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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Dr.  John Fleming

Dr. John Fleming

Museum Director-In-Residence


John Fleming was born in Morganton, North Carolina. He graduated from Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, in 1966. He attended the University of Kentucky and the University of Malawi before graduating from Howard University with a Ph.D. in American History in 1974. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi…

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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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Dr. Dina Bennett

Dr. Dina Bennett

Curatorial Director


Dr. Dina M. Bennett is the Curatorial Director for the National Museum of African American Music, and an ethnomusicologist who specializes in African American music and culture. Dr. Bennett has previously served as the Associate Director of the Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas;

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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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Donald R. Hardin, Jr.

Donald R. Hardin, Jr.

Project Manager of NMAAM Construction


Donald R. Hardin, Jr. was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Currently and for more than 20 years, Don co-owns and manages DON HARDIN GROUP, a construction management firm based in Nashville and serving Fortune 500 clientele across the country as well as serving community-based organizations…

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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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Kathryn Ryce

Kathryn Ryce

Controller


Kathryn Ryce joined the Finance Department of the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), as Controller in April 2019. She is responsible for the management of day-to-day accounting activities, production of financial reports, as well as the development of internal control policies and procedures…

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Lauranette S. Ford

Lauranette S. Ford

Database Manager


Lauranette S. Ford is the Database Manager at the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM). Her expertise includes internal auditing, project management, process improvement, and donor database management. She is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), a Certified Project Manager…

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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. T.B. Boyd, III

Dr. T.B. Boyd, III

Legacy Trustee 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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The Honorable Karl Dean

The Honorable Karl Dean

Board of Directors


The Honorable Karl Dean was the sixth mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. He was elected on Sept. 11, 2007 and was re-elected on Aug. 4, 2011 with nearly 80 percent of the vote. During his time in office, Mayor Dean has invested in schools, public safety and economic development…

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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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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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Harvey E. Hoskins

Harvey E. Hoskins

Treasurer


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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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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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 has served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director – Large Corporate and Specialized Industries of Fifth Third Bank since December 2009 and served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Healthcare Lending of Fifth Third Bank from December 2005…

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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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Dr. Lucius T. Outlaw

Dr. Lucius T. Outlaw

Ex-Officio 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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Dene Oliver

Dene Oliver

National Advisory Board Chair


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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Ben R. Rechter

Ben R. Rechter

Board of Directors


Ben R. Rechter has been part of NMAAM project since before its inception and currently serves on the board of directors. His vision, experience and drive have been invaluable to the development of this project.

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, he and his family moved to…

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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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Butch Spyridon

Butch Spyridon

Board of Directors


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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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


Whether it’s music or television, Phil Thornton is definitely one of the most influential individuals working in our industry. As Vice President/General Manager, Urban Inspirational at Entertainment One (eOne) out of Nashville, Thornton oversees one of the more coveted rosters currently in…

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Anasa Troutman

Anasa Troutman

Board of Directors


An artist manger, writer, producer, and entrepreneur, Anasa Troutman has dedicated her life to the importance of culture and the power of love. As CEO of her company, Eloveate, Anasa works to build and execute strategies for artists and organizations that are aligned with her vision of a loving world and her belief in creativity as a…

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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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NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD

Chair


Dene Oliver

Members


Bobby Jones
David Porter
Richard Smallwood
Al Bell
Debra Langford
Joseph W Walker III
Catherine Brewton
Marc Morial
H James Williams
Mike Curb
Gregg Morton
Howard Hewitt
Jim Ed Norman
Don Jackson
Edwin Rigaud