The Nashville-based Women’s Music Business Association celebrated the 2023 WMBA Wonder Woman Awards last Tuesday night (Dec. 5).
The evening honored standout members and alumni dedicated to WMBA’s mission of supporting women in the music industry, inspiring empowerment and fostering community and was hosted by Nashville’s Anzie Blue – the only women-owned music venue in Music City.
The award winners included Ellen Mundy Ford, Manager, Syndicated & Secondary Promotions, BBR Music Group/BMG Nashville. She took home the Warrior Award as a “woman of extraordinary strength, a true warrior who continues to persevere in times of adversity.” Michelle Barnett Wichern, Executive Assistant to CEO/Agent, The Kinkead Entertainment Agency, was awarded Rookie of The Year. This award is given to a “rising-star” leaving “an indelible mark on WMBA.”
Taylor Weatherby, Editor for Grammy.com/Digital Media Content, The Recording Academy, received the Unsung Hero Award as “a woman who humbly dominates behind-the-scenes in her career and extracurriculars” and “may fly under the radar but serves as a silent hero.” Adrea Castiano, CEO of Adrea Castiano, was given the Entertainer Award, which is given to “a singer and/or songwriter who is a force of nature” and “a luminary in WMBA and the entire music industry.”
Rhonda Forlaw Adkins, Founder of Rhonda & Company, took home the MAC Award as “a genuine advocate of women … using her platform to inspire, champion, and empower women for good both within and beyond the WMBA community.”
The night’s most illustrious honor went to the organization’s active President, Virginia P. Brick, Licensing Department Customer Service Representative at SESAC Music Group, who was named the 2023 Wonder Woman as an “exceptional member of WMBA who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for the organization,” and whose “unwavering commitment and substantial investment of time and energy have significantly expanded and enhanced WMBA’s impact.”
Standout moments included a surprise visit from many of Ford’s out-of-state friends and family who showed up minutes before she accepted the Warrior Award, and mom-to-be, artist Carolyn Miller and Entertainer Award recipient Castiano brought unforgettable energy as the night’s WWA performers. All awards were chosen by WMBA officers with the distinguished Wonder Woman award voted on by WMBA members.
Created and led by women, the membership organization is now celebrating 24 years of connecting women and making a difference, as it continues building networks that help more women thrive in music each year.
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