The Smart Women in Music fund (SWIM) announced six recipients of its 2020 NAMM Show awards program. The awards will provide the emerging female leaders in the MI industry a travel stipend to attend The NAMM Show (January 16-19, 2020) in Anaheim, Calif.. While there, the group will have access to hundreds of professional development sessions, job shadowing with female industry leaders and networking with peers.

“The SWIM Fund was born out of a desire to reach and serve women who wish to expand their horizons and professional proficiencies, and who demonstrate ambition to enhance their leadership skills,” said SWIM captain Robin Walenta. “It’s our sincere hope that the female leaders of tomorrow will arise through this opportunity.”

The 2020 NAMM Show SWIM Fund awardees are Stacy Swanson, regional manager of lessons at Music & Arts; Jane Angel, lessons manager, Middle C Music; Kristi Jacobson, customer service manager, Alfred Publishing; Heather Mansell, marketing manager — education, Yamaha; Alice Monk, communications and events coordinator, Music Industry Association (MIA); and Alexandra Bosier, band, orchestra and printed music manager, Strait Music Co.

For the recipients, the SWIM award represents an opportunity to connect with like-minded peers at the industry’s global gathering. Alice Monk, is a first-time attendee to the Show. “At The NAMM Show, I will have networking opportunities with 7,000-plus brands that I may not have connected with before. I will be able to choose from 400-plus educational sessions that would enhance my understanding of issues from retail innovation to music education and present me with innovative ideas from industry thought leaders,” she said.

“Continuing education and career advancement are important to me, and given the size of The NAMM Show along with the abundant educational sessions, this is an excellent opportunity for me to learn about new industry topics, trends, and products,” added Jacobson.

“I hope to gain new connections while strengthening the ones I’ve already made in the music products industry. I hope to be inspired by new experiences and motivated to come up with new ideas for my departments and store. Overall I hope to learn and soak in as much as I can from experienced women leaders in our industry,” continued Alexandra Bosier.

The fund, led by Robin Walenta, president of West Music Co., Crystal Morris, president and CEO of Gator Cases, and DeDe Heid, executive vice president of Heid Music, was launched in 2018 and aims to support women in the industry in three key areas: offering mentoring, learning and professional development opportunities at The NAMM Show and Summer NAMM; job shadowing of female leaders at industry events; and in-company residencies.

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