8th Annual NATD Honors Gala Set For November 7

The Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) has announced six highly-respected honorees who will be recognized at the 8th Annual NATD Honors Gala scheduled for November 7, 2018, at the Hermitage Hotel. Tickets for the gala can be purchased here.

Honorees being awarded for their accomplishments and service to the Nashville entertainment industry include: Country Music Hall of Fame member and Grand Ole Opry star Bill Anderson, legendary CAA agent Stan Barnett, award-winning Christian band MercyMe, Variety Attractions’ George Moffett, President & CEO of TPAC Kathleen O’Brien, legendary APA agent Ray Shelide.

The gala will begin with a reception at 6:00 PM, followed by dinner and the awards ceremony. For tickets and sponsorship information, visit www.nashvilletalentdirectors.com.

About Bill Anderson
Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry titan Bill Anderson is the rare songwriter whose first major label cut went to No. 1 on the charts, was named Song of The Year and sparked a writing career that is currently in its seventh decade. The song, “City Lights,” was written when Anderson was a 19-year old Georgia disc jockey and became a career-defining hit for Ray Price in 1958. The song opened doors for him in Nashville, leading him to signing with BMI and Tree Publishing. Anderson was far from a one-hit wonder. He followed “City Lights” with country standards like “Tips Of My Fingers,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Once A Day,” “Saginaw, Michigan,” “That’s What It’s Like To Be Lonesome,” “I Missed Me,” “Cold Hard Facts Of Life,” which earned him another GRAMMY nomination, “Mama Sang A Song,” the crossover smash, “Still,” and countless others. He was voted country Songwriter of the Year six times during his first decade in Music City. His success continued into the 1970’s with award-winning hits like “Slippin’ Away,” “The Lord Knows I’m Drinking,” “I May Never Get To Heaven,” and the disco-flavored, “I Can’t Wait Any Longer.” The 1980’s saw Anderson’s chart-topping career take a hiatus as he became a TV network game show host, spokesman for a national restaurant chain and a nonstop touring Grand Ole Opry performer. In the 1990’s he came roaring back with a vengeance, however, as he seriously turned to co-writing for the first time. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001, his collaborations with the newer generation of Nashville tunesmiths resulted in hits like “Wish You Were Here,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Two Teardrops,” “A Lot Of Things Different,” for Kenny Chesney, “Which Bridge To Cross (Which Bridge To Burn),” for Vince Gill and two CMA Song Of The Year trophies for “Whiskey Lullaby,” with Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and George Strait’s “Give It Away,” in 2005 and 2007 respectfully. He continues to write today with songs like Brad Paisley’s “Dying To See Her.” For more information, visit billanderson.com.

About Stan Barnett
Stan Barnett began his career as a professional guitarist in 1968. In 1985, he transitioned into a booking agent at McFadden & Associates where he booked acts such as Keith Whitley, Lynn Anderson, Lorrie Morgan, Gene Watson, Billy Ray Cyrus, David Frizzell, and most notably, the icon Buck Owens. Stan left McFadden & Associates in 1998 to form his own company IMA, Inc., where he was solely responsible for booking Buck Owens, Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall. Stan joined Creative Artists Agency in 1999, where he signed Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, David Nail, Brenda Lee, the bluegrass icon Ralph Stanley, Rhonda Vincent and Brandy Clark. He continued to book Buck Owens until Buck’s passing. He was instrumental in starting the CAA Fair and Festival department in 2001, and in addition to his booking responsibilities, still serves as a mentor to countless agents and assistants. This year Stan celebrates his 50th year in the music business. Stan has been a longtime member of the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, International Buyers Association, the Nashville Association of Talent Directors and serves on the Board of Directors for Stars and Stripes. He has received the Talent Agent of the Year awards from both NATD and IEBA. In 2009, has was also awarded a prestigious Senate resolution from the State of Tennessee for his accomplishments in the music industry.

About MercyMe
After 24 years as a band, Bart Millard (lead vocals), Nathan Cochran (bass), Barry Graul (guitar), Mike Scheuchzer (guitar) and Robby Shaffer (drums) are still relentless in their commitment to faith, music, and the group shows no signs of slowing down after releasing their ninth studio project, aptly titled LIFER (Fair Trade Services). With more than 9 million units in cumulative sales, MercyMe has seen 28 of their songs reach No. 1 across multiple Christian radio formats, in addition to garnering four mainstream radio hits. Their landmark song, “I Can Only Imagine,” was the first digital single in Christian music history to be certified platinum and double-platinum and the song was most recently the title of a major motion picture (Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions) based on the life of Bart Millard who wrote the mega-hit song after the loss of his father. The movie opened at a remarkable No. 3 at the box office on Mar. 16, 2018. In 2009, Billboard named them the Christian Artist of the Decade. In addition, they have multiple GRAMMY® nominations, GMA Dove Awards, American Music Awards and a Billboard Music Award to their credit. While the band spent the last three years telling fans they can be made new in Christ, with LIFER they wanted to acknowledge that while that is indeed true, it doesn’t always mean life is easy. So, on this album, they set out to explore how a believer can navigate the race with enough perseverance to make it to the finish line. While the band is excited about the message behind LIFER, they’re equally excited about the musical direction. LIFER picks up right where their previous album, Welcome to the New, left off, turning the veteran band’s tried-and-true formula on its head and giving them permission to experiment. Produced by Ben Glover and David Garcia—the same duo behind Welcome to the New—MercyMe recorded LIFER in three different studios in and around Nashville, including Zac Brown Band’s Southern Ground Studios and an old barn-turned-studio near College Grove, Tenn. And the whole point of LIFER? “The enemy never lets up,” Millard offers, “but we have the Spirit inside of us that is telling us over and over, ‘You are enough because of Christ in you. You are beautiful.’” It’s a message Millard says he’ll be reiterating for the rest of his career, and it’s one he’s happy to repeat. “On my worst day, Christ is OK with me. He adores me. He’s pleased with me. How is that possible? No clue, but it is,” he affirms. “That’s the most amazing news of all. That’s the point of the album. That’s the reason we keep making records.

About George Moffett
George Moffett is the reason literally millions of people around the country have enjoyed seeing their favorite entertainers, singers, comediennes, at county & state fairs, or have witnessed death defying daredevil stunt shows, high wire walkers, world renown animal attractions from around the globe. George is a fan of entertainment and his story is a testament to that. He grew up on a potato farm in Zanesville, Ohio so he quickly became used to hard work, and long days as a child. While attending Muskingum College, he played in numerous bands, at one point he realized the band was not working much, and he decided to try his hand at booking his band. He was a natural, as he filled his bands schedule up with bookings at college celebrations, fraternal organizations, dances, etc. He did such a good job that other bands began to call him and ask him to book them. That is when the light switch went on and he realized the need for a booking agency. With that said, shortly after in 1961 Variety Attractions was born. Little did he know at that time that his vision would become a brand, a brand that has grown to be one of the most respected and trusted names in the entertainment industry. Not only with its clients, but also with artist, artist managers, artist agents, and many industry professionals. The ensemble of agents/consultants he has assembled over the years is second to none in their field. Together they are responsible for buying over $20,000,000.00 of talent annually. George served 3 terms as a director on the Country Music Association board of directors. He was a founding member of the International Country Music Buyers Association which later became the International Entertainment Buyers Association. He served on that board for 30 years. He has won the Academy of Country Music’s Talent Buyer/Promoter of the year twice, and is a three time winner of the Country Music Associations Talent Buyer of the Year Award. In 1996 he was recognized by International Entertainment Buyers with their founders’ award, and in 2010 was inducted in the initial class of the International Entertainment Buyers Hall of Fame. He has been honored by several states for his contribution to the fair industry. The George Moffett Scholarship is endowed at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. It is awarded annually to a student who is studying music business at Belmont. George has a passion for the entertainment business, as well as a natural sense of caring for everyone he does business with, and his colleagues. Those who know him can attest to that. He has dedicated his entire life to this business, and his success has proven, hard work pays off. When the entertainment history books are written, George Moffett will have his own chapter, if not his own book.

About Kathleen O’Brien
Kathleen O’Brien is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Tennessee Performing Arts Center. During her 13 years in this office, she has steered TPAC through a dramatic change in its business model, including expansion of the Board of Directors, and its transitions to independent ticketing/customer management and independent presenting of Broadway tours. Her accomplishments include the oversight of record-breaking ticket sales, new initiatives in arts education, growth in cash reserves and net assets, and the development of new musical theatre. Kathleen joined TPAC in 1988 as Director of Public Affairs, later serving as Vice President of Public Affairs and Marketing, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Executive Vice President of Sales and Customer Services, and Chief Operating Officer, prior to her appointment to the top position effective May 1, 2005. During her 30 years with the organization, average annual attendance doubled, TPAC’s total operating budget increased from $4.9 million to $24 million, and it surpassed the milestones of welcoming more than 13 million audience members and serving more than 1.8 million students, educators, and adults through one of the largest and most comprehensive arts education programs in the United States. Kathleen is the immediate past chair of the Board of Directors of Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Virginia, where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and served as Director of Public Relations prior to moving to Nashville. Her professional associations include the Nashville Agenda’s Steering Committee, the national Performing Arts Center Consortium, the Independent Presenters Network where she serves on the Executive Committee, and the Broadway League, a national trade association, which presented her with its Road Marketing Award. A graduate of both Leadership Nashville and Leadership Music, Kathleen received a 2010 First Night Theater Award. She previously served on the boards of the Nashville Institute for the Arts, the Center for Nonprofit Management’s Association for Nonprofit Executives, and the Nashville Entertainment Association, also serving as that organization’s president. Kathleen lives in Nashville with her husband, Tim, and their cats, Simon and Garfunkel. She will retire from TPAC July 2019.

About Ray Shelide
Ray Shelide has been a booking agent for almost 50 years, founding and owning a regional agency in Michigan before moving to Los Angeles (1978-1981) to take a position with Athena Artists. Ray moved to Tulsa in 1981 to join The Jim Halsey Company (1981-1983), before heading to Nashville in 1983, where he was one of 3 agents in the Country Music Division of The William Morris Agency (1983-1993). He booked fairs at Buddy Lee Attractions (1993-1994), before moving to Monterey Peninsula Artists (now The Paradigm Agency) from 1994-2010, where he was a senior agent in the casino and fair department, and the responsible agent for Montgomery Gentry. He handled casinos and fairs at Capitol International Productions in 2010, and in February 2011, took a position with APA, where he was the territory agent for 11 states in the Midwest, and became the responsible account agent for Sawyer Brown. In 2016, he joined the Fair Department at APA, working with Bonnie Sugarman and Jeff Hill. He and his wife, Mary Ann, recently celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. They have 2 adult children, Aimee & Blake, and have 2 grandchildren, Isaac and Lillian.

About NATD
The Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) was founded in 1958 and professionally represents, directs, and promotes the entertainment industry through its members. Today those members generate over $300 million dollars annually for Nashville-based artists. The organization not only serves as a forum for idea exchange among its members, it also serves as a vehicle for other facets of the industry to share information vital to the overall growth of the Nashville music and entertainment industry. NATD members foster camaraderie among “friendly competitors” which seems to be unique to the close-knit Nashville music and entertainment community. As part of its philanthropic program NATD provides scholarship funds for students showing exemplary performances in academics, civic duties, and personal goals. For more information, please visit www.nashvilletalentdirectors.com.

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