The Society of Leaders in Development (SOLID) is a non-profit organization comprised of developing music business professionals dedicated to improving the future success of the music industry. Members of SOLID come from all areas of the music business community, therefore contributing to the diversity, productivity and integrity of the group. As a dynamic organization rooted firmly in Nashville, we are continually adapting to meet the changing needs of our membership, working tirelessly to fulfill SOLID’s mission of helping others, teaching others, and leading others. Today, SOLID currently boasts 98 active members and is proud to have recently attracted its largest incoming class on record.
SOLID was founded in the summer of 1997 when a small group of young music industry professionals recognized the need for an organization that would directly address the issues they faced on Nashville’s Music Row. After a year’s worth of backyard brainstorming sessions, this original group of friends specifically defined the parameters for the Society of Leaders In Development (SOLID). Their vision was to develop a community for its membership that had access to exceptional social networking, community service and educational opportunities. Above all, it needed to be accessible to entry and mid-level industry professionals who may not have the resources or opportunities to belong to other organizations.
On February 15, 2000, the long-time vision for SOLID became a reality when the cutting-edge organization hosted its ‘Intro to the Row’ Party in the lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Chris Neese, co-founder and first SOLID President, gave an inspired speech to a crowd of industry executives, announcing the arrival of “Generation Next” to Music Row. This declaration was not a challenge to the establishment as much as an appeal to recognize and embrace the leaders of tomorrow. The overwhelming support following this announcement quickly affirmed the need for SOLID and has subsequently confirmed that SOLID has a vital role in shaping the future of Music Row.
Today, SOLID has evolved into a collection of dynamic personalities representing a large spectrum of the music industry. The group’s effort to encourage communication and social networking for every member is evident in its development of a content-oriented website and regular social events which help anchor these relationships. Our educational events continue to earn critical acclaim for their willingness to honestly examine the critical issues that are facing the music industry past, present and future. By providing music industry related panels, in-depth seminars, and shadow days, our outreach to universities has been recognized as a key resource for students aspiring to one day work in the music business. SOLID’s strong commitment to community service has garnered a positive reputation for its volunteer work. Since its inception, the society has eagerly supported a number of wonderful causes including the Miller Harris Golf Tournament and Foundation, the TJ Martell Foundation, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In fact, SOLID’s most notable philanthropic event to date was the 2007 “Women Rock for the Cure” event, a singer/songwriter jam fest which raised more than $34,000 dollars for breast cancer research.
As a founding member of the 20/20 Leadership Alliance, SOLID continues to develop its recognition as a training ground for industry leaders. The 20/20 alliance is committed to creating an environment where new leaders in Nashville’s business community can learn from one another. The alliance includes The Young Leaders Council, The Nashville Area Junior Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Emerging Leaders, The Urban League of Young Professionals and SOLID. For more information or to contact SOLID, visit: www.solidnashville.com.