T.J. Martell’s New York Gala to Honor CMA’s Sarah Trahern, BMI’s Mike O’Neill, Atlantic’s Michael Kushner

NY Honors Gala
Courtesy T.J. Martell Foundation

The T.J. Martell Foundation for Cancer Research has announced the 44 th Annual New York Honors Gala, to be held on October 15th at Cipriani in New York, will honor Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern, BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill and Atlantic Records EVP and general counsel Michael Kushner (pictured above, left to right).

The announcement was made by Co-chairs Julie Greenwald and Craig Kallman of Atlantic Records, Charlie Feldman of BMI, and Chairman of the T.J. Martell Foundation’s National Board of Trustees Joel Katz of Greenberg Traurig.

The evening includes celebrity guests invited by the honorees to perform and present awards. Past hosts, presenters, performers, and notable guests have included Bryan Adams, Indie Arie, Mary J Blige, Garth Brooks, former President William J. Clinton, former President George H. W. Bush, Clive Davis, Foreigner, Joe Jonas, DJ Khaled, Doug Morris, Bill Murray, REO Speedwagon, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Yoko Ono and many others luminaries. Past honorees have included Irving Azoff, Steve Boom, Scott Borchetta, Jennifer Breithaupt, Drew Carey, Charlie Daniels, Clive Davis, John Esposito, Berry Gordy, Jeff Harleston, Randy Jackson, Quincy Jones, Joel Katz, Monte and Avery Lipman, Kenny Loggins, Arnold Palmer, Bea Perez, the late Frances Williams Preston, Sarah Stennett, Julie Swidler, Carrie Underwood, Afo Verde, Russell Wallach, Brett Yormark, among many others.

Trahern is president of the Country Music Association (CMA) and is based in Nashville, Tennessee. The music and television veteran assumed the title in 2014. Prior to her appointment to CMA, she served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Scripps Networks Interactive Great American Country (GAC). She has more than 27 years of experience in the network television business. Prior to joining CMA she was responsible for the strategic direction of the GAC Network and oversaw all aspects of the network including programming, marketing, creative, and digital. She had joined GAC from Shop At Home where she was credited with providing a vision for the programming strategy while stabilizing the production process and enhancing the network’s quality of on-air content. She also has owned her own production company, Sterling Television, and worked in programming at PBS.

Kushner is the Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Atlantic Records. Michael Kushner is Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Atlantic Records. Part of Atlantic’s senior executive team since 2001, he oversees all business affairs and legal functions for Atlantic Records.  Beginning his career at PolyGram in 1987, Kushner has held senior roles at Sony Music, and prior to joining Atlantic Records, he served as Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs at the Island Def Jam Music Group.

O’Neill is President and Chief Executive Officer of BMI© (Broadcast Music, Inc.). In his role, O’Neill oversees all of BMI’s business operations, both domestically and globally and directs the company’s strategic growth to benefit BMI’s songwriters, composers, music publishers, and licensees. He is also a member of the BMI Board of Directors.

Chairman of the National Board of Trustees Joel Katz explained that “the music industry’s long-time support of the T.J. Martell Foundation dates to 1975 when music executive Tony Martell established the organization in memory of his son, T.J., who was lost to leukemia at the age of 19. Since then, more than $280 million has been raised for ground-breaking treatment and support of cancer-related illnesses.”