The Academy of Country Music has announced new hires and promotions across several departments.
Kris Reyes joins the Academy as Director, Finance & Operations. She has previous experience in Operations Accounting at TravelCenters of America, where she worked for the past two decades. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Reyes has an education in MicroComputer Applications and Business Management and received her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Phoenix.
Kortney Toney joins the Academy as Manager, Programming & Community Engagement. Toney has worked in the music industry in Nashville for more than a decade at Opry Entertainment Group, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and Weller Media Agency, among others. She serves as a Governor of the Recording Academy’s Nashville Chapter, has been named to the Unmanageable Board of Directors, is the former President of the Women’s Music Business Association, is an alumna of the Grammy Next program, serves on the TedX Women’s Steering Committee, and is an alumna of the inaugural Women’s Leadership Academy. Prior to joining the ACM, Toney served as a member of the inaugural ACM LEVel Up cohort, where she was instrumental in the launch of the OnRamp Program. Toney is originally from Huntsville, Alabama, and graduated from Lambuth University.
Libby Gardner has been promoted to Senior Manager, Content & Editorial. She joined the Academy full-time in 2019 as Coordinator, Creative & Content and was promoted to Manager, Content & Editorial in 2021. Gardner attended Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Television, Radio, and Film. Gardner is currently a member of SOLID’s Education Committee, a Music For Seniors Board Member, and the Events Co-Chair of the Women’s Music Business Association.
Jesse Knutson, a Seattle native with a background in TV News where he won multiple Emmy Awards, has been promoted to Senior Manager, Publicity & Media Relations. Knutson joined the Academy in January 2022 as Manager, Publicity & Media Relations and led the Academy’s publicity efforts for major live event tentpoles, including the innovative 57th and 58th ACM Awards on Prime Video, and the 15th ACM Honors show, as well as Academy and ACM Lifting Lives organizational and programmatic initiatives. Knutson previously served as a TV reporter at Nashville’s NewsChannel 5 (WTVF), Seattle’s KING 5, and Harrisburg, PA’s WHP-TV, and served as a producer at Los Angeles’ KNBC.
Haley Montgomery has been promoted to Senior Manager, Awards & Membership. She joined the Academy in 2020 as Manager, Awards & Membership after holding a variety of roles across the industry including brand partnerships, merchandise, brand development, touring, and industry relations. She is one of the founders of the Family Alliance in Music, which provides community and support to members of the industry who currently have families, serve as caretakers, or plan on building a family in the future.
A Nashville native, Taylor Wolf has been promoted to her new role, Senior Manager, ACM Lifting Lives. Wolf attended Pepperdine University in California where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She joined ACM Lifting Lives in February 2019 as Coordinator after working in the healthcare industry. Wolf was promoted to Manager of ACM Lifting Lives in 2020 and is currently serving her fourth term as Secretary of the ACM Lifting Lives Board.
Alexis Bingham has been promoted to Coordinator, Events after serving as Assistant, Events since 2021. Originally from Watkins Glen, New York, Bingham graduated from Ithaca College in December 2020, where she studied Communication, Management and Design. She was hired by the Academy as an Events intern and worked the 56th ACM Awards, 14th ACM Honors, and ACM Party for a Cause events before joining the staff full-time in October 2021.
“The past year has been a truly historic one for the Academy, with extending the ACM Awards partnership with Amazon and moving the show to the Dallas Cowboys’ world headquarters in Texas for its second year on Prime Video, bringing ACM Honors back to TV, moving our headquarters to Nashville and opening a world-class hub in Wedgewood Houston, and achieving record membership numbers for the Academy. The promotions announced today reflect the hard work that so many individuals put in to make the Academy stronger than it’s ever been,” says Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “Now that we’re firmly established in Nashville, we’re excited to continue to grow our team and support our staff to help fuel and further the momentum we built in 2022 and 2023 as we continue to work to further the genre, expand the audience and representation across the industry, and innovate as a leader in the country music space.”
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