The Country Music Association has announced five staff additions: Kevin Coffey as Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships; Courtney Ledford as Senior Manager of Market Research; Chris Harrington as Manager of Event Ticketing; Angela Roland as Awards and Industry Relations Assistant; and Kathy Gillihan as Administrative Assistant/Receptionist.
Coffey’s experience includes corporate account management for artist brand endorsements and digital marketing, as well as extensive merchandising experience. Coffey has shepherded multi-year partnership agreements with a multitude of companies, including Fortune 500 brands that have executed marketing campaigns in more than 40 countries.
As Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Coffey will be responsible for introducing corporate brands to the country music consumer and to CMA in order to support CMA’s mission of growing country music around the world. He will focus on innovative business development for CMA and the country music industry overall to generate strategic partnerships and marketing initiatives through various CMA events. Coffey will lead the ideation, development, and execution for key partnership marketing campaigns.
“Given his diverse range of experience, we are excited to add Kevin to our Strategic Partnerships team, particularly given his experience with worldwide digital marketing efforts,” said Emily Evans, Director of Strategic Partnerships. “The partnerships space continues to evolve beyond the exchange of physical assets to more digital and social assets, so Kevin’s knowledge and innovative ideas will significantly impact the growth of our partnerships at CMA.”
Ledford joins CMA on the heels of five years in San Francisco working in the technology industry. Most recently, she held the position of Data Operations Manager for a technology start-up that crowdsourced data for consumer product goods clients. In this role, Ledford was responsible for managing research projects from inception to insight delivery for clients such as Kraft and Proctor & Gamble.
Ledford holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University and an undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University. Ledford will be responsible for developing and managing industry-specific research initiatives in support of CMA strategic priorities and uncovering actionable insights about the country music audience and their consumption of music across the growing array of platforms and choices.
“Courtney’s combination of technology, data analytics, and overall research experience is the right mix of skills to add to the CMA Research team at this time,” said Karen Stump, Senior Director of Consumer Research. “As music consumers continue to rapidly adopt new technology and platforms for music consumption, broader methods for assessing their choices and usage is key. Courtney’s combined background in innovative research methods and technology will add value to the research projects undertaken by CMA in the future.”
Harrington has worked in the sports and entertainment field for 12 years with stops with the Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators. He began his career in guest services management before moving into sales and spending his last five years in ticket operations management. Harrington is a graduate of Marymount University in Arlington, Va. with a degree in Business Management and Communications.
Harrington will be responsible for managing event ticketing for all CMA events including but not limited to CMA Music Festival, CMA Awards, CMA Country Christmas, and CMA Songwriters Series shows. He will also be responsible for fan interaction when it comes to ticketed events.
“Chris is a perfect addition to the CMA Live Events team and complements our commitment to deliver events of the highest standard,” said Chris Crawford, Senior Director of Live Events. “Over the years we have had the opportunity to work closely with Chris. His understanding of consumer relations and ticketing expertise will be invaluable to maintaining that standard for future CMA events.”
Roland comes to CMA from Buddy Lee Attractions where she worked as an Agent Assistant. Prior career experience includes working at Conway Entertainment Group as well as an eight-year stint at Crew One Productions as Operations and Business Manager. She will be assisting in the general responsibilities of the department, including day-to-day membership communication, member recruitment, and industry outreach.
“Angela has an extensive background in the industry and possesses the energy and passion we need to aggressively evaluate our member needs within the organization,” said Brandi Simms, Senior Director of Awards and Industry Relations. “We are all very excited to have Angela join us.”
Gillihan comes to CMA with more than 10 years experience in administration and management. Gillihan will serve as the first point of public interaction for CMA, answering phones and greeting and directing visitors. Her responsibilities will include providing administrative support to the Manager of Operations and the finance team year round as well as supporting the Manager of Operations with logistics of CMA staff events. She will be responsible for securing and managing Finance and Administration interns as well as other various accounting duties.
“We are so fortunate to have Kathy as our first point of contact at CMA,” said Melissa Maynard, CMA Operations Manager. “As a native Nashvillian she brings a knowledge and understanding of our city and Country Music that can’t be taught. She knows how this industry impacts our community and has seen it evolve over the years, and brings a tremendous understanding to the administration side of her position having worked as an administrator for an assisted living company for six years and also working for a local plastic surgeon. Her refreshing demeanor is an asset to CMA reception.”
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