NASHVILLE, TN — The Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) held its 9th Annual NATD Honors Gala last night at the Hermitage Hotel. The board of NATD chooses honorees to award for their accomplishments and service to the Nashville entertainment industry. WKRN’s Stephanie Langston and Nash Nights Live’s Shawn Parr hosted the evening.
The event was sponsored by Neste Live!, Outback Presents and First Horizon with wine sponsors, APA.
Artist manager Denise Stiff presented the first award of the night, in memoriam, to legendary bluegrass and Americana agent Keith Case. Keith’s wife, Penny, accepted the award in his memory.
Next up, CAA’s John Huie presented an honor in memoriam to CCM trailblazer Bill Hearn, who was instrumental in major labels developing arms in the Christian music industry. Bill’s sister, Holly Hearn Whaley, accepted the award in his memory.
Recently retired general manager of the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Bob Skoney, was presented his honor by longtime friend and executive director of Tupelo’s Bankcorp Coliseum, Todd Hunt. Charlie Daniels, who hosted nine Volunteer Jams at the auditorium, sent a video greeting congratulating Skoney.
Longtime media personality Dave Nichols awarded the next award of the night to Tennessee Radio Hall of Famer and “Mayor of Music Row” Charlie Monk, whose video presentation included well-wishes from Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift and Jeannie Seely.
Gospel music icon CeCe Winans was presented her honor by longtime friend and Gospel Music Association President, Jackie Patillo. Winans is the most-awarded and best-selling female Gospel artist of all time and was signed to her first recording deal by fellow honoree Bill Hearn and his father, Billy Ray Hearn.
Vector Management’s Ken Levitan honored Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. head Butch Spyridon. When accepting his award, Spyridon mentioned that he should be presenting the award to attendees in the room because “there is no Music City without the music industry.”
Legendary agent and NATD Board Member, Tony Conway, had the honor of presenting the Colonel Tom Parker Award to longtime colleague Bonnie Sugarman. Her video included a 2002 message from client Johnny Cash, filmed at an IEBA event, which was one of his last public performances. Sugarman has been a mainstay in the agency world, having started APA’s Nashville office in the early ‘90s, relocating as their Head of Fairs and Festivals from Los Angeles.
Premier Global Productions and Country Thunder’s Troy Vollhoffer received the last award of the night, presented by Williams & Ree. Big & Rich’s Big Kenny sent a congratulatory message to the consummate entrepreneur.
Additionally, NATD presented a $2,500 donation to Project NENA in Stephanie Langston’s name for her efforts hosting the gala for eight years. Founded in 2015, Project NENA is a non profit organization that partners with and assists under-served North and Northeast Nashville residents by providing a holistic and innovative approach to foster communities that are inclusive, restorative and sustainable. For more visit www.projectnena.org.
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 nashvilletalentdirectors.com.Media Assets