Nashville Association of Talent Directors
Honors Entertainment Industry Professionals
in Fifth Annual Gala
On Monday, November 9th, the Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) will hold its annual Gala at the Hermitage Hotel. This year, the Gala will honor Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern, Artist Manager at Red Light Management Charlie Brusco, APA Senior VP and Partner Steve Lassiter, Voice of the Nashville Predators Pete Weber, and “American Pickers” creator and host Mike Wolfe. The Tennessean’s Brad Schmitt and Stephanie Langston of Nashville’s WKRN will serve as co-hosts for the evening.
For over 50 years Nashville Association of Talent Directors has served as an idea exchange for Nashville-based entertainment industry professionals to develop relationships within our close-knit community. During the year Nashville Association of Talent Directors hits the road and presents the College of Knowledge program where panels of industry experts speak to college students interested in the entertainment industry. At each program we award a $2500 scholarship to talented college students. We also aim to honor and recognize deserving men and women in our industry in a variety of ways while raising money for scholarships and charitable causes.
NATD President Steve Tolman remarks, “The Nashville Association of Talent Directors Honors Gala has become a memorable evening for all over the last few years. The fact that we can honor such talented industry professionals all the while giving back to the community and those in need make it very special.”
Past honorees include:
2014 – Bill Haslam, Rob Beckham, Tim Corbin, Demetria Kalodimos, Michael W. Smith, and Charlie Daniels
2013 – Bernie Cahill, Tom Condon, Chaz Corzine, Martina McBride, Kevin Neal, and Bob Romeo
2012 – Mike Fisher, Clint Higham, John Huie, George Jones, and Alan Valentine
2011 – Alabama, Tony Conway, Mayor Karl Dean, James H. Gosnell Jr., and Barry Trotz
The Gala will be held at the Hermitage Hotel, 231 6th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219. Festivities begin at with a reception at 5:45 PM, followed by dinner and the Awards Ceremony at 7:00 PM. A limited number of tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased online via www.n-a-t-d.com.
About Sarah Trahern
Trahern has more than 27 years of experience in the television business, including 18 years producing or overseeing Country Music programming. Today she is the Chief Executive Officer of the esteemed Country Music Association, which was formed in 1958 as the first trade group to promote a single genre of music.
She began her cable career at C-SPAN in Washington, D.C. covering politics and public affairs. She moved to Nashville in 1995 to oversee specials and entertainment series for TNN. She joined GAC in 2005 with Scripps’ ownership of the network. Since then she has produced or executive produced numerous awards shows, specials and series, including the Johnny Cash Memorial Service for CMT in 2003, Music City Keep on Playin’ flood benefit in 2010, and the Opry at Carnegie Hall.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Monroe Carroll Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Georgetown University’s Baker Scholar program, and is chairing the Events Committee for the 2016 All Star Hockey game in Nashville.
About Charlie Brusco
Charlie Brusco’s early love of rock and roll music has led to one of the industry’s most successful careers in artist management. In the early 70’s, Brusco discovered and managed The Outlaws, who were the first act signed to Clive Davis’ Arista Records in 1973. His work with this multi-platinum southern rock giant paved the way for his relationship with classic rock radio legend, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and his successful revival of Skynyrd’s career brought other classic rock acts to his door such as Bad Company, Peter Frampton, Survivor, Tesla, John Waite, Thin Lizzie, and Styx.
Charlie put together two hugely successful concerts called “Volunteers for America” to raise money after the tragic events of Sept 11, 2001. Charlie worked hard to bring in huge rock acts that donated their performances and worked to get all expenses either donated or vastly reduced. The concerts netted $750,000 which was donated to the Port Authority Police World Trade Survivor Fund.
Charlie’s many honors include the NARAS’ prestigious Hero’s Award and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
About Steve Lassiter
Steve Lassiter is Senior Vice President of APA Inc., an agency that represents more than 50 artists and employs more than one dozen agents. Among the artists that APA Nashville represents are Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels Band, Travis Tritt, Phil Vassar, and Maggie Rose. For 20 years, APA’s Nashville office has kept several of the music industry’s most recognizable names on the road and in front of their fans.
Lassiter joined APA Nashville in 1998. Prior to that he spent 12 years at William Morris Agency, where he booked concerts in the Southeast territory, rose to a VP role, and navigated tours for Trisha Yearwood, Charlie Daniels, The Oak Ridge Boys, and others.
In 2005, the Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) named Lassiter Talent Director of the Year. He has served as both President and Board member for the NATD; he has also served on boards for the ACM and the International Entertainment Buyers Association.
About Pete Weber
With over 40 years of broadcasting experience, Pete Weber has been in Nashville since 1998, serving as “Voice of the Nashville Predators” for seventeen seasons. In addition to his duties with the team, Weber co-hosted SportsNight from July 2003 until August of 2005. Weber has co-hosted the weekly Slapshot Radio program since 2009. He has spent several off-seasons on the Triple-A baseball Nashville Sounds’ broadcasts and also produced and hosted weekly podcasts: “This Week in the Minor Leagues” and the syndicated “Southern Pro Football.”
Weber’s national radio work has included coverage of the NBA Finals and Winter Olympic Games on Mutual Radio, hosting on ESPN Radio, a regular slot on Sirius/XM’s NHL Home Ice and frequent guest appearances on Hockey Night in Canada Radio. During two stints totaling 20 years in Buffalo New York, he was Sports Director at WEBR NewsRadio 970 and WGR Radio. Pete spent three years (1978-81) on the broadcast team of the Los Angeles Kings on KRLA, KIIS and KOGO, while helping in on Lakers’ games on KLAC.
Weber was inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame in the summer of 1999. He was elected to the Board of Governors for the Mid-South Region of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and served as vice president from 2003-07. Pete is also on the advisory board for the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.
About Mike Wolfe
A lifelong American picker, Mike Wolfe has been combing through junk since the age of four and he’s earned a reputation as one of the country’s foremost foragers, traveling coast to coast in search of forgotten treasures. Where other people see dilapidated barns and overgrown yards, Mike sees potential gold mines packed with rare finds and sensational stories. And in the last five years, he’s turned that rusty gold into a television phenomenon with his “American Pickers,” HISTORY’s® runaway hit, one of the top shows on cable TV and the series that started a whole new programming genre, “artifactual entertainment.”
Mike moved to Nashville several years ago and he immediately became active in the community, a spokesman for the preservation group the Nashville Nine, and an active preservationist. He now owns several properties in and around the city that he is restoring to their former glory bringing back to life for a new generation.
He is also actively developing new television projects. His “Nashville Flipped” focuses on renovating residential properties originally built in the first decades of the 20th century, creating modern living spaces while maintaining historical architectural detail. It begins airing on HGTV in early 2016. Another favorite project, “Saving America,” will also go to series next year.