3rd Street Songwriter's Festival Industry Panel:
Courtney Crist - HoriPro Entertainment, Nashville
Growing up, Courtney Crist was surrounded by music. Her mother was a disc jockey at a local radio station in Louisiana where most of her free time was spent. This led Courtney to attend Middle Tennessee State University, studying in their Recording Industry program. Throughout her college and post-graduation career, Courtney worked for Lee Ann Womack which eventually led to her doing road management and A&R for the Grammy Award-Winning Country Singer/Songwriter. Since then, she has worked for both NSAI Hall Of Fame Songwriter, Bob DiPiero, and Frank Rogers Productions, where she did A&R for seven years prior to joining HoriPro.
Jake Gear - Sea Gayle Music, Nashville
Creative Director at Sea Gayle Music. Sea Gayle Music is an independent music company started by Chris DuBois, Brad Paisley, and Frank Rogers—Two time ASCAP Country Publisher of the year, and has had 40 #1 Country songs. Helps manage Sea Gayle’s roster of 20+ songwriters/artists, and has helped place songs with Blake Shelton, Joe Nichols, Jake Owen, Jerrod Niemann, Randy Houser, Jon Pardi, Scotty McCreery, David Fanning, etc.
Formerly held creative positions at Magic Mustang/Broken Bow, and coordinator of Music & Media Licensing at CMT.
Kendall Lettow - THIS Music, Nashville
Kendall Lettow, who spent most of her childhood in Birmingham. AL, has always had a love for music. Hoping one day she could work close to her favorite artist and the creative process, she never knew it was possible. After graduating high school in 2007, Lettow started her freshman year of college at Auburn University but soon transferred to Middle Tennessee State University to pursue a degree in Music Business. She began interning at the publishing company Big Loud Shirt in 2011 and landed her first job at Kobalt Music as a Creative Assistant that same year. In 2013, Lettow continued her career in publishing by taking the position of Creative Director at the Orbison family publishing company Still Working Music. Soon after, in October 2013, she ended up at the independent publishing company THiS Music, where she is currently Creative Director. THiS Music is home to some of the top writers in the industry and consistently has songs topping the charts with some of country's biggest acts.
Helen Darling -Songwriter
From Baton Rouge via Nashville and now residing in Austin, Helen has been successful as a country singer and songwriter. As a songwriter, Darling has had her songs recorded by Reba McEntire, Little Big Town and Mindy McCready, among others. She also co-wrote Jo Dee Messina's Number One song "Bring On the Rain.” As a country singer, Darling sang background vocals on Garth Brooks' 1994 single "The Red Strokes." Brooks returned the favor by singing background on Darling's album.