By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
A new chairman is leading the Asbury Park Music Foundation.
James Lenskold, owner of the Lenskold Group a financial marketing firm at 601 Bangs Ave., was named chairman by the Board of Directors in July. He has been serving on the board since January. He replaces Tom Gilmour, former chairman of the board, who now works in Trenton.
Lenskold explained that the board decided to do away with the position of executive director after former director Matthew Hockenjos left.
After he began volunteering for the organization other board members realized that they needed someone who was business oriented and asked him to step in.
“They were looking for someone with a business background; for that strength, to help straighten out the underlying operations,” he said.
As a marketing expert with 20 years experience, Lenskold, who has an MBA from Rutgers, seemed like a good fit.
Lenskold said he was tasked with recruiting new staff and said things are working well.
“It’s all coming together beautifully,” he said. “We have a couple of new board members.”
The new chairman values the original ideals of the foundation; bringing music education to young people, preserving the history of music in the city and bringing new people to the city but also wants to grow the music programs for city youth.
“I want to see more music education and get other kids involved. These kids will make memories that last forever,” he said. “Music saved my life is the theme right?”
He said as a high school student in Barnegat he frequently traveled to Asbury Park to see bands.
After moving his office here he started going to events and found himself attending more and more frequently.
“I’ve seen it evolve,” he said.
The APMF moved into its current location on Lake Avenue in November after a two year fundraising effort.
Lenskold said the new building has the potential for room rentals as well as space for music instruction.
Although Lenskold does not play an instrument himself, he considers his position as a fan to be just as important.
“I represent the music fans,” he said laughing.