Professional Development Program Serving 15 Women Within the Country Music Industry in its Second Year


CMA, the premier membership trade association of the Country Music industry, has announced a new class for its Women’s Leadership Academy. Selected through an application process, the professional development program, in its second year, is an interactive group coaching experience for 15 high-performing, high-potential women leaders within Country Music.

Kicking off yesterday, July 10, the 15-week program will include an initial one-on-one coaching session to establish individual goals and set success measures, seven educational sessions as a group, and group coaching sessions twice a month throughout the entirety of the program. Previous Women’s Leadership Academy program members and industry leaders will provide mentorship to the new class. The program is structured to allow an environment of exchange and trust-building, while still allowing sufficient space for all participants.

“After our inaugural year last year, we were blown away at the conversation, community and genuine connection that was born from this program,” says Tiffany Kerns, CMA Senior Vice President, Industry Relations & Philanthropy. “We were reminded that true leadership starts with developing a system of support across our business, and through the incredible women in this program, that’s exactly what we’ve seen happen. There was no doubt that we would continue this program, and I am thrilled to welcome this year’s impressive class of women.”

The new class of CMA’s Women’s Leadership Academy includes:

  • Courtney Allen (Senior Director of A&R, Concord Music Publishing)
  • Charlotte Burke Bass (Vice President of Nashville Operations, The Oriel Company)
  • Samantha Borenstein (Artist Manager, Sam I Am Entertainment)
  • Stephanie Davenport (Senior Director of A&R, Warner Music Nashville)
  • Halie Hampton Mosley (Vice President of Roster Operations, WHY&HOW)
  • Meg Kehoe (Head of Media, Sony Music Nashville)
  • Mallori Kirchenschlager (Business Manager, Luma Business Services)
  • Allison Laughter (Vice President of Digital, Marketing and Streaming, Red Light Management)
  • Kaitlyn Moore (Vice President of Marketing, mtheory)
  • Jessica Myers (Vice President of Rights Management, Big Machine Label Group)
  • Rachel Powers (Vice President, Messina Touring Group)
  • Kylen Sharpe (Agent, CAA)
  • Molly Shehan (Partner/Attorney, Milom Crow Kelley Beckett Shehan PLC)
  • Taylor Smith Tileston (Tour Manager, Little Big Town)
  • Heather Vassar (Vice President, EMPIRE)

Cohort members will walk away with an expanded network, a roadmap for career growth and improved leadership abilities. Session topics are expected to include leadership branding, imposter syndrome, establishing boundaries, managing conflict and stress, communication and leveraging influence.

Throughout the next 15 weeks, participants will be coached by expert executive coaches, Diane Watson, PCC, and Cory Colton, PCC, BCC, and will receive further insight surrounding increased self-awareness and how to use it strategically, confidence building and communicating effectively, managing inner criticism to unleash further potential, building a personal brand and networking successfully, as well as creating a better work-life integration by setting boundaries.

About the Country Music Association

Founded in 1958, CMA is the premier trade association of the Country Music industry. Representing professionals making a living in Country Music globally, the organization serves as a critical resource of support and information, honors excellence in the genre and provides a forum for industry leadership. CMA is dedicated to expanding Country Music around the world through a number of core programs and initiatives including the organization’s three annual television properties—the CMA Awards, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas,” all of which air on ABC. The organization’s philanthropic arm, the CMA Foundation, works tirelessly to provide equitable access to music education in order to create impactful change for students and teachers across the United States.

(L-R) Executive Coach Cory Colton, CMA Senior Vice President, Industry Relations & Philanthropy Tiffany Kerns, Heather Vassar, Halie Hampton Mosley, Allison Laughter, Samantha Borenstein, Rachel Powers, Mallori Kirchenschlager, Meg Kehoe, Kaitlyn Moore, Jessica Myers, Courtney Allen, Stephanie Davenport, Kylen Sharpe, Charlotte Burke Bass, Molly Shehan, Executive Coach Diane Watson and CMA CEO Sarah Trahern at the 2023 Women’s Leadership Academy Kick-Off Retreat.
(Not Pictured: Taylor Smith)
Photo Credit: Drew Noble/CMA

Related Articles

Awards & Honors, Key Membership Updates

CMA Announces 2024 CMA Awards
Ballot Schedule

Read More
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Professional/Leadership Development

CMA Announces The Return Of Its Women’s Leadership Academy

Read More
Key Membership Updates, Professional/Leadership Development

CMA Hosts MemberSIPS Event Focused On Social Media And Digital Marketing In The Music Industry

Read More