, Marc and Sally Ann, and four grandchildren, who are truly the light of her life. Leah’s favorite quote is, “Hard work never killed anyone,” and she is proof that with a lot of hard work, passion, and enthusiasm you can truly achieve your dreams.