TJ Martell Foundation’s New York Honors Gala Will Honor Michael Kushner, Mike O’Neill and Sarah Trahern

The T.J. Martell Foundation, the national non-profit charity that provides funds for innovative cancer research, will fete Atlantic Records’ Michael Kushner, BMI’s Mike O’Neill, and Country Music Assn’s Sarah Trahern at its 44th Annual New York Honors Gala, due to take place this October in New York City.

Kushner, Atlantic Records executive VP, business & legal affairs and general counsel, has been part of the record company’s senior executive team since 2001.

A board member of the arts organization Bang on a Can who has served for the past two years as chairman of the Entertainment Law Initiative, Kushner oversees all business affairs and legal functions for Atlantic Records.

With O’Neill at the helm of BMI as president and CEO, the organization reported its highest-ever revenue and distributions to affiliated songwriters, composers, and publishers. A 24-year BMI veteran, O’Neill also played a critical role in BMI’s historic victory over the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure the continued practice of fractional licensing. 

Also lauded on the night will be Trahern, a music and TV veteran with 27 years’ experience who serves as president of the CMA, based in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to joining the trade body in 2014, Trahern was senior VP and GM of Scripps Networks Interactive Great American Country (GAC).

Also, she has owned her own production company, Sterling Television, worked in programming at PBS, and is regularly featured in Billboard’s “Power Player” lists. She was inducted into the 2018 Academy for Women of Achievement (AWA).

The gala will take place Oct. 15 at Cipriani 42nd Street, with as yet-unannounced celebrities set to perform and present awards.

The Honors Gala is the foundation’s primary fundraiser of the year, supporting its mission of funding innovative medical research and treatments focused on finding a cure for cancer.

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,” explains Joel Katz, chairman of the National Board of Trustees, ”more than $280 million has been raised for ground-breaking treatment and support of cancer-related illnesses.”

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