Our first USAGEM Quarterly Membership Meeting for this year is now scheduled for Monday, March 13, 2017 at the Nashville Musicians Union. Mark your calendars and make your plans now to attend. Please enter this information in your date book and/or mobile device as a reminder.
USAGEM Quarterly Membership Meeting
United States Association Of Gospel Entertainers & Musicians
Nashville Association Of Musicians
11 Music Circle North
**** It has been voted and agreed that board meetings will not be scheduled on days when quarterly membership meetings are scheduled. Furthermore, it was agreed that quarterly membership meetings will now be scheduled during the months of March, June, August (during the USAGEM Birthday Bash), and October.
Below is the agenda for the membership meeting:
- Opening Prayer
- Meeting called to order - Lynn Fox
- Quarterly Membership Secretary's Report - Sheila Berry Harrison
- Quarterly Membership Treasurer's Report - Bev McCann
- USAGEM Membership Report - Daniel Johnson
- Report On Constant Contact - Shelton Bissell
- USAGEM Today Newsletter Report - Bob Etzel
- USAGEM Facebook Report - Daniel Johnson
- USAGEM Writer's Nights - Mike Dunbar
- Report on USAGEM Sound Equipment - Mike Dunbar & Rick Alan King
- Plans for the 2017 USAGEM God & Country Jubilee Series - Sandi Kay Shupe
- Plans for 2017 USAGEM Birthday Bash set for Sat. Aug. 12, 2017 - Sandi Kay Shupe
- Special Thanks to everyone who worked to make the 2016 USAGEM Convention & Awards a success - Sandi Kay Shupe, Mike Dunbar, Mariah Neff, Bev McCann, Sheila Berry Harrison, Wendi Pierce, Daniel Johnson, Chuck & Candace Kuykendall, Michael & Ann Gardner, and others!
- As of January 1st, the current 2017 USAGEM Board of Directors are - Lady Corder Chapman, Tommie Lewis, Dewitt Johnson, Tom Campbell, Randy Ferrell, Jay Shupe, Dottie Tubb, Candace Kuykendall, Shelton Bissell, Bonnie George, Johnny Mack, Randy Pierce, Paul Sparks, Tank Tackett, and Rick Alan King
- USAGEM Board Members who have completed their tenure at the end of 2016 are - Charlene Harrison, Mike Dunbar, Ann Hartmann, Roger Revette, and Mike Glover. (After one year, these members will be eligible for election of another three year term.)
- USAGEM Board Members elected to a three year term starting on January 1, 2017 are: Lady Corder Chapman, Tom Campbell, Dottie Tubb, Bonnie George, and Paul Sparks
- Randy Ferrell has been appointed and now fills the vacant board seat of two years left by Mariah Neff, who resigned her position at the end of 2016
- Daniel Johnson has been appointed as the USAGEM Membership Chairman
- Bob Etzel has been appointed to oversee the USAGEM newsletter, USAGEM Today
- USAGEM President re-elected to serve a new two year term starting on January 1, 2017 - Lynn Fox
- USAGEM Vice President elected to serve a two year term starting on January 1, 2017 - Mike Dunbar
- Report - Filming of the 13th Annual USAGEM Convention & Awards by Read Ridley, Columbia State Community College - Daniel Johnson
- Planning ahead for the 14th Annual USAGEM Convention & Awards
- Other Fundraising Events and Opportunities for USAGEM
**** Because of time restraints, any new items or discussion you'd like to see added to the agenda must be sent in advance and in writing to the president. Any new agenda items must be approved before any USAGEM meeting.
USAGEM member, Bob Etzel has accepted our invitation and has now been named as director of our online newsletter, USAGEM Today. Daniel Johnson started this endeavor over two years ago and it has been a big hit with our members. We are looking forward to working with Bob with all things pertaining to creating and producing our organization's newsletter. Daniel will continue to oversee the USAGEM Facebook page.
Our first USAGEM God & Country Jubilee for this year will be held at 7:00 PM on Friday, May 26, 2017 at the Holy Family Church located at 462 E. Main Street, Hendersonville, TN. Artists scheduled so far are For Heaven's Sake and Cassie Cornish. Our special events director is Sandi Kay Shupe.
Genre Leaders who have been appointed to contact and secure artists for the upcoming USAGEM God & Country Jubilee Series are Dottie Tubb (Christian Country), Randy Pierce (Contemporary Christian), Jay Shupe (Bluegrass), Lady Corder Chapman (Black Gospel), and Rick Alan King (Southern Gospel). Interested artists should contact your genre leader in order to be considered for performing during our 2017 USAGEM God & Country Jubilee series.
Our vice president, Mike Dunbar, is continuing to work and put together a successful writer's night series and find a suitable venue for these events.
Read Ridley and his staff, including film students at Columbia State Community College are currently working to edit shows filmed on Friday evening during the 13th Annual USAGEM Convention. I also understand that they will be editing and putting together the 13th Annual USAGEM Awards Show which was filmed in its entirety on Saturday, and suitable for network television broadcasting. We will keep you updated as all of this comes to fruition.
We are now in the planning stages for the 14th Annual USAGEM Convention & Awards. The dates are tentatively set for November 17 - 18, 2017. At this time, no venue has been booked as several options are being considered.
During 2016, USAGEM was blessed with a wonderful year filled with performances, special concerts, and ending with one of the smoothest conventions in recent history! In order for things to go smoothly takes much planning, hard work, and must be a team effort.
I can say that I'm very proud of our members and the way that they step up to the plate when there is work to be done. The USAGEM Board Of Directors, committee members, and other volunteers worked very hard to make this year's event one of the best conventions we've had to date.
Below are a few people who deserve special thanks. These folks went above and beyond the call of duty to make this convention, awards show, and banquet very successful.
Daniel Johnson was in charge of the Friday Evening Showcase and did a phenomenal job creating the show outline, rundown, and script. Also, strategic scheduling of the artists and award presenters were essential to make the show run smoothly, and ahead of schedule.
Bev McCann was in charge of the banquet and working with all things pertaining to the Inn At Opryland, including hotel reservations. She also took on the duties of being the stage director for the awards show and was in charge of the award trophies. Bev made sure the new podiums were placed onstage and the USAGEM backdrop was in place for photographs. On top of all of these duties, Bev did a great job on Saturday by warming up the crowd before the awards show started!
Wendi Pierce worked as our floor director for the very first time and was wonderful! She served during the Friday Evening Showcase, the rehearsal, and during the USAGEM Awards Show. Wendi made sure everyone was backstage and ready when it was time for the artists to go onstage.
Read Ridley & The Film Crew at Columbia State Community College were remarkable to work with. Read and his team filmed both days of our convention in it's entirety. Plans are for the Friday Evening Showcase to be edited into several thirty minute programs for Christian broadcasting. The awards show is to be edited into a two hour television special, also for future broadcasting.
Sandi Kay Shupe & Mike Dunbar did a fantastic job of compiling the music and putting together the musicians and backup vocalists for the awards show. They compiled charts and lyrics for the songs and rehearsed all of them beforehand. Mike also put together the voiceovers and music tracks for the show. Great job!
Morgan Anderson & The Staff of the Texas Troubadour Theatre once again exceeded expectations as our venue hosts. Morgan and the staff did a great job as usual. I have to say that they flawlessly ran the sound and lights for our signature event.
Mariah Neff was in charge of hospitality. She worked very hard in preparing and providing the food and drinks for the greenroom during the Friday and Saturday events. She deserves a big "Thank You" from all of us.
Sheila Harrison worked with the duties of making sure that all of the participants were registered for the event. Thank you for your service and doing a wonderful job as our secretary.
Don McCloud, Bob Etzel, Jack Short, and Brian Dunbar worked as our backstage assistants and were impeccable with helping to make sure the correct stands, microphones, or instruments were in place for each artist during their performance and then removed to make room for the next artist. This is a difficult task. However, these guys worked together very well in order to get all of the artists and their instruments on and off stage perfectly, and with ease.
Summer & Autumn Ryan once again presented the trophies to the award winners. These young daughters of Cassie Cornish are beautiful and very graceful. We're proud to have these young ladies as part of our team.
Chuck & Candace Kuykendall provided the sound and the music during the awards banquet. They did this last year, and were very nice to provide music and their sound for us again this year. We appreciate this couple and all they do for the organization.
Ann Hartmann created and provided the program handed out to audience members arriving at the awards show. Great job!
Michael & Ann Gardner compiled the ballots and posted them online. They did this for each tier, including the nominating process, the top ten ballot, and the final ballot . This is a tedious job and takes time to set up. They deserve kudos for this and all they have done for USAGEM, past and present!
USAGEM Quarterly Membership Meeting
Thanks again for a very good membership meeting on Monday evening, October 17th. Attendance was a little better than expected, especially since several of our board members were absent due to sickness, work schedules, and out of state touring conflicts. All in all, we were blessed with a very productive business meeting!
Items reported and discussed during the meeting included the upcoming 13th Annual USAGEM Convention & Awards, the USAGEM Banquet, the USAGEM Birthday Bash, the USAGEM Today Newsletter, USAGEM Writer's Nights, and the USAGEM God & Country Jubilee Series.
Also, nominees for for USAGEM officers and board members convened.
-2017 USAGEM Officers and Board Election-
During the October session of the quarterly membership meeting, nominations for president, vice president, and board members in all five genres were heard and approved by the USAGEM members in attendance.
Nominees for 2017 USAGEM Officers:
- Lynn Fox - President
- Mike Dunbar - Vice President
Nominees for 2017 USAGEM Board Members:
- Tom Campbell - Bluegrass Genre
- Lady Corder Chapman - Black Gospel Genre
- Dottie Tubb - Christian Country Genre
- Paul Sparks - Southern Gospel Genre
- Bonnie George - Contemporary Christian Genre
- Randy Ferrell - Contemporary Christian Genre
As per the bylaws of the organization, board member representatives who have served for three years ended their tenure at the end of 2016. After one year, these members will be eligible to serve for another three year term. These include:
- Mike Dunbar - Bluegrass Genre
- Charlene Harrison - Black Gospel Genre
- Ann Hartmann - Christian Country Genre
- Roger Revette - Contemporary Christian Genre
- Mike Glover - Southern Gospel Genre
2017 USAGEM Officers & Board Members
During the 2016 USAGEM Convention, members in five board positions were elected to a three year term, starting in 2017. The elected tenure for president and vice president is for two years. As voted by the members of USAGEM, the positions of secretary and treasurer are appointed by the president and vice president of the organization. Committee members and chair positions are also appointed by the president. Currently, there are no term limits for the officers, chairs, or committee members of the organization. In order to serve as an officer, you must have been a USAGEM member in good standing for at least two consecutive years.
A ballot was made available to all members during the 2016 USAGEM Convention. Voting was open on Friday and Saturday during the convention. Balloting closed immediately following the rehearsal for the award show on Saturday and the votes were counted by the USAGEM Election Committee.
The president, vice president, and new board members in each genre were announced during the 13th Annual USAGEM Banquet on November 19, 2016 at The Inn At Opryland. The tenure for these newly elected board members and officers began on January 1, 2017.
The USAGEM Officers elected to serve a two year term starting on January 1, 2017 are:
- Lynn Fox (President)
- Mike Dunbar (Vice President)
Board members who began their tenure on January 1, 2017 include: Lady Corder Chapman, Tom Campbell, Dottie Tubb, Bonnie George, and Paul Sparks. Randy Ferrell has agreed to fill the vacant seat left by Mariah Neff (Mariah resigned her position after serving for one year of her elected three year term). During the December board meeting, Randy was appointed by the president to serve out the remaining tenure of two years left in Mariah's term.
2017 Board Members now include: Lady Corder Chapman, Tommie Lewis, Dewitt Johnson, Tom Campbell, Randy Ferrell, Jay Shupe, Dottie Tubb, Candace Kuykendall, Shelton Bissell, Bonnie George, Johnny Mack, Randy Pierce, Paul Sparks, Tank Tackett, and Rick Alan King.
According to the information I have, below is a list and service tenure left for each of the current USAGEM board members at the beginning of 2017:
Black Gospel Music Representatives
- Lady Corder Chapman (Three Years)
- Tommie Lewis (Two Years)
- Dewitt Johnson (One Year)
Bluegrass Music Representatives
- Tom Campbell (Three Years)
- Randy Ferrell (Two Years) (Vacant seat left by Mariah Neff)
- Jay Shupe (One Year)
Christian Country Music Representatives
- Dottie Tubb (Three Years)
- Candace Kuykendall (Two Years)
- Shelton Bissell (One Year)
Contemporary Christian Music Representatives
- Bonnie George (Three Years)
- Johnny Mack (Two Years)
- Randy Pierce (One Year)
Southern Gospel Music Representatives
- Paul Sparks (Three Years)
- Tank Tackett (Two Years)
- Rick Alan King (One Years)
The current 2017 USAGEM Officers are: Lynn Fox, President; Mike Dunbar, Vice President; Sheila Berry Harrison, Secretary; and Bev McCann, Treasurer.
2017 Committee Members: Daniel Johnson is the USAGEM Membership Chair; Michael Gardner serves as the USAGEM Webmaster; Daniel Johnson is in charge of the USAGEM Facebook; Shelton Bissell is in charge of Constant Contact; and Sandi Kay Shupe is the Special Events Coordinator.
13th Annual USAGEM Convention & Awards
The 13th Annual USAGEM Convention & Awards were held on Friday & Saturday November 18 & 19, 2016.
Most activities for this year's event were held in Nashville, Tennessee at the Texas Troubadour Theatre. The USAGEM Banquet will be held directly across the street from the theatre at the Inn At Opryland. Shows on Friday began at 6:15 PM. The awards show started at 4:00 PM on Saturday, and the awards banquet was scheduled immediately following the awards show at 7:00 PM.
Convention registration for duos and groups was $240 and included two banquet tickets. Registration for solo artists was $180 and included one banquet ticket. Special room rates at the Inn At Opryland were $127 per night during the convention (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights). Artists could pay their registration fees online using PayPal at www.USAGEM.org or send a check or money order to:
PO Box 121583
Nashville, TN 37212
13th Annual USAGEM Birthday Bash
As voted by the board of directors and the USAGEM membership, last year's USAGEM Birthday Bash was held in Bon Aqua, Tennessee at the Storytellers Museum on Saturday August 13, 2016. Festivities started at 5:15 PM and included a short USAGEM Membership Meeting followed by some great food, fellowship, and lots of singing and picking. The top nominees for the 13th Annual USAGEM Awards were announced during the evening.
DVD copies of the 12th Annual USAGEM Convention & Awards Show are now available. Michael Gardner brought copies to the birthday bash and many members received their copies. These are basically unedited copies and are available to all artists who participated in the 2015 USAGEM convention/awards.
The Storytellers Museum is located just outside of Nashville in the heart of the small rural community of Bon Aqua, Tennessee. The museum was once a general store converted by Johnny Cash into a place where the "Saturday Night In Hickman County" guitar pulls once took place on the "Little Stage" inside the old country store building.
Participating USAGEM members were invited to perform one song. Some brought their CD tracks, musical instruments, or whatever was needed to complete their own performance. Comedians were invited to perform one skit or story (no more than five minutes). Sound and lights for the "Little Stage" were graciously provided by the staff of the Storytellers Museum. Our special events coordinator, Sandi Kay Shupe was in charge of the music and did a great job!
Plans are now underway for our next USAGEM Birthday Bash which is now scheduled in August 2017 at the Cedars Of Lebanon State Park located in Lebanon, Tennessee. Stay tuned for more details!
During the December board meeting, a resignation letter from the membership chair, Edie Jones was read aloud to members of the board. Because of her workload and new roles she has taken in her church, she feels that she will be unable to effectively continue the duties as the USAGEM membership chairperson. The board has accepted Edie's resignation. We sincerely appreciate Edie for her service as our USAGEM Membership Chair for over nine years, and we wish her well in her new roles at the Mending Fences Church. Edie has said that she will continue to support the organization and help wherever and whenever she can. Edie has done a wonderful job with keeping the membership roles, dues, and other artist information up to date and current.
During the meeting, Daniel Johnson was appointed to be the new USAGEM Membership Chairman. Daniel will oversee the membership, including keeping the membership roles, dues, maintenance fees, and artist information up to date and current. Daniel is presently working with Edie to make a smooth transition.
in an earlier meeting, it was decided by the board to move forward by sending a letter to all of the organization's founding and charter members. The purpose of this letter is to encourage all of our lifetime members to pay their yearly dues/maintenance fee of $25 as voted and passed by the USAGEM membership. Lifetime members who do not comply will be considered "inactive" and will lose performing and voting privileges in all USAGEM meetings, sponsored events, and awards nominations.
We need to encourage more participation from existing members, as well as to recruit new artists, duos, groups, and non-performing members. Daniel Johnson is doing a wonderful job in corresponding with our new members. Also, our webmaster Michael Gardner is working with any matters concerning the website including assistance with artist profiles. He is also working on a new page for current and past USAGEM award winners.
If you have had the chance to visit www.USAGEM.org lately, you may have noticed a few changes. Michael Gardner has added pages featuring our USAGEM awards and award winners. There is criteria and definitions for each of the board and member-voted awards. There is a search button where particular awards and past winners can be individually searched year by year.
Featured at the top of the homepage, Michael has added a slide show of photos from the convention, awards show, and banquet. Also, pictures are now being added for the current 2016 award winners.
For convenience, Michael has added links for past years -- all the way back to 2005. As you can see, some winners / information is missing. More information is added as it is provided to Michael by members who have either received awards (or remember some who have). If you have information or can remember some past award winners, including photos to share -- especially from the early years would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org . He would appreciate any information you can provide!
The torch has now been passed to Bob Etzel, as he has agreed to take on the responsibility of all things related to our newsletter, USAGEM Today. We're all looking forward to the newsletter being sent to our members via email.
Special thanks to Daniel Johnson! Daniel has done a phenomenal job in writing and organizing our newsletter. This is an undertaking that takes much thought and effort, and is very time consuming. During the past two years that this newsletter has been sent, I can say that this project has taken our organization to a new level of communication with our members and others in the music industry who are on our email list. From the feedback we are hearing, this endeavor has raised much enthusiasm with many of our members and the music community.
Shelton Bissell is now in charge of our Constant Contact mailing list. He is doing a great job of keeping this list updated.
USAGEM God & Country Jubilee Series
Sandi Kay Shupe serves as the Special Events Director for USAGEM. Sandi is in charge of promotion for all USAGEM God & Country Jubilee events.
Our 2016 USAGEM God & Country Jubilee events have been very successful! Rather than have a stationary location for our shows like we've enjoyed in the past, the show has moved to several different venues. These endeavors have allowed the organization to raise an awareness to new artists. Some have now become members of the organization.
Thanks to Sandi Kay Shupe and Mike Dunbar, several area churches have hosted concerts and fundraisers. Recently, our very first USAGEM God & Country Jubilee concert in Missouri was a great success! Special thanks to The Davis Family!
Mike Dunbar has also put together a couple of writer's nights at the Pavilion Coffee House in Nashville (Mike is already working on future writer's night events for 2017).
Tommie Lewis produced a USAGEM God & Country Jubilee concert on Friday, October 28, 2016 and featured several USAGEM artists!
During our next meeting, I'd like for Sandi Kay to report on venue options and planning for our USAGEM God & Country events for 2017!
For your reference, USAGEM board meetings are usually set on the second Monday of each month and membership meetings are scheduled quarterly. The next USAGEM Membership Meeting is now scheduled for Monday, March 13, 2017.
Please remember to keep all of our USAGEM members and friends in your prayers. I'm looking forward to seeing you at our next meeting!
In His Service,
United States Association Of Gospel Entertainers & Musicians