In Pictures: Country Music Association Hosts CMA EDU Summit In Nashville

The 2019 CMA EDU Summit Sunday, July 20 – Tuesday, July 23 at the CMA offices in Nashville. Photo: Hunter Berry/CMA

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 includes 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. 

(L-R): Cindy Watts (Tennessean Country Music reporter), Caylee Hammack (Universal Music Group Nashville artist), Mary Hilliard Harrington (Red Light Management Senior Manager and CMA Board President Elect), Cindy Mabe (UMG Nashville President), Sarah Trahern (CMA Chief Executive Officer) and Cyndi Forman (Universal Music Publishing Group Vice President Creative) gather following a panel discussion at the CMA EDU Executive Summit at the CMA office in Nashville. Photo: Hunter Berry/CMA

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.


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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected].

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