CMA Grows Strategic Partnership Department

The Country Music Association has hired Chris Epperly as Director of Strategic Partnerships, and Angela Mendenhall as Manager of Strategic Partnerships. Sheri Warnke, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, made today’s (1/6) announcement.

In the newly-created position of CMA Director of Strategic Partnerships, Chris Epperly will promote the Country Music format to companies and brands, develop marketing and promotional resources, and spearhead partnership development. With more than 10 years of related experience, he was previously VP, Brand Manager at North Carolina brand identity and advertising company Mirrus, Inc. Prior to that Epperly worked as Senior Manager at live entertainment company JHE Production Group, handling sponsorship and partnership revenues.

Returning full-time to CMA, Angela Mendenhall will develop and maintain strategic partnerships for all CMA assets, including CMA Music Festival, CMA Awards, and CMA Songwriter Series. Mendenhall joined CMA in 2005 as a Regional Partnership Manager, and was promoted to National Partnership Manager a year later. During a reorganization of the department, she became an independent contractor for CMA in 2009.

Mendenhall developed CMA’s long-standing relationship with Durango Boots, the 2008-2010 title partner of CMA Music Festival’s Acoustic Corner at Fan Fair® Hall as well as a CMA Awards promotional partner. She managed and built special programs for partners including Blue Bell Creameries, CMT, Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper, Field and Stream, GAC, McDonalds, Microsoft, RFD-TV, Sony PlayStation, and Wrangler. She also created and brought a variety of special events to CMA Music Festival including the Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge (2008-2010), CMA Celebrity Cook Off (2009), CMA Music Festival BBQ Championship (2009), and the K9 Ultimate Sports Show (2007-2010).


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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