National Museum Of African American Music Adds Four Staffers

The National Museum of African American Music has added four new employees, Marlyncia Pierce, Alaya Howard, Shelly Surdoval and Russell Henley, to its growing staff ahead of the museum’s opening later this year in Nashville.

Marlyncia Pierce has been named marketing communications manager at NMAAM. In her role, Pierce will manage NMAAM’s communication and marketing strategies as it gears up for its public opening. Pierce comes to NMAAM from Bounce TV, where she oversaw sponsorship implementation and commercial ad trafficking for accounts such as McDonald’s, AT&T, and Walmart. Originally from Atlanta, Pierce earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a certificate in New Media Design from the University of Georgia.

Alaya Howard has been named event sales manager at NMAAM. Howard will work to ensure that all special events will provide a truly immersive “Music City” experience. Howard comes to NMAAM from the world of corporate event planning and management. She studied mass communications at Middle Tennessee State University and is a Nashville native.

Shelly Surdoval has been named marketing assistant at NMAAM. In her new role, Surdoval will assist in NMAAM’s marketing efforts, and coordinate communications with talent and music industry stakeholders. Prior to joining NMAAM, Surdoval worked at McGhee Entertainment, where she helped with day-to-day management of Darius Rucker, CeCe Winans and others. Most recently, she worked as client services team coordinator for Tri Star Sports and Entertainment Group. The Nashville native earned her B.A. degree in psychology at University of Tennessee–Knoxville.

Russell Henley has been named IT director at NMAAM. In this role, Henley will be responsible for programming and maintaining the museum’s business systems, information security and other components. Henley brings over 25 years of expertise in IT, of which the last eight were spent in the tourism industry serving one of the largest attractions in the Southeast.

“Each of our newest staff additions brings great talent to NMAAM,” said NMAAM President and CEO Henry Beecher Hicks, III. “We are proud to attract some of the best professionals in the business, who understand the importance of having an institution like NMAAM in Nashville.”

Set to open in Fall 2020, the National Museum of African American Music will be the only museum dedicated solely to preserving African American music traditions and celebrating the central role African Americans have played in shaping American music.



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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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