Catching Up With Industry Veteran Pete Fisher [Interview]
Over the course of his 35-year career in the entertainment industry, Pete Fisher has held multiple positions and developed strong relationships in various facets, leading him to his current roles as Entertainment Industry Consultant at full-service financial and lifestyle management firm Valiant Wealth, and President of Fisher Entertainment Consulting (FEC).
Fisher started in the music business as an intern at the Warner Chappell/Warner Reprise publishing joint-venture WarnerSongs, Inc. during his senior year at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). He was later hired on as Director of Creative Services of the joint-venture. His responsibilities included negotiating songwriter agreements, copyright administration, and song-plugging, as well as artist and songwriter development. As a publisher based at a record label, he also gained experience in A&R coordination.
He then moved over to artist management, partnering with Creative Trust to form Fisher Raines Entertainment. Fisher managed artists Carolyn Arends, Marcus Hummon, and Paul Brandt before joining the Grand Ole Opry as its General Manager in 1999.
During his nearly 18 years at the Grand Ole Opry, Fisher oversaw oversaw all of the iconic venue’s activities, including the inductions of Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, and more. He also helped to produce the Opry’s television and radio specials.
In January of 2017, Fisher left the Opry and moved to California to serve as CEO of the Academy of Country Music. He led strategic planning for ACM and oversaw projects across all departments. He also organized events including the 52nd-54th Annual ACM Awards, and produced the televised ceremonies.
After exiting his post at ACM in May of 2019, it was important to Fisher that he evaluate his passions before entering the next phase of his career.
“I’m a person who believes passion is what fuels us in our work. Being well-aligned with what your passionate about has a lot to do with success. The most successful times in my career [took place] when I was having the most fun,” he shares.
Helping individuals and organizations realize their full potential and purpose in life is the first passion Fisher is pumping into this new chapter, something he has been able to do through his work with Valiant Wealth.
He moved back to Nashville in late 2019 and joined the Valiant team as their Entertainment Industry Consultant in 2020. He has since used the relationships he’s developed throughout his career to connect the music and television industries with Valiant’s variety of services such as investment planning; asset management; tax, legal and personal accounting integration; estate planning; private asset ventures; philanthropy and charitable giving; risk management; and customized concierge services.
“It’s been super rewarding to introduce folks both inside and outside of the entertainment industry to Valiant and the work that they do,” Fisher states.
He has played a crucial part in identifying private equity opportunities, a unique service Valiant provides. These opportunities help to solve problems within fields such as entertainment and apparel. It was Fisher who notably connected production campus Worldwide Stages in Spring Hill, Tennessee with the Valiant private equity team, which resulted in the acquisition and renovation of the 38-acre, 330,000 sq. ft. facility, helping to reduce the shortage of suitable spaces for rehearsal and production. Worldwide Stages has now hosted many of the biggest names in music and television. In addition to uniting the facility with Valiant, Fisher currently sits on Worldwide Stages’ Board of Directors.
He’s also connected Valiant with Bespoke Manufacturing Company in Phoenix, Arizona, which makes on-demand apparel manufacturing sustainable, scalable, and profitable, assisting the apparel industry in shifting to a more environment-friendly model.
His passion for helping others achieve their goals also radiates through his work within his own firm, Fisher Entertainment Consulting, through which he personally manages his daughter-in-law, author and artist Jessica Willis Fisher, who recently released her memoir Unspeakable: Surviving My Childhood and Finding My Voice.
His work with Jessica also flows into the next passion fueling Fisher, which is telling meaningful stories through music, television, and film. He began storytelling through song in the early stages of his career, and is now dabbling in storytelling through cinema.
“I love how stories can be told through different [forms of] media,” he says.
Currently, Fisher is working on a feature film about the “rowdy and romantic” life and love story of Little Jimmy and Mona Dickens alongside his production partner Ken Carpenter. He got to know Little Jimmy, who passed away in 2015, during his time with the Opry. Fisher and his wife, Hope, have maintained a close relationship with Mona over the years. He hopes to go into full film production in 2023.
The third passion charging the industry veteran’s current career stage is using his experiences and relationships to help philanthropic organizations. Fisher has served as a leader and member of multiple boards. He served as Chairman of MTSU’s Board of Trust from 2015 to 2018. He was founding board member of Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley‘s organization The Store, which operates year-round as a grocery store that allows people to shop for basic needs free-of-charge. He has also served on boards for the Recording Academy, ACM Lifting Lives, Leadership Music, Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund, and MusiCares.
Presently, Fisher serves as Chairman and President of the Scott Hamilton Cares Foundation, which seeks to be a liaison between researchers and organizations to increase the advancement of clean treatments for isolated cancers. He is also a Music Heals International board member.
Working with Valiant and forming FEC has allowed Fisher to combine these three passions while expanding his knowledge on the wealth management part of entertainment.
“As you get older, you rely more on doing things that you love to do—really love to do— with people you love. I’m fortunate to find myself still making a living doing the things I love to do.”
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