Nash Nights Live’s Shawn Parr and WKRN News 2’s Stephanie Langston Announced as Co-Hosts of 2016 Event

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 20, 2016)
– The Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) board announced
today that along with their 2016 event being sold out, Nash Nights
Live’s, Shawn Parr and WKRN News 2’s Stephanie Langston will host the 6th Annual NATD Honors Gala, November 9, 2016 at the Hermitage Hotel.

The Gala will begin with a reception at 6:00 PM, followed by dinner and awards ceremony. For sponsorship information visit,

“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. “Shawn Parr and Stephanie Langston are two
industry leaders in their respective fields and we are so proud to have
them as a part of our sold out gala this year.”

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.

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

About Rod Essig
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.

About Randy Travis
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.

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