LEADERSHIP

NATIONAL CHAIRS

 India Arie

India Arie

National Chair


India.Arie is a singer-songwriter, actress, musician, and record producer who went from “singing under a tree in the park” to the Grammy Awards stage in five years, earning seven nominations for her 2001 double-platinum debut Acoustic Soul featuring her first hit single “Video.” That was followed in 2002 by the platinum-selling…

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Keb' Mo

Keb' Mo

National Chair


It all took off for Keb’ Mo’ in 1994 with the self-titled release under his newly coined “Keb’ Mo’” moniker, and he proved once and for all that he was a musical force to be reckoned with. Album after album, 11 in total, garnered him 3 Grammy awards and a producer/engineer/artist Grammy Certificate for his track…

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Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker

National Chair


Darius Rucker first attained multi-platinum status as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Hootie & the Blowfish. The band has released five studio albums with him as a member, and charted six top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Rucker co-wrote the majority of the band’s songs with the other three members…

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CeCe Winans

CeCe Winans

National Chair


CeCe Winans is a multi-talented singer, who has won numerous awards, including ten GRAMMY® Awards and seven Stellar Awards. She has sold twelve million records worldwide. CeCe is also the best-selling female gospel artist of all time. Her collection of Top Ten R&B radio hits include “Count On Me,” her duet with…

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MUSEUM STAFF

 H. Beecher Hicks, III

H. Beecher Hicks, III

President & CEO


H. Beecher Hicks III’s professional experiences have included work in both the private, public and non-profit sectors where he has focused on building enterprises as a consultant, banker, investor and operating executive. Henry is now the president and CEO of the National Museum of African American Music…

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Tuwisha D. Rogers-Simpson

Tuwisha D. Rogers-Simpson

Vice President of Brand and Partnerships


Tuwisha D. Rogers-­Simpson is first and foremost a creative problem solver. The former Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for Urban One, she is responsible for over 15MM of media revenue and partnership management with iconic brands such as Walmart, AT&T and Prudential. Tuwisha has been recognized by…

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Danny Hiltenbrand

Danny Hiltenbrand

Vice President of Operations


Danny Hiltenbrand is a tourism professional with over 35 years’ experience and an extensive portfolio in the historic home, museum, theme park and attractions industry. For 24 years, Danny served as Vice President of Merchandise for Elvis Presley’s Graceland …

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Vince PremDas

Vince PremDas

Director of Development


Vince PremDas joined NMAAM in early 2019 as the Director of Development. He is responsible for the museum’s capital campaign, annual fundraising and membership efforts. Prior to NMAAM, Vince served as the associate vice president for Institutional advancement at Fisk University…

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Tamar Smithers

Tamar Smithers

Director of Education and Public Programs


Tamar Smithers is a professional actress, singer, arts administrator and educator. She has over 10 years of experience in the arts administration and higher education field. As Director of Education and Public Programs for NMAAM she is instrumental in creating culturally specific programs and curriculum for all ages. In this role…

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Kenyatta Andrews

Kenyatta Andrews

Director of Finance


Kenyatta Andrews joined the NMAAM team in January 2020 as Director of Finance and Administration. He is an accounting and finance professional with 20 years of relevant industry experience…

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Dionne Lucas

Dionne Lucas

Director of Retail Marketing and Sales


A graduate of Clark Atlanta University’s Mass Media Arts department, Dionne Lucas started her professional career with The Coca Cola Company, working in marketing at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, GA…

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Dr. Marquita Reed

Dr. Marquita Reed

Collections Manager


Dr. Marquita Reed holds a Ph.D in public history at Middle Tennessee State University. Additionally, Marquita received her B.A. in History from Florida State University and an M.A. in Public History from Florida International University. Working with numerous historical, organizing such as MTSU Center for Historic Preservation…

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Dr. Steven Lewis

Dr. Steven Lewis

Curator


Dr. Steven Lewis is a curator at the National Museum of African American Music. He has presented his research at national and international conferences and has worked with historical organizations including the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. He holds a B.A. in jazz studies from Florida State …

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Kara Duke

Kara Duke

Development Manager


Kara Duke is a native of Nashville, TN and serves as Assistant Director of Development at NMAAM. Kara is responsible for managing the annual fund, membership program and a portfolio of donors. She has an expansive career in higher education, sales and marketing.

Kara joins us from Fisk University where she successfully…

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Brandon Reid

Brandon Reid

Education & Development Manager


Brandon Reid is the Education & Development Manager at NMAAM, working primarily to accomplish the museum’s programmatic initiatives and solicit funds. A native of Detroit, MI, he is a graduate of Tennessee State University…

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Cara Lippman

Cara Lippman

Executive Assistant to the CEO


Cara Lippman began her administrative career working in her home state of Massachusetts for her father, a real estate attorney, while she completed her degree in English Education at Boston University. After an initial start as an English teacher and theatre director, Cara returned to the administrative field working in diverse…

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Kimberly Thomas

Kimberly Thomas

Development Administrative Assistant


Kimberly is native of Chattanooga, Tennessee. She is a marketing professional with 12 years of experience in the non-profit industry. Her expertise ranges from creative/brand management to business development. 

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Ellie Smith

Ellie Smith

Administrative Assistant


Ellie Smith holds a B.A in history and religious studies from Albright College. She is currently finishing her Masters’ of Theological Studies with a Jewish Studies Certificate at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Her area of study is 19th and 20th century religious history. 

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

LaDonna Boyd

LaDonna Boyd

Board of Directors


LaDonna Boyd is a native of Nashville, TN. Her family has had deep roots in the city for the past five generations, leaving a significant impact on the economic development and cultural history of Nashville. …

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Dr. Robert Fisher

Dr. Robert Fisher

Board of Directors


Dr. Robert (Bob) Fisher serves as President of Belmont University, a position he has held since April 2000. During his tenure the University’s enrollment has more than doubled to 7,400+ students while the campus itself has expanded significantly with the addition of more than $500 million in renovations and campus…

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Bret Babcock

Bret Babcock

Board of Directors


Bret Babcock is a partner at LOGICFORCE and serves as CFO. He specializes in operational oversight and system coordination of financial products and services. Bret adds value with accurate, insightful, and timely information, analysis, and solutions that promote the firm’s growth.

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Vince Gill

Vince Gill

Board of Directors


One of the most popular artists in modern country music, Vince Gill is famous for his top-notch songwriting, world-class guitar playing and warm, soaring tenor, all wrapped up in a quick and easy wit. Gill achieved his big breakthrough in 1990 with “When I Call Your Name,” which won both the Country…

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Jeff Harleston

Jeff Harleston

Board of Directors


Jeff Harleston  is General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for Universal Music Group worldwide. Harleston is a key member of the senior executive team and responsible for overseeing all business transactions, contracts, and litigation related to UMG’s operations…

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Connie Kinnard

Connie Kinnard

Board of Directors


Connie W. Kinnard is Vice President of Multicultural Tourism & Development for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Ms. Kinnard leads the department’s efforts to promote the multicultural neighborhoods, attractions and events in Miami. She also supports convention/travel sales initiatives in securing business.

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Brett C. Sweet

Brett C. Sweet

Board of Directors


Brett Sweet is Vanderbilt University’s Vice Chancellor for Finance & CFO. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, he served as dean of administration and finance at Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he spent five years as a nuclear submarine officer and served as a special projects officer with the National Security Agency.

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Stacey Garrett Koju

Stacey Garrett Koju

Vice-Chairman


Stacey Garrett Koju is a founding member of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC and chair of the firm’s Board of Directors. She concentrates her law practice in the areas of higher education, corporate transactions, healthcare and government affairs.

Stacey represents several institutions of higher education…

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Kevin Lavender

Kevin Lavender

Board Chair


Kevin Lavender is executive vice president and head of Commercial Banking for Fifth Third Bancorp. He is responsible for overseeing the Company’s vertically integrated commercial sales teams, Capital Markets, Specialty Lending and Treasury Management businesses. He also is a member of the Enterprise Committee.

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Jerry Maynard

Jerry Maynard

Board of Directors


Jerry Maynard has more than a decade of experience in public policy and government relations. He shown a proven ability to strategically and creatively reach diverse communities and build broad support for policies, initiatives, and development. An experienced strategist, he offers the clients of the…

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Sherri Neal

Sherri Neal

Board of Directors


Sherri Neal is Vice President, Cultural Development and Inclusion for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), where she is responsible for leading the company’s diversity, inclusion and cultural competence initiative which bolsters HCA’s award winning employee and patient culture…

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Jon Platt

Jon Platt

Board of Directors


Jon Platt is Chairman & CEO of Sony Music Publishing, home of the world’s greatest songwriters. With his songwriter-first, universally inclusive leadership style, Platt has redefined the company’s culture. Through his work with Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Drake…

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Dene Oliver

Dene Oliver

Board of Directors


Dene Oliver recently joined forces with Brookfield Properties as their Chief Vision Officer, following a 40-year career as the leader and founder of OliverMcMillan a successful, AIA award-winning national mixed-use development firm. At Brookfield Properties, Dene will work with teams to create one-of-a kind, award winning…

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Dasha Smith

Dasha Smith

Board of Directors


Dasha Smith is the Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer for the National Football League (NFL). In this role, Dasha is a member of the executive leadership team and responsible for all human resources activities across the League including talent and diversity strategies, workplace culture, compensation and recognition programs, leadership development,..

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Monique Idlett

Monique Idlett

Board of Directors


Monique Idlett is a globally recognized entertainment pioneer. Her power and influence stem from a unique blend of business acumen and innovative strategic vision. By adeptly traversing the spectrum from entertainment, marketing, press, and entrepreneurship, she has earned a reputation as an industry visionary. Her expansive reach into the hearts and minds of…

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Tom Curtis

Tom Curtis

Board of Directors


As a Managing Director for SunTrust Private Wealth Management Tom works with privately held businesses, their owners, and ultra-high net worth families.  He also works closely with our Foundations & Endowments team. Tom has spent his entire career in the financial services industry.  After leaving business school in 1982…

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Marie Sueing

Marie Sueing

Board of Directors


Marie Sueing is the Vice President of Multicultural Community Relations for the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation (NCVC). In this role, her efforts include increasing convention and tourism sales for the city and enhancing community relations and perception by promoting Nashville’s diverse offerings through product development and events.

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 Phil Thornton

Phil Thornton

Board of Directors


After graduating in 2003 from Norfolk University, Phil Thornton started his first company, Bright Star Entertainment, an artist management/consultant firm where he represented artists such as 112 and Lil’ Mo. In 2007, he partnered with Marcus Spence and Paul Coy Allen to form the successful Ten2One Entertainment, a multimedia, television production, and artist management conglomerate.

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Dyana Williams

Dyana Williams

Board of Directors


Dyana Williams is a revered award-winning entertainment powerhouse and music activist. Whether showcasing her talents in broadcasting, print journalism, television producing and reporting, inspiring others through community activism and lecturing…

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Legacy Board Members

Dr. T.B. Boyd, III

Dr. T.B. Boyd, III

Legacy Board Member


Dr. T. B. Boyd III is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. As a1965 graduate of Pearl High School, he began hismatriculation through Tennessee State University, graduating in 1969 with a B.S. degree in Business. Dr. Boyd is a 1980 recipient of the D.D. degree and a 1983 recipient of the Doctor of Letters.

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Harvey E. Hoskins

Harvey E. Hoskins

Legacy Board Member


Harvey E. Hoskins, CPA worked a decade for the IRS, where he advanced to Assistant Audit Division Chief, before he co-founded Hoskins & Company, the oldest minority owned and operated accounting firm in Nashville. Harvey has over 36 years of experience in governmental and public accounting…

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Dr. Lucius T. Outlaw

Dr. Lucius T. Outlaw

Legacy Board Member


Lucius Turner Outlaw (Jr.), the author of On Race and Philosophy (Routledge 1996) and Critical Social Theory in the Interest of Black Folks (Roman and Littlefield 2005) and other writings, is Professor of Philosophy, African American and Diaspora Studies, and of Human and Organizational Development (Peabody College) at Vanderbilt University, having joined the faculty in July of 2000.

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Butch Spyridon

Butch Spyridon

Legacy Board Member


Butch Spyridon has served as president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (CVC) since 1991. Under his leadership, Nashville has evolved into a year-round destination for meetings and leisure visitors and has grown to become the city’s second largest industry with annual visitor spending exceeding $5.5 billion…

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