|Pictured in the Tennessee Senate chamber are State Representative Gary Odom, State Senator Douglas Henry, BMI President & CEO Frances Preston, Lt. Gov. John Wilder, State Senator Steve Cohen, and BMI Senior Vice President, Government Relations Fred Cannon. Photo by Steve Lowry|
Senator Douglas Henry introduced the resolution, recognizing her upcoming retirement as head of the performing rights organization and thanking her for "years of untiring service to the music industry, her community, state and nation, and to the many charitable causes that she has unstintingly supported." The Senate passed the resolution unanimously with all members signing on as co-prime sponsors. Joining Senator Henry for the ceremonies at the podium were Lt. Gov. John Wilder, Senator Steve Cohen and Representative Gary Odom.
Preston, a Nashville native who began her career at WSM, opened BMI's Southern regional office in 1958; she was named President & CEO in 1986. She is a well-known figure on Capitol Hill, frequently testifying in support of creators' rights, and has made BMI a key member of the wide-ranging alliance debating the public policy issues of the digital age. Among her numerous accolades are the Recording Academy's National Trustees Award, the Country Music Association's Irving Waugh Award of Excellence, and City of Hope's Spirit of Life Award. A member of both the Country Music and Gospel Music Halls of Fame, she is President of the T.J. Martell Foundation and is the namesake of the Martell-supported Frances Williams Preston Research Laboratories at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.