SWIM (Smart Women in Music) Fund Aims to Offer Next-Level Leadership Training for Women in the Music Products Industry
-Fund led by three female industry leaders, administered by NAMM Foundation-
CARLSBAD, Calif. – April 12, 2018 – Female leaders in the music products industry are combining their energies and resources to establish The Smart Women in Music (SWIM) Fund; a fund designed to foster and support female industry professionals at various stages of their careers.
“The SWIM Fund was born out of a desire to reach and serve women who wish to expand their horizons and professional proficiencies, and who demonstrate ambition for a leadership role,” said NAMM Chair and President and CEO of West Music Co., Robin Walenta. “It’s our sincere hope that as part of The SWIM Fund, the female leaders of tomorrow will arise.”
The fund, led by Robin Walenta, Crystal Morris, President and CEO of Gator Cases, and DeDe Heid, Executive Vice President of Heid Music, aims to support women in the industry in three key areas: offering mentoring, learning and professional development opportunities at The NAMM Show and Summer NAMM; job shadowing of female leaders at industry events; and in-company residencies. In 2019, The SWIM Fund will include a two-day SWIM symposium at NAMM’s offices for 12-16 women to expand their professional development and leadership skills; additional details of the symposium to come. The fund was announced earlier today at the National Association of School Music Dealers annual conference in Hollywood, Florida.
“With the launch of The SWIM Fund, we now have a resource for female industry professionals to find a path, likeminded individuals, and a resource for the continued development of professional acumen that’s vital to longevity and industry retention,” commented Crystal Morris. “No matter if you’re brand new to the industry or an established veteran, The SWIM Fund aims to provide the ‘next level’ skills to prepare women for the leadership challenges they’ll face.”
DeDe Heid echoed that sentiment: “The SWIM Fund honors those who’ve gone before us and recognizes the important, long-term role that diversity and inclusion have in strengthening the music products industry. With SWIM, we’re encouraging the industry to ‘dive in’ and support female leadership development with a donation to this cause.”
The SWIM Fund will be administered through The NAMM Foundation, and contributions accepted through the organization’s website: www.nammfoundation.org/donate/smart-women-in-music. All contributions are tax deductible.
The founders, Walenta, Morris and Heid, will serve as the SWIM Fund’s steering committee and oversee the administration of the program and funds raised.
To learn more about The SWIM Fund, please visit
Chalise Zolezzi | NAMM
760-801-7900 | Chalisez@namm.org
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,300 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org