SOURCE AWARD RECIPIENT
A Pittsburgh native, Cathy Gurley was serving as the Director of Publicity for the renowned WWVA Radio and developing the Jamboree in the Hills Festival in Wheeling, WV in the early 1980s. She was also developing ties to Nashville media, booking agents and industry leaders. When the CMA Board of Directors met in Wheeling in 1982, she caught the attention of CMA Executive Director Jo Walker-Meador, who offered her a job in Nashville as Director of Public Information. After four years, Cathy left to form Gurley and Co, an independent PR company. The single mom spent her evenings with her daughter, Meagan, discussing their day while they organized press kits to be sent around the world. The efforts helped launch (and relaunch) the careers of Kathy Mattea, Patty Loveless, Gary Morris, Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Carlene Carter, Lynn Anderson and Tanya Tucker. Gurley temporarily shelved her company to join Jimmy Bowen at Capitol Records as vice president of Creative Services. There she helped develop marketing campaigns for Garth Brooks, which made him a household name. She also helped initiate bringing Christian music to the secular marketplace with Stephen Curtis Chapman. After 9/11, she partnered with Robert Rosenthal and the Spirit of America, bringing music to more than 100 military bases with artists such as Charlie Daniels, Miranda Lambert and Billy Ray Cyrus. Cathy is an adjunct at MTSU and Belmont University; she served on the ACM board for a decade, and was a founding board member of the Nashville TJ Martell Foundation. She is a Leadership Music alumna. Today she works as CEO of the non-profit You Have the Power.