Americana Music Association Announces Promotions, New Staff

The Americana Music Association has made several appointments and promotions to its Nashville-based staff, it was announced today (6/27) by AMA executive director Jed Hilly.

Danna Strong, currently the AMA’s Director of Operations, will add Conference Producer to her title. Michelle Aquilato has been named Director of Marketing. Whitney Holmes has been named Operations Coordinator. Two Dog Media’s Kim Fowler has been retained to handle the AMA’s publicity efforts.

Danna Strong

“These appointments truly reflect the growing significance of our genre and the health of what is clearly a resurgent and vital music business landscape,” said Hilly. “Our membership has gone up 30% in the last year, the number of artist submissions to perform at our festival is at an all-time high, and the caliber of our conference panels rivals any event I have ever attended. Danna, Michelle, Whitney and Kim’s commitment to Americana will only help us service our artists and fans even better.”

Strong initially began working with the AMA by volunteering at the organization’s founding meeting, before it was named. She became a full-time employee in 2003 and was instrumental in building the non-profit’s infrastructure. Strong now manages daily operations and oversees all aspects of the Americana Music Conference.

In Aquilato’s new role, she will oversee all of the AMA’s marketing, social media, and radio station relations, including management of the Americana Airplay Chart. She has 25 years experience in the industry, including 15 in Sales & Marketing at Sony Music in Los Angeles. Most recently, she managed day-to-day operations for Jim Lauderdale.

Holmes initially began as an intern before serving as the AMA’s Administrative Assistant for two years. She also serves as coordinator for the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest and as a sales associate for Ernest Tubb Record Shops. In her new role, she will provide operational support for staff and members.

Fowler opened her publicity firm in 2007 after eight years with Sugar Hill Records where she worked with artists including Dolly Parton, Nickel Creek, Tim O’Brien, Guy Clark and more.

The annual Americana Music Festival and Conference is scheduled for September 12-15, 2012 in Nashville, TN. Nominees were recently announced for the Americana Honors & Awards show, which takes place September 12 at the Ryman Auditorium.


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