Lifting Lives Award

Paul Barnabee

Dwight Wiles

Paul Barnabee and Dwight Wiles

Paul Barnabee and Dwight Wiles have each been chosen to receive the Lifting Lives Award, honoring the contributions of Gary Haber, known as a business manager and past president of ACM Lifting Lives. This award is presented to a Country Music artist, duo/group, or industry professional who is devoted to improving lives through the power of music, has a generosity of spirit, and is committed to serving others. It is voted on by the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors. 

Paul Barnabee has been an avid supporter of ACM Lifting Lives throughout his career. Having served two consecutive years as the Chair of the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors, Paul’s passion and investment played an instrumental role in jumpstarting the ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund in 2020, bringing financial security to many in the Country Music community during their time of need. A senior staffer tapped to lead Flood, Bumstead, McCready & McCarthy, Inc.’s (FBMM) Los Angeles office, Barnabee has 30 years of diverse industry experience in many divisions including Polygram Records, Sony Music, and FBMM. In addition to serving as Chair on the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors (2020-2022), Barnabee served as Chairman of the board for the Academy of Country Music (2015-2016) and was a member of the board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee for five years. 

With over a decade of service to ACM Lifting Lives, Dwight Wiles’ tenure on the organization’s Board dates back to before its 2008 rebranding, when it was still named the ACM Charitable Foundation. During this time, Wiles played an integral role in shaping the organization’s charitable efforts, building many of the core tenets of ACM Lifting Lives that remain today, including Party for a Cause, the Grant Cycle, and Music Camp. Having served the longest tenure as Treasurer on the Board of Directors, Wiles’ financial leadership enabled ACM Lifting Lives to give generously to the Country Music community throughout the years. As a Certified Public Accountant who helped build thriving business management firm Wiles + Taylor & Co., Wiles’ experience in the music industry spans three decades, encompassing personal management for several artist clients, business management, and financial consulting. In addition to his service on the ACM Lifting Lives Board of Directors, Wiles is a former board member of Nashville's WPLN and Leadership Music, and a current member of ACM, CMA, NARAS, TSCPA and AICPA. He is also co-owner of Do Write Music, a publishing administration company.

Past recipients of the ACM Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award include Ross Copperman, Gayle Holcomb, Lady A, Dolly Parton, Darius Rucker and Carrie Underwood.