Payne tappedto lead OSO

Gwyn Morris Payne has been named the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra's deputy chief executive officer. She will assume the job immediately.

Payne, who previously served as the symphony's general manager, has been with the OSO since 2000. Dan Griffith, who served as the symphony's executive director from 1984-1997 returned as CEO in 2014. He announced his retirement in May.

Griffith said the OSO governing board asked him if he would stay on in the position through 2020. He will be working on special projects and strategic visioning for the symphony throughout the rest of his tenure.

Payne said she is humbled by

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the trust the OSO has put in her. She has worn many hats for the organization and said she is excited to step into this newly-developed position.

"I feel very prepared to take on this new role," she said. "We have a great staff at the symphony. Working with Troy Quinn has been wonderful. He's a great guy, and he and I work great together."

Quinn, the symphony's music director and conductor, congratulated Payne on her new appointment and called her a trusted colleague and good friend.

"She has the respect of all constituents within the organization, and I know she will continue to build upon the momentum we have experienced over these past few years," Quinn said.

Payne will immediately assume all day-to-day management and resource development responsibilities in her new position.

She was hired by the symphony to take care of accounting, and soon after was asked to come on as a full-time staff member to manage the organization as well as continue the financial duties. In that way, she has been in the background for nearly 20 years helping the OSO move forward.

She has been with the symphony through many staff and physical changes, as she helped facilitate the organization's move from its 18th Street location to Second Street, where it currently resides. At that time, it was especially important to her to preserve the history of the symphony.

"I feel very fortunate because we have a very good foundation for the organization," Payne said, adding that the OSO is currently grounded and financially stable. "I feel like I've been a big part of that because of my involvement to this point. My goal is to remain steady, but I want to see the organization grow."

Payne was born and raised in Owensboro, where she and her husband, Bobby, currently still reside. She has three children, Clint, Mitchell and Abbey Morris, and three grandchildren, Logan, Luke and Lacey Morris.

Griffith said Payne is phenomenal and has so much experience under her belt with the symphony's donors, volunteers and vendors that she will be able to transition into her new position seamlessly.

"She has a great handle on the organization," he said. "She knows the ins and outs, really and truly, of the operation, and she will step right in and do a great job."

He said with Payne and Quinn at the helm, the OSO will continue moving forward.

Edna Barnes, OSO governing board chair, said that Payne's overall skill set and profile presented the best of all the candidates interviewed for the position "to replace Dan Griffith."

"She has leadership, management, fundraising, marketing and thinking skills," Barnes said. "We have no doubt that she will dive in headfirst to do all that is necessary to ensure that the day-to-day operations of the symphony are run in a most efficient manner."

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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