New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
The Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) announced today seven Nashville leaders who will be recognized at the 6th Annual NATD Honors Gala, scheduled for November 9, 2016 at the Hermitage Hotel. Honorees include Rod Essig, Agent and Co-Head of the Nashville office of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Scott Hamilton, Olympic Gold-medal figure skater, actor, and speaker, Doc McGhee, industry visionary and accomplished artist manager who heads McGhee Entertainment, Leon Russell, veteran musician and member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame, Mike Smardak, award-winning promoter and President of Outback Concerts, P.K. Subban, Olympic Gold-medalist and one of the top defensemen in the NHL newly acquired by the Nashville Predators and Randy Travis, multi-platinum, award-winning country icon and the latest inductee to the Country Music
Hall of Fame.
The Gala will begin with a reception at 6:00 PM, followed by dinner and awards ceremony. For tickets and sponsorship information visit, www.n-a-t-d.com.
"NATD has been a Nashville music industry staple for nearly 60 years. Thanks to the support of our board and members, we have been able to continue the association's traditions while beginning new initiatives to continue to bring together leaders in our collective industries," said Steve Tolman, NATD President. "All seven of our honorees this year represent all that is good here in Nashville. They all are leaders in their fields whether it be music, sports or another entertainment form."
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 closely 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.n-a-t-d.com.
Rod Essig is a Music
Agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world's leading entertainment and sports agency. Essig co-heads the Nashville office and represents some of the world's top musicians, including Heart, Joan Jett
and The Blackhearts, Martina McBride, Ashley Monroe, Styx, KC and the Sunshine
Band and Tim McGraw, among others. Prior to joining CAA in 1993, Essig served as Vice President and co-owner of Minneapolis-based booking agency Variety Artists International. Essig currently serves on the board of the Country Music
Hall of Fame, ACM Lifting Lives, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, MusiCares, Tennessee Film Commission, and Tennessee Performing Arts Center Board. He is a 1997 graduate of Leadership Music
and a 2016 graduate of Leadership Nashville. Essig is actively involved with a number of philanthropic organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, PENCIL Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the T.J. Martell Foundation.
About Scott Hamilton
Scott Hamilton is an Olympic figure skater, author, television personality, and humanitarian. Overcoming significant health issues at a young age, Hamilton became an Olympic gold medalist in 1984 and a pro figure skater. During this time, he co-founded the touring production Stars on Ice and became a commentator and figure skating analyst for NBC. Following his mother's passing and his own survival of cancer, Scott launched the Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation which supports world class cancer research and the highest quality patient treatment and care. In 2014, he founded the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy in Antioch, TN, in partnership with the NHL's Nashville Predators. Hamilton currently serves on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics International, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, and Provision Center for Proton Therapy.
About Doc McGhee
Doc McGhee is CEO of McGhee Entertainment, artist manager, and a pioneer of the entertainment industry. McGhee has managed the careers of a diverse group of artists including James
Brown, Bon Jovi, Motley Crüe, Scorpions, Diana Ross, and Hootie & the Blowfish, and now manages KISS, Vintage Trouble, A Thousand Horses
and many others. McGhee is co-owner of the LA KISS Football team and has produced events such as the Moscow Music
Peace Festival, the FOX TV's live New Year's Eve program "America's Party," and "Rockin' The Corps," a free concert for soldiers and their families held on the beach of Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton.
About Leon Russell
Leon Russell is a Grammy-nominated recording artist, music business entrepreneur, and celebrated songwriter. As a central figure of the rock scene in the seventies, Russell has worked with artists such as Elton John, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, and composed one of the greatest love songs of the era, "A Song For You
", covered by Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Whitney Houston, and the like. Founder of his own studio, Skyhill, and several successful labels, Russell has led a remarkable career and was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
About Mike Smardak
Michael Smardak is President and Founder of Outback Concerts of Tennessee, Inc. Outback Concerts is an independent, full-service concert and comedy promoter located in Nashville. In addition to producing hundreds of concerts and events each year ranging from clubs to arenas across the country and Canada, Outback Concerts also produces the Wild West Comedy Festival in Nashville, TN and the Blue Ridge Music
Festival in Salem, VA, which was voted one of 2015's top 8 spring music festivals by FOX NEWS. Smardak played an integral role in the inaugural Southern Ground Music
and Food Festivals in both Charleston, SC and Nashville, TN, helping Zac Brown realize his vision of a multi-faceted celebration of music and food. Outback Concerts is promoter and producer of two of the largest comedy tours in history, The Comedy Get Down with Cedric 'The Entertainer', Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, George
Lopez, and Charlie Murphy, and the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy. His company also holds the record for the highest paid attendance at Bridgestone Arena
with the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, a venue where they have also presented 2014's George
Jones Tribute Concert, NASHVILLE RISING benefit for flood relief (with AEG Live and Live Nation) and are looking forward to this year's highly anticipated Charlie Daniels' 80th Birthday Volunteer Jam. Smardak has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the ACM Promoter of the Year, IEBA's Concert Promoter of the Year, Talent Buyer of the Year, Entertainment Buyer of the Year, and Festival Buyer of the Year. He is a 2011 inductee to the IEBA Hall of Fame.
About P.K. Subban
A native of Toronto, P.K. Subban is one of the top defensemen in the world today, having won the 2013 Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, being named an NHL First-Team All-Star on two occasions. Perennially on the leaderboard of most statistical categories among League blueliners, he was acquired by the Nashville Predators on June 29, 2016 in one of the biggest trades in League history. Internationally, he has represented Canada four times, winning a pair of gold medals at the World Junior
Championships, and most notably, Olympic Gold at the 2014 Sochi Games. Subban's impact in the community is significant as well; he was a finalist for the 2016 NHL Foundation Award given to a player "who applies the core values of hockey - commitment, perseverance and teamwork - to enrich the lives of people in his community" on the heels of a $10 million commitment to the Montreal Children's Hospital on September
16, 2015. The hospital called it "the biggest philanthropic commitment by a sports figure in Canadian history." In August 2014, he established his own marketing company, P.K.S.S. Management, to facilitate business relationships which include Bridgestone, Gatorade, Samsung and his own clothing line with Canadian company RW&CO. His Twitter account, @PKSubban1, has more than 892,000 followers, the fourth-most among all NHL players.
With lifetime sales in excess of 20 million, Randy Travis
is one of the biggest country record sellers of all time and the most recent inductee into the Country Music
Hall of Fame class of 2016. His honors include seven Grammy Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music
statuettes, 10 American Music
Awards, two People's Choice awards, seven Music
City News awards, eight Dove Awards from the Gospel Music
Association and five Country Music
Association honors. In addition, three of his performances earned CMA Song of the Year honors, "On the Other Hand" (1986), "Forever and Ever Amen" (1987) and "Three Wooden Crosses
" (2003). To date, he has 18 No. 1 singles, 29 top-10 smashes and more than 40 appearances in feature films and television shows to his credit. Ten of his albums are Gold Records. Eight are Platinum. Two have gone Double
Platinum. One is Triple Platinum and another is Quintuple Platinum. In 2004, Randy was honored with his own star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is honored on the Music
City Walk of Fame in Nashville, TN. He has been a member of the cast of the Grand Ole Opry since 1986. Today, with the help of his wife Mary, Randy continues to make improvements in his speaking, singing and walking by going to rehab daily since his horrific stroke. The Music
of Randy Travis
tour is planned for the first of the year with his original band and a single from his unreleased vault of recordings will be released soon.