Wednesday, 4 April 2018

CMA announces two new staff hires to support Key Strategic Initiatives


Milly Olykan_ Vice President of International Relations and Development_ CMA

The Country Music Association has announced the addition of two key roles in support of ongoing strategic efforts. Milly Olykan will join CMA as Vice President of International Relations and Development, furthering the association's global expansion initiatives, and Falon Keith has joined CMA as Grant Associate, continuing to support and grow CMA's philanthropic arm, the CMA Foundation. 
Olykan comes to CMA from AEG Presents in London where she was Vice President of Live Music and Major Arena Events. For AEG she developed in-house commercial content programs for their leading arena property, The O2 and was the founding Festival Director and Co-Promoter of C2C Country to Country, Europe's largest contemporary Country Music festival. Other projects for AEG included her management of Sundance Film and Music Festival, the first Sundance Film Festival outside of the United States, and the launching of numerous events including BRITs Week, Hola! London and Country Music Week.

Prior to AEG Presents, Olykan worked in artist management, promotion, and tour management where she produced festivals for IMG Artists and booked tours for Universal Music. She has served on the CMA Board of Directors since 2014 and was awarded the Jo Walker Meador International Award in March, which recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual in supporting Country Music's marketing development in territories outside the United States. She will begin her new role at CMA in mid-May.

"Expanding the reach of Country Music globally has long been our focus at CMA," said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "We created this role to help focus and escalate these efforts on behalf of our industry. Our staff, community and Board of Directors have worked closely with Milly since the inception of C2C in 2013. We're thrilled to welcome her to CMA, where she will no doubt hit the ground running and continue to expand Country Music to an even larger global audience."

Olykan will report to Trahern and be based in Nashville. CMA Director of International Relations Bobbi Boyce will continue to work out of London.
Milly Olykan and John Marks (left and center) each receive a CMA Jo Walker-Meador International Award and Chris Stevens (right) receives the CMA International Country Broadcaster Award in London Friday, March 9 during CMAs U.K. Advisory Group meeting. Photo: Brian Loschiavo

Keith joins CMA from the YMCA of Middle Tennessee where she supported the charitable efforts of the YMCA's development team as Philanthropy Administrator. Prior to the YMCA, Keith served as Communications Intern at Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee, assisting in social media development. In her new role, she manages the CMA Foundation's relationships with grant recipients and assists in supporting Foundation efforts and events. Keith is a native of York, Pennsylvania and graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Sales. 

The CMA Foundation is committed to improving and sustaining music education programs all across the United States, working to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in music education. Through strategic partnerships, professional development and grant distribution, the CMA Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has invested over $20 million in over 85 programs across the national public school system, after school programs, summer camps and with community outreach organizations. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, proceeds from CMA Fest, the four-day long music festival held annually in Nashville, are used to drive the CMA Foundation's social impact and unique model of giving.

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