Bridget Cirone Hired as Assistant, Creative & Content and Marketing Depts,
Lanni Gagnon Hired as Coordinator, Events,
Jen Heaton Named Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships,
Carrie Tekautz Hired as Coordinator, Awards & Membership

Encino, CA (January 18, 2018) – The Academy of Country Music® is announcing new hires in four departments, including new Assistant, Creative & Content and Marketing departments Bridget Cirone; Coordinator, Events Lanni Gagnon; Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships Jen Heaton; and Coordinator, Awards & Membership Carrie Tekautz. All positions are based out the Academy’s headquarters in Encino, CA.

Chicago-born and Las Vegas-raised, Bridget Cirone joins the Academy of Country Music’s Los Angeles team, stepping in as Assistant for both the Marketing and Creative & Content departments. Cirone graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she studied public relations and digital media and worked for both the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and WISN 12 News. After graduating, Cirone moved back to Las Vegas where she spent a year and a half working at Wicked Creative, an entertainment, hospitality and lifestyle public relations firm. Cirone was a volunteer for the ACM Awards and ACM Party for a Cause® events in 2017. She will assist the marketing and creative & content teams with all needs, including administrative and support tasks, and will serve as a production assistant for all major events, among other duties. She reports dually to Lisa Lee, Senior Vice President, Creative & Content and Brooke Primero, Senior Vice President, Marketing.

A Massachusetts native, Lanni Gagnon joins the Academy of Country Music team as Coordinator of the Events department. Gagnon attended New York’s Ithaca College where she studied communication management and design. She interned with the Academy’s Event & Operations team for the 50th Annual ACM Awards, and after graduating in May 2015 relocated to Los Angeles for stints with Intern Queen, Inc., RGLive Events and George P. Johnson Experiential Marketing. During that time, she also freelanced with the ACM Events team on-site for the past two ACM Awards in Las Vegas. In her role as a coordinator, Gagnon will be responsible for various logistical and operational elements of the ACM Awards and ACM Party for a Cause Events – including event production, red carpet, food and beverage, transportation, signage, security, event décor and partnership fulfillment. She reports to Erick Long, Senior Vice President, Events.

California born and raised, Jen Heaton joins the Academy of Country Music in a newly created role as Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships, in the Academy’s Los Angeles office. Heaton attended the University of Arizona, graduating with degrees in communications and business, and remained in Arizona and joined the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Sales Department in 2010 to assist with their season tickets, group events and hospitality. She was quickly promoted to an account executive, overseeing more than 500 season ticket holders and their day-to-day ticket usage in addition to coordinating annual events for season ticket holders. In 2013, Heaton transitioned to the role of account service executive in Corporate Partnerships, where she managed corporate partners of the Arizona Diamondbacks, overseeing contracts and executing activations with the team. As the Academy’s Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships, she is responsible for planning and executing the ACM and ACM Lifting Lives® partners programs—including identifying, cultivating, and developing new sponsors across industries and developing a multi-year partnership strategy.  She reports to Erick Long, Senior Vice President, Events.

Originally from Kansas City, Carrie Tekautz joins the Academy of Country Music’s team as Coordinator of the Awards & Membership department. Tekautz attended Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, where she graduated with a degree in music business. After interning at Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony Music Nashville, Red Light Management and the Country Music Association, Tekautz began working full-time for CMA in 2013 within the Membership & Balloting department. In 2015, Tekautz joined the Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry team as assistant, a role she held for nearly two years before moving to Los Angeles. In her role as Coordinator, Awards & Membership, she will help maintain the membership database, recruit new ACM professional members and help coordinate the ACM Awards voting process. She reports to Nick Di Fruscia, Vice President, Awards & Membership. 

PHOTO CAPTION #1:  Bridget Cirone, Assistant, Creative & Content and Marketing Departments
PHOTO CAPTION #2:  Lanni Gagnon, Coordinator, Events
PHOTO CAPTION #3:  Jen Heaton, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships
PHOTO CAPTION #4: Carrie Tekautz, Coordinator, Awards & Membership

Media Contact:                                        
Brooke Primero
Academy of Country Music                 
Ph 818.815.4219
[email protected]