Mary Ann McCready
Mary Ann McCready

President, Flood Bumstead McCready & McCarthy

Opportunity Knocks
"Business management is the best of all worlds to the extent that when you have artists selling a lot of records like we do, selling tickets, touring and [selling] merchandise, there's a lot of work to do," says Mary Ann McCready, president of Flood Bumstead McCready & McCarthy, whose clients include Keith Urban, Kings of Leon, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, Scotty McCreery, Eric Church, Trace Adkins, Alabama Shakes and Blake Shelton.

My Mentor: Bill Denny, former president/CEO Cedarwood Publishing. "He took an early interest in me probably because of our Vanderbilt [University] connection. He called me one day and took me to lunch. I didn't really know him. I just knew he was this big deal. I was probably in my early 20's. My father had just died and [Denny] said, 'You have a lot of potential, but you need to keep your nose pointed north and stay out of trouble. Don't let the business deceive you, it's a business.'

"Later in my mid-to-late 20s, he somehow got me elected to the NARAS Board and then he somehow engineered my becoming a part of a bank board of directors and then on the board of the Better Business Bureau.

"I give him a lot of credit for my invitation to be a trustee on the Hall of Fame Board. The best advice he offered? 'Have fun. Enjoy your work, but remember that you're a professional and it's a business.'"

"Artists are busy with insurance, estate planning, investments, their union requirements, acquisitions of real estate and sponsorships opportunities. We have a whole function here that evaluates those opportunities for them. It's been a great year." FBMM, which McCready founded in 1990, has increased its staff by 10% for the second consecutive year. "Nashville is so hot right now," says McCready, a trustee of the Country Music Hall of Fame who also works with the Nashville Music Council and MusiCares. "Jack White got the first Ambassador Award from the Music Council. Kings of Leon got it this year. Those are not names that you would typically -associate with Nashville. The diversity continues to increase. The work that the music industry and the city are doing together is making a huge difference." McCready sums up her work by saying, "To see clients succeed, have fun with their money, accomplish goals that mean something to them and put money away in a conservative fashion for later, that's as good as it gets for me. That's what it is all about."