The Academy of Country Music has hired and promoted staffers across several departments.
Maddy Stessman has been promoted to the new role of Director, Artist & Industry Relations, Board Administration & Governance. Joining the staff are Katie Ozel as Manager, Finance; Michael Stern as Office Manager for the Academy’s new Nashville office; Mallory Papa as Coordinator, Marketing & Social Media; Brittany Uhniat as Coordinator, Content & Creative; and Sally Bishop as Assistant, Marketing & Communications.
“We couldn’t be more excited to add so many passionate and enthusiastic members to our team, especially as we open the doors to our new headquarters office here in Nashville,” notes Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “The impact of these new and elevated staff members has already been felt at ACM Party for a Cause and ACM Honors and will continue to help bridge the sectors of our community and ensure a bright and successful future for the Academy, our members, and the country music industry.”
Originally from Petaluma, California, Stessman joined the Academy in fall 2016 as Assistant, Events, following an internship during the 50th ACM Awards in Texas. She has since held the titles Coordinator, Events, as well as Manager, Artist & Industry Relations, Board Administration & Governance with the organization.
In her role, Stessman will focus on building and developing relations across the ACM staff, Board of Directors, and the country music industry. She will also book artist visits at the new Nashville headquarters and serve as talent manager for select ACM and ACM Lifting Lives live events. Additionally, she will organize the Leadership Development and ACM Board election process while continuing to execute the Academy’s quarterly Board meetings.
Ozel joins the Academy after four years as a senior accountant at Asurion, where she led AP/AR processing, IT accounting migrations, training and onboarding for new accounting hires, invoicing, strategic planning, statements, and more. In her role, she will be performing AP/AR financial processes along with analyzing expense and budget reports, journal entries, and all other financial reporting as needed.
Born and raised in Palm City, Florida, Stern has worked at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and interned with the ACM’s Events team beginning in January 2022. After the 57th ACM Awards, he stayed on as an intern, assisting both the Events and Artist and Industry Relations teams. In his new role, Stern will manage logistics for the Academy’s Nashville headquarters, as well as assist with event operations for the ACM Awards, ACM Honors, ACM Party for a Cause, and ACM Board Meetings.
Originally from New Philadelphia, Ohio, Papa graduated from Ohio’s Bowling Green State University in 2020, then moved to Kentucky to work in digital marketing and advertising. She also worked as the social media manager for Imagine for Youth, the non-profit organization of Buffalo Bills’ Micah Hyde. In her role as Coordinator, Papa supports the Academy’s marketing department, managing daily publishing, media development and review, and community engagement across owned media channels, including social media and DSP channels.
Raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Uhniat attended Belmont University and began her career in the industry at Words and Music as a publishing administration coordinator. Before joining the Academy, she served as a creative coordinator at Resin8 Music. In her role as Coordinator, Uhniat will assist in scheduling and managing video shoots and other content productions. She will also assist with the day-to-day management of the Academy’s content platforms, including websites, quarterly membership magazine ACM TEMPO, and more.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Bishop attended college at the University of Cincinnati where she earned a degree in journalism. Bishop also holds certificates in Digital Broadcast News and Deaf Studies, and recently completed a nine-month internship with the ACM’s Content team, where she helped develop and produce the ACM Legends Lunch social content series. In her role as Assistant, Bishop will work with the Marketing and Communications teams on all day-to-day needs.
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