NASHVILLE — The Country Music Association hosted its sixth annual CMA EDU Executive Summit in Nashville July 21-23. Leadership officers of CMA EDU collegiate chapters are invited each year to attend the two-and-a-half-day event, which exposes college students to the Country Music industry through professional development and networking opportunities.
CMA EDU stretches across 14 universities nationwide with thousands of collegiate members. This year’s summit welcomed 48 members from 11 chapters, representing Belmont University, Clemson University, North Carolina State University, University of Alabama, University of Central Florida, University of South Carolina, University of Miami, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Southern Indiana, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Vanderbilt University.
Attendees participated in several trainings on topics ranging from communications and brand management to teamwork and conflict led by CMA Foundation Executive Director Tiffany Kerns, CMA EDU Coordinator Kate Kaltenbach, CMA Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships Emily Evans and Noteflight Managing Director John Mlynczak. Both current CMA EDU officers and alumni enjoyed a mixer and welcome reception, featuring a performance by CMA KixStart artist Jameson Rodgers. Students learned the ins and outs of the industry while building their network. CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern welcomed the students and provided a look into the history of CMA, as well as her own personal career path. Tree Vibez Music stopped by to talk about songwriting and publishing in a panel featuring General Manager Leslie DiPiero, Songwriter/Producer Corey Crowder, Tour Manager/Creative Director Adam Romaine, and Creative Director Emily Peacock.
Music industry leadership group SOLID (Society Of Leaders In Development) partnered with CMA EDU again this year to host a summer networking mixer at BMI, which closed with a keynote address from duo Thompson Square.
CMA EDU alumni spoke about their transition from college into the industry, which featured Old Dominion Production Assistant Anna Blake Atkinson, Warehouse West Entertainment Creative Manager Samantha Gutman, and Spotify Global Strategic Marketing Coordinator Siri Yelamanchili.
Monument Records artist Teddy Robb performed an acoustic set and participated in a Q&A session. Monument Records Senior Vice President of Marketing and Operations Katie McCartney and Monument Records Marketing Manager Nathan Pyle led an interactive workshop offering industry perspective to students. The students also engaged in a conversation with Joe’s Bar Co-Owner/Promoter and CMA Board Member Ed Warm, in addition to giving presentations and engaging in strategic planning for the upcoming academic year.
Tennessean Country Music reporter Cindy Watts closed out this year’s summit, moderating an artist panel featuring Universal Music Group Nashville artist Caylee Hammack, UMG Nashville President Cindy Mabe, Red Light Management Senior Manager and CMA Board President-Elect Mary Hilliard Harrington and Universal Music Publishing Group Vice President Creative Cyndi Forman.
About the Country Music Association
Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association is the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. More than 7,600 music industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which annually recognize outstanding achievement in the industry; CMA Fest, which benefits the CMA Foundation and music education and is taped for a three-hour network television special, “CMA Fest”; and “CMA Country Christmas." All of CMA’s television properties air on the ABC Television Network.
For more information on CMA EDU, visit cmaworld.com/cma-edu/.
Lisa Valentine, CMA
Communications Project Manager