CMA Announces New Hires


Pictured (L-R) Top: Carolyn Szczurek, Mary Overend. Bottom: Krista Dial, Alina Thompson. Photos: Donn Jones/CMA & Christian Bottorff/CMA

The Country Music Association has announced the addition of Carolyn Szczurek as Senior Manager of Market Research; Mary Overend as Digital Marketing Manager; Krista Dial as Manager of Media Relations; and Alina Thompson as Marketing Coordinator.

Prior to joining CMA, Szczurek grew her passion for research at Synovate (now Ipsos), where she worked on a variety of ad hoc and tracking projects across a range of methodologies and industries. After four years on the supplier-side of research, Szczurek transitioned to the client-side managing both qualitative and quantitative research initiatives for Tribune Company and later for Chico’s FAS, Inc.

As the world of country music continues to evolve, we are committed to keeping our finger on the pulse of trends and presenting important information relevant to the industry and dedicated fans. Carolyn’s enthusiasm and experience are key assets to help our team continue accomplishing this,” said CMA Senior Director of Market Research Karen Stump.

Overend comes to CMA from Carter’s|OshKosh B’gosh where she served as eCommerce Marketing Coordinator, growing social media and email programs for both brands. Prior to that, she was Marketing Specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where she focused on non-profit marketing and fundraising efforts.

“Mary’s track record of success will help CMA continue to grow our digital audience as we find new ways to engage country fans,” said CMA Director of Digital Strategy Ben Bennett.

Dial joins CMA from The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, a historic preservation society, where she began as a volunteer and was hired as Festival Manager in 2014. Her team was responsible for producing Pumpkinfest, Dickens of a Christmas, and Main Street Festival in Franklin, Tenn.

“Krista has been one of our media volunteers since 2007, so her insight and familiarity with what we do has been very helpful,” said CMA Vice President of Corporate Communications Wendy Pearl. “She is a strong relationship builder, has valuable experience in media relations and event management, and has a clear passion for what CMA stands for.”

Before joining CMA, Thompson was part of the music strategy team at Country Music Television. Prior to that, she worked in radio promotions at Max Media in her hometown of Virginia Beach, Va.

“Alina’s industry experience brings valuable insight and a fresh perspective to our marketing initiatives,” said CMA Marketing Manager Amanda Haeffner. “We’re excited she has joined our department and know she will play a key role in accomplishing our goals as a team.”


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