THG Management facilitates numerous long-term career growth strategies in various capacities and stages. Our clients currently range from established, multi-platinum to new, emerging artists. THG services are primarily geared toward development initiatives that include but are not limited to:
"Because of evolving technology, there are now many great platforms and outlets for artists to grow and connect with their potential fan base. You have to constantly assess the strengths and weaknesses of your brand, and all the various forms of engagement platforms available to you, then formulate sensible strategies that allow for consistent, organic and meaningful engagement that can be measured. Ultimately, the objective is to create an opportunity for another human being to make a solid, emotional connection to your brand that motivates/inspires them enough to consume your brand. That manifests itself in various ways, from that fan talking about your brand, sharing your posts, retweeting what you've said, viewing and sharing your content, streaming, downloading and/or purchasing your music to attending your great live show, buying your merchandise, signing up for your newsletter or fan club, etc.... Oftentimes you'll find that connection has very little to do with your music, initially." Holland says. "It is often surprising to learn what exactly triggers an emotional connection from a new fan. That discovery is a crucial part of career development and the foundation on which we build from."
Prior to founding The Holland Group in 2007, Billy Holland was an executive leader in the business arena. His list of accomplishments is as impressive as his work ethic; as early as 6 years old, he began helping on his relatives' construction job sites, spending many childhood summer months learning the trade and becoming a carpenter by age 16. At 19 years old, Billy was approached for an entry-level job offer in Memphis, TN in the production facility of a computer graphics company, Autographix, producing computer generated presentation materials for sales and business executives, worldwide. He quickly became a rising star within the company and after four years, while attending college studying business, Billy was offered a position at the company's headquarters in Boston, MA, to help manage the production and customer service divisions. Two years later, he was promoted to sales executive as the company continued to grow upon its multi-million dollar profitable sale.
With that valuable experience, success and multiple skillsets intact, Billy sought an opportunity and began developing and managing sales territories for Minolta Business Systems, a Global 1000 company, and Tyco/Simplex, a Fortune 500 company, working as an account executive, sales executive trainer and team leader with the #1 sales team on the East Coast and #2 ranked team in North America. As a result of consistently achieving more than 100% of unit/profit quota, building a multi-million dollar territory from the ground up, and adding more than a record 130 new accounts in two years, he was awarded full membership into Minolta's Presidents Club.
While the business arena was exciting and thriving under his executive leadership, his life-long passion, love and family background and roots were in music. In 1999, Billy began the process of building relationships within the music industry and shortly thereafter made the bold move to Nashville, accepting a GM position at Cupit Music Group, an independent record label and distribution fulfillment company that housed two music publishing companies, a record studio, production services and record label operations. One of Billy's most impressive accomplishments was securing and providing consumer fulfillment of all media for the $110M company Overstock.com. Billy wore several hats, including managing company operations and working with several developing, emerging and established artists while rising to Executive Vice President during his 7-year tenure.
In 2007, Billy channeled his successful well-diversified background to venture out on his own and formed The Holland Group, which is now partnered with Sony/Orchard and AMPED Distribution. Billy's natural leadership skills and genuine personality quickly garnered him additional projects and management clients, expanding the scope of THG's initial reach to what it is today.
In addition to currently serving as President of The Holland Group, Billy has accomplished other noteworthy goals, including running the St. Jude Rock n Roll Marathon, several Tough Mudder Endurance races and complete 50 half marathons to-date.
Ron Backer has been involved in the music industry for most of his life. During his teen years, Ron played in and managed several bands. He then attended The University of Texas at Austin where he studied management and marketing. After college he immediately opened his first record store, Spicewood Sounds, in Austin and followed that with a second Austin location the next year. While still overseeing the two stores, Ron was offered the opportunity to co-manage Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, which he did and founded Lone Star Artist Management.
While working with Asleep at the Wheel, he was able to secure a record deal for them with MCA Records. He built solid relationships with many in the MCA/Universal camp and as a result was offered a position as a sales/marketing executive. During his 16 years at Universal he was instrumental in breaking acts such as George Strait, Reba, Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, Lionel Richie, Bobby Brown, Nirvana, Guns ‘n Roses and many more.
While still at Universal, Ron was approached by Sony Music Entertainment/RED and offered a position as VP of National Sales which he held for 19 years. While at Sony/RED he was key in the success of Jason Aldean, Mumford & Sons, Kelsea Ballerini, Train and many more.
Throughout his tenures at both Universal and Sony he was responsible for developing and overseeing all sales and marketing initiatives for key national accounts including major promotions with Walmart, Target and Best Buy.
Ron left Sony/RED to start his own artist management company, Genesis Artist Management, and to manage The Willis Clan, a family band consisting of 12 extremely talented brothers and sisters. He handled all aspects of the band including their TLC weekly television show, securing a label deal, working on a full-length movie, securing promotions with Wal-Mart and Cracker Barrel, and handling their publicity which included appearances on The Today Show, CNN, Megan Kelly and others.
Shortly after this, Ron merged his company with The Holland Group Management because of his long standing and successful relationship with THG’s president, Billy Holland. Together they have molded the company and their roster to the successful company it is today.
As a singer and actress, Cathy Nakos’ personal experiences in the entertainment industry helped her launch new entertainers, songwriters & actors. Known for “thinking out of the box,” she has been involved in every aspect of the music business. Additionally, she works
with music supervisors, directors and producers to place artists’ songs in films, television and video games. Nakos is also partnered in Catamara Entertainment, LLC which is under contract to Executive Produce/Produce 15 films over the next five years.
Cathy has worked with The Holland Group for the past 5 years, in addition to several years prior, managing and co-managing North American and International artists at various levels, including Mallory Johnson who won the 2019 ECMA Country Album of the Year and as an
actress, songwriter and singer demonstrates her talents in the new film INTO THE WILDERNESS. Mallory’s current album is produced by Kent Wells, producer for Dolly Parton. She is currently up for numerous awards for the 2022 ECMA Awards, has won Music NL video of
the year and is one of 8 Sirius XM top country artists in association with the 2022 CCMA Awards.
Cathy co-produced two television shows with Producer Edie Hand in 2013 Holiday Memories a Thanksgiving special along with a Christmas special with the late Charley Pride, Ronnie Milsap, Andy Griggs, Jimmy Fortune and Buddy Jewell all performing their Christmas songs. Prior to managing artists, Cathy served as an Executive Vice President and consultant for the
American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association over a 20-year-period. She contracted numerous entertainers such as: Tony Bennett, Bob Hope, Bobby Vinton, Kenny Rogers, John Davidson, Little Anthony and the Imperials to name a few for large fundraising events which provided her an opportunity to be on the other side of the entertainment industry
as the buyer and producer. As a fundraiser, Cathy raised and managed over $40 million dollars during this tenure. As an officer of the board of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, she produced and directed events including honorary Roasts for actors, sports celebrities and entertainers raising millions of dollars for the organization over 12 years. As talent, Cathy promoted multiple television and radio commercials for Sears, various car dealerships, etc. and won a Cleo Award for The Bullock Advertising Agency for a Salvation Army
Christmas radio commercial. She made numerous television appearances on television talk shows and performed on numerous occasions. She also wrote copy for WSGN radio for several years. She is accredited to facilitate motivational workshops and has provided counseling services and training to corporations and organizations.
Cathy is joining Don Most aka Ralph Mouth “Happy Days” and Tamara Trexler as an Executive
Producer on the TOMMY JOHN baseball story (untitled) to be filmed in Nashville in 2022.
Her honors include: Bronze Hope Chest Award - Multiple Sclerosis; Outstanding Division Award, Outstanding Regional Director of the Year Award, Most Outstanding and Unique Special Event Award, Special Recognition Award for the Division, AHA , Alabama Affiliate; National Society of Heart Association Professional Fellow; Named to Who’s Who in American Women; Named to the International Who’s Who of Intellectuals; Named to the Directory of Distinguished Americans Fifth Edition for Service to the Community; served on the Board of Governors for the American Biographical Institute Research Association; YWCA Outstanding Executive Women in San Antonio Award; Outstanding Development Awards, Outstanding Communications Awards, and Outstanding Program Awards AHA Texas.
She is an advisory board member of Film-Com. She served as Executive Committee Secretary for 4 years on Film Nashville Board. She has served as a member of Kulture City supporting individuals with Autism, and The Pujols Family Foundation supporting individuals with Downs Syndrome. She has been a member of Rotary International Board of Directors, on the board of Harlingen Country Playhouse, National Society of Heart
Association Professionals, American Women in Radio and Television, Birmingham Press Club, served on Chamber of Commerce’s in various cities, Reno Advertising Club, Soroptimist International, Zonta International, Birmingham Ballet League, Junior Symphony League of
Birmingham, Ladies Philanthropic Society ( member and Officer), Birmingham Creative Dance Company, Board of Directors and officer of Central Alabama Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, World Affairs Council in Texas, Daughters of Penelope, and Church Ministry
Team and Choir. She has served as an officer of numerous organizations and as Chairman Advanced Gifts Campaign for AHA and Chairman of Public Relations for Oak Hills Rotary.
Tracie Hitz moved to Nashville to start Hitz & Branding so she could help others by building their personal and professional brands through storytelling. She’s worked with large brands like the NCAA and UNICEF, as well as small businesses that range from artists to nonprofits to a surf coach. Hitz and her team create integrated marketing and branding plans for clients, as well as build all of the elements necessary to implement them effectively, including graphics, videos, websites, email campaigns, social media, digital media, PR, booking content capture, event planning sponsorship sales, fundraising, merchandising, management and more.
Hitz selected Nashville to start a business after she fell in love with the city when she was planning her first Women’s Final Four in Music City while working as the Director of Business Operations at the NCAA. She took over that roll in October of 2013 where she managed external operations for the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship that led to a sell-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena for the 2014 Women’s Final Four in first-time host city, Nashville. The following year, she led the sales team to record the largest attendance at a Women’s Final Four since 2010, collaborated with over 150 staff and committee members to put on the first-ever combined championship where the Division I, II and III champions were all crowned in the same arena in 2016 and notched back-to-back sellouts in Dallas in 2017 and Columbus in 2018 with the latter being the largest attendance across the entire Women’s Basketball Championship since 2004. She created new initiatives to engage fans, business professionals, coaches and former players during her tenure. Hitz garnered earned local and national media with unique ideas that tell the story of women’s basketball, including landing on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 Plays for the inaugural Dribble to Work Day in 2015, which also earned a 2016 NACMA award and was named a finalist for the National Sports Forum's 2016 Sammy Awards.
Before the NCAA, Hitz worked for Old Hat Creative for 3.5 years where she was the Chief Marketing Officer tasked with creating the strategic plan to grow the company from design, video and web services to a full creative sports agency dedicated to branding professional and college sports teams. She doubled the company's annual revenue every year with first-class customer service, understanding their current needs and anticipating the future trends in the sports and entertainment industries. She also oversaw marketing, public relations and social media to secure 30% of total clients and 65% new clients while collaborating with over 100 collegiate and pro teams to create sales and marketing plans to generate revenue for multiple sports, as well as assisted with donor relations and fundraising plans. She developed the James Justice Slam Dunk Social Campaign for the 5’9 Martin Methodist College basketball player to compete in the 2012 State Farm Slam Dunk Contest where he took home the dunking title as the dark-horse entry.
Hitz took the post as Old Hat Creative after working for 13 years at Northwestern University where she was the associate athletic director for Sales and Marketing Department. During her tenure at NU, she was part of a team that set records for season tickets and single-game attendance in every admission-charging sport, as well as won nine national marketing awards in seven years. Since starting at NU as the Marketing Assistant in 1997, she contributed to the creation of several initiatives that continue to build to this day, including the Wildcat Kidsʼ Club, Womenʼs Sports Weekend, the Sports Marketing Club, the Randy Walker 5K Walk and the Womenʼs Reunion Weekend for former student-athletes. Through the years, she kept up with the changing technology from being part of the creation of NUsports.com to producing the gameday content on the videoboard in Ryan Field.
She is a frequent presenter at conventions and symposiums across the country covering marketing, sales, female initiatives and professional development. She started a career development blog in 2012 to supplement her career coaching, as well as managed The Migala Report business journal from 2010-2014 and created the WBBMarketing blog last Fall. She also developed the NACMA Online Library in 2011 to share best practices among college marketing administrators.
Since 2000, she has been an active member of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA), including being named to the Board of Directors in 2008. When her board term ended in 2010, Kurt Esser, Senior Associate Athletic Director at New Mexico asked her to be his advisor during his one-year term as the NACMA President. The following year, the incoming NACMA President, Jamie DiLoreto, Associate Athletic Director at Boston College asked her to stay on for his term in 2011. She was then asked for a third straight year to advise the NACMA President when Greg Herring, Assistant Athletic Director at Northern Illinois University requested she stay on for his term that ended in 2013.
Starting in 2007, she was a teaching assistant, guest lecturer and thesis advisor for the Northwestern University Masterʼs of Sports Administration program. She's also a frequent panelist for sports symposiums and conventions throughout the country and is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA), Women in Sports and Events (WISE) and Association of Women in Sports Media (AWSM). For a few years while at NU she also worked gamedays in the Stadium Suites Department for the Chicago Bears and in the Marketing Department at the Chicago Fire. She received her bachelorʼs degree in Communication (Journalism) from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri in 1997 and her masterʼs degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University in 2003. At Truman State, she worked in the Sports Information Office where she assisted with media relations for soccer and track. While in college, she spent her summers as a sports writer for the Peoria Journal Star, which is the local newspaper near her hometown of Kickapoo, Illinois. At the Journal Star, she covered local sporting events, including baseball, basketball, golf, bowling and motor sports.
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