RAB, BMI and MIW Present 4th Annual ‘Rising Through the Ranks’ Seminar

Posted in News on May 2, 2011

Alison Smith, Senior Vice President, Performing Rights at BMI, and “Rising Through the Ranks” Alumna Taja Graham to Deliver Keynote Addresses

Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), BMI and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) will continue to enhance women’s knowledge and expertise in radio sales management with the fourth annual “Rising Through the Ranks” course. This two-day training seminar dedicated to the support and advancement of women in radio sales management will be held August 30-31, 2011, at the BMI offices in Nashville, Tennessee.

Designed for relatively recent and emerging managers, the seminar will focus on essential sales management techniques and encompasses everything from budgeting and forecasting to time management development.

Once again, BMI is pleased to provide 25 scholarships for this year’s program. These scholarships cover the cost of the training course and help promote the advancement of female managers.

Keynote speakers Alison Smith, Senior Vice President, Performing Rights at BMI, and Taja Graham, General Sales Manager for Emmis-owned station WLHK, will share their insights on growth and advancement for women in the workplace.

Smith has been named twice to Billboard magazine’s “Women In Music” list and she chairs an international committee made up of collection societies and music publisher that deals with international digital licensing initiatives. During her tenure at BMI, Smith has spearheaded the on-going development and implementation of methodologies for royalty payments stemming from the many usages of BMI music across multiple media platforms. She directs BMI’s TV and cable distribution methodology, and piloted the development of online digital tools to benefit BMI affiliates and music customers. Considered an expert on performing rights administration, she has been a frequent guest speaker before such groups as the Society of Composers & Lyricists, the Association of Independent Music Publishers (New York and Los Angeles), the California Copyright Conference, the Church Music Publishers Association, and a number of performing rights organizations around the world.

Taja Graham, 2010 “Rising Through the Ranks” alumna, will deliver the alumni keynote address. Taja received her B.S. from Butler University, and started her radio career as an intern with WZPL in 1991. In 1996, Taja joined Emmis Communications and has worked in various roles leading up to her current position as General Sales Manger for WLHK, Country 97.1 Hank FM. She received the Emmis Broadcasting Inc. Chairman’s Club Award for Annual Top Sales Performance in 2007 and 2008, having sold for WNOU and WIBC.

“We’re very excited to welcome the ‘Rising Through the Ranks’ course back to Nashville for this engaging seminar.” said Mike O’Neill, BMI Senior Vice President, Repertoire & Licensing. “We’re proud to support the advancement and education of female executives throughout the radio industry.”

“Thanks to outstanding organizations like BMI and the RAB, the MIW Group continues to support the development, growth and advancement of women as they move into senior positions in the radio industry,” noted Heidi Raphael, VP of Corporate Communication for Greater Media and spokesperson for the MIW Radio Group.

“RAB continues to promote the advancement of women into senior positions in Radio,” stated Sheila Kirby, Senior Vice President, Professional Development at the RAB. “This year’s curriculum and guest speakers will ensure that attendees receive the latest tools and knowledge to carry them into current and future management roles.”

Scholarship applications and registration information are available at and will be accepted now through July 13, 2011. The training course is limited; applicants are encouraged to submit early to secure a spot.

About MIW Radio Group
The MIW Radio Group consists of top-level Radio women across the country who are dedicated to using their influence and resources to help put more women in positions of leadership in Radio. For contact information for each MIW, along with interviews, articles and MIW presentations, or to join the MIW Network or learn about the MIW Mentoring Program, go to

About Radio Advertising Bureau
The Radio Advertising Bureau serves more than 6,000 member Radio stations in the U.S. and over 1,000 member networks, representative firms, broadcast vendors, and international organizations. RAB leads and participates in educational, research, sales, and advocacy programs that promote and advance Radio as a primary advertising medium.

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