8th Annual NATD Honors Gala Recognizes Bill Anderson, Stan Barnett, MercyMe, George Moffett, Kathleen O’Brien And Ray Shelide

The Nashville Association of Talent Directors’ (NATD) 8th Annual Honors Gala
honored some of the best in their respective fields for their
accomplishments and services to the Nashville entertainment industry:
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. Serving as emcees for this highly-anticipated annual event were WKRN’s Stephanie Langston and The Tennessean’s Brad Schmitt.

“We had an emotional and moving evening,” said NATD President Steve Tolman.
“We’re always thrilled to honor our colleagues in a setting that is
known to be one of the most intimate evenings of the year.”

The event, presented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and the Grand Ole Opry,
featured Nashville’s best of the best in the entertainment industry to
present and show respect to the honorees. Variety Attractions’
George Moffett was presented the first award of the evening by Paul Moore.

Country music star Mark Wills
surprised honoree and Country Music Hall of Fame member and Grand Ole
Opry star Bill Anderson by performing the hit Anderson wrote for him,
“Wish You Were Here.” Country singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson also joined to make remarks on Bill’s career before inviting the legend to the stage.

Tim O’Brien,
husband of honoree Kathleen O’Brien, President and CEO of TPAC, was
invited on stage to make remarks and present his wife the award.

After a round of congratulatory videos, including one from the entire APA staff, Mick Scully made his way to the stage to present longtime booking veteran Ray Shelide with his award.

Board member Rod Harris
was surprised by the NATD with the President’s Award for his lifetime
of work in the entertainment industry, and his decades of dedication to
the organization, having served in many capacities on the NATD Board
over the years, including a stint as President.

WME Agent Mike Snider
made remarks about hit-making Christian group MercyMe before presenting
them with their award. Lead singer Bart Millard spoke on behalf of the
band and expressed their thrill at being included with the magnitude of
industry talent in the room, and of being genuinely moved by the honor.

Honoring legendary agent Stan Barnett was CAA’s John Huie,
who touched on Stan’s commitment to quality and true country music.
Barnett began his career with such legends as Buck Owens and Keith
Whitley, and has been instrumental in the careers of Billy Ray Cyrus,
Lady Antebellum, Brandy Clark and so many more.

NATD President Steve Tolman and Directors, Blake McDaniel and Zach Farnum
bestowed a $2,500 donation to Scott Hamilton’s “Scott Cares
Foundation,” a $1,000 donation to Renewal House in Brad Schmitt’s name
and a special presentation of a washer and dryer to a school through
Communities in Schools (CIS). CIS Executive Director Hank Clay was on hand to discuss their organization and accept the donation.

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.

Past NATD Honors honorees include:

2017 – David Corlew, Sean Henry, Barbara Hubbard, Charley Pride, Bobby Roberts, and Jeannie Seely

2016 – Rod Essig, Scott Hamilton, Doc McGhee, Leon Russell, Mike Smardak, P.K. Subban and Randy Travis

2015 – Mayor Megan Barry, Sarah Trahern, Charlie Brusco, Mike Wolfe, Peter Weber and Steve Lassiter

2014 – Gov. Bill Haslam, Rob Beckham, Tim Corbin, Demetria Kalodimos, Michael W. Smith, JP Williams 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, Robert Williams and Alan Valentine

2011 – Alabama, Tony Conway, Mayor Karl Dean, James H. Gosnell Jr. and Barry Trotz

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for NATD)

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