Your Barbershop Elevator Speech

Posted by Alan Lamson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on June 20, 2011, 7:00 AM


Click this link to read my column from the May/June issue of The Harmonizer. In it, I discuss the concept of an “elevator speech” or an “elevator pitch.” It’s a business term for having a quick and impactful way to explain who you are and what you do to a total stranger — one that could take place in less than the length of a ride in an elevator. (Explanations and examples from the business world are here, here and here.)

In my column I discussed how wearing the pin at the left (get your own here) has helped me and members of many chapters start conversations about barbershop harmony and about their chapters. People see the pin and want an explanation. The natural next step is to know what you are going to say to them in response. Here’s your opportunity to share and refine your own!

What’s yours? Share it here!

Do you have any other successful conversation starters? Any other openers for sharing the message of barbershop harmony with friends and strangers alike? Share them here, too!

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Larry Deters appointed as Society Interim Organizational Manager

Posted by Lorin May | Posted in In the news, Uncategorized | Posted on June 17, 2011, 2:48 PM


Larry Deters (center) was introduced to Society staff in Nashville on Friday, June 17. With Larry are Society President Alan Lamson (left) and retiring Society CEO Ed Watson.













Society President Alan Lamson has announced the appointment of Larry Deters as the Interim Organizational Manager of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Beginning Monday, June 20, Larry will work in tandem with Ed Watson until Friday, July 15, Ed’s final day as Society Executive Director/CEO. (Ed announced his resignation on March 28, 2011.) As Interim Organizational Manager, Larry will direct all the day-to-day activities of Society staff and will assist in the transition to a permanent CEO/Executive Director, who will likely begin work before the end of 2011.

Larry is a resident of Brentwood, TN and is currently the Executive Vice President of the Dixie District. He provides a wealth of experience as a barbershopper and as a professional executive. A 41-year member of the Society, Larry has been a member of four districts and has held many chapter offices, including music director, Music VP and Chapter Development VP. He has also been district VP-Chorus Director Development and VP-Contest and Judging.

A 30-year member of the contest and judging community in Singing and the former Sound category, Larry was a member of the category’s board of review, a category specialist and a member of the Society Contest & Judging Committee. He has also performed on the International stage in both the quartet and chorus contests and holds a chorus gold medal. Larry has judged more than 100 contests, including six at the International level plus an additional three Harmony, Inc. international contests.

Larry has been on the faculty of Harmony University, is a certified Standing Ovation evaluator, and is a certified CDWI instructor.

Prior to his retirement, Larry was employed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, concluding his career with 15 years service as Medical Center Director in Nashville, TN, with oversight of 1,200 employees and an annual budget of $380 million. He also spent three years as Mid-South Region Medical District Director (CEO) of seven hospitals and 14 outpatient clinics, with responsibility for 12,000 employees and an annual budget of $1.5 billion.

“We are extremely fortunate to have a person with such outstanding barbershop and professional credentials for the interim position,” said Lamson. “Larry is excited by the opportunity to serve our Society and he already lives in the Greater Nashville area. His service will allow the Society Board and the search committee to focus on recruiting our new CEO, knowing the staff functions of our Society are in very capable hands during this transition period.”

Job requirements for the new CEO have been drafted and are pending approval by the Society board during its July meetings at the 2011 International Convention in Kansas City. Soon thereafter, a CEO Search Committee will likely be appointed, which will release further details about the CEO search.

Larry can be reached at



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