SOURCE AWARD RECIPIENT
Holder, Kennedy & Company, Exit/In, Sound Seventy Corporation, Network Ink, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Ms. Thiels attended the University of Southwest Louisiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, majoring in advertising design. After working as a
reporter at a Louisiana daily newspaper and serving as press secretary for U.S. Congressman Speedy O. Long, she moved to Nashville in 1969 and joined the staff of Holder, Kennedy & Co. Public Relations. Early in the 1970s she became a partner in the Exit/In, a nationally recognized performance venue that brought to Nashville artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Steve Martin, and Dizzy Gillespie.
In 1974 Ms. Thiels was named Director of Public Relations for the Sound Seventy Corporation, STUDIO where she played a key role in taking Charlie Daniels from regional artist to international star.
She also directed media and event planning for Daniels' annual Volunteer Jam, a prototype for many of today's music festivals. In 1979 she co-founded Network Ink, the first company to mesh full-service public relations with Nashville's music industry (Thiels became sole owner in 1985). Clients included Reba McEntire, Wynonna, Dolly Parton, Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, Brooks & Dunn, and Clint Black, among many others. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum was a charter client, and Thiels was instrumental in the Museum's capital campaign, which partly financed the Museum's new home in downtown Nashville. Thiels joined CMF in January 2002. In November 2008, Thiels was recognized at the Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum, which was created to honor a music industry leader who represents the legacy of Louise Scruggs. A 1992 graduate of Leadership Music, she is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Country Music Association, and the Academy of Country Music.