Ep. 034: Pam Matthews - Exec. Director, IEBA
Play • 44 min

Pam Matthews is a proven industry leader with four decades of experience in the entertainment business. She began her career at age fifteen as a runner for Mid South Concerts in Memphis. Today, she serves the live entertainment industry as Executive Director of one of its most influential trade organizations. 

Matthews toured as an accountant for KISS and Ozzy Osbourne in the early 80s and was part of the Pace Concerts (now Live Nation) team that designed, constructed, and managed Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville.  In 1988, after three seasons at 18,000+ capacity concert venue, Matthews accepted a marketing/accounting position with The Judds’ in-house booking agency and production company Pro Tours, Inc.  In 1991 Pro Tours promoted 110 of the 128 sold-out concerts on The Judds Farewell Tour, which was second to the Grateful Dead as the highest grossing North American tour that year.  As Wynonna began her solo career and restructured her business, Matthews joined the management side of the organization and eventually became Vice President & Treasurer of Wynonna, Inc. and J2K, Inc.  As an officer of J2K, Inc., Matthews headed the multi-company team that produced The Judds’ sold-out New Year’s Eve 1999 concert and the 2000 reunion tour that followed.

In 2000, Gaylord Entertainment selected Pam Matthews to be General Manager of Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.  During her tenure, the Ryman became one of the top-grossing theaters in North America and received its National Historic Landmark status and numerous awards including its first-ever Pollstar Theatre of the Year, Academy of Country Music Venue of the Year, and IEBA Venue of the Year honors.

In 2008, Matthews resigned her position at the Ryman to be with her husband, a decorated Special Operations Team Leader in the U.S. Army, while he was stationed at the Presidio of Monterey, California.  Matthews and her husband, who is now a legislative attorney with the Tennessee General Assembly, settled back home in Nashville in 2012.

Matthews joined IEBA as its Executive Director in 2013. Since then, the 50-year-old organization has tripled its membership and attendance at its annual conference continues to sell-out year after year. In 2017, IEBA established its Educational Outreach Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity that has endowed over $1M in scholarships at universities across the country and awards $75k annually to students seeking a career in the entertainment industry.

Matthews attended Christ Church College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.  In 1989, she passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination.  During her career, Pam Matthews has been featured in numerous publications including Billboard, Pollstar, Better Homes & Gardens, and The Tennessean.  In 2006, Billboard magazine ranked Matthews on its first “Women in Music” list. Recent honors include Nashville Business Journal “Women in Music City” and VenuesNow “Women of Influence.” Matthews has served on the Board of Directors of the Opry Trust Fund, Nashville Downtown Partnership, Leadership Music, and Americana Music Association, and currently serves on the Music City Music Council’s Leadership Forum and Leadership Music’s program committee. She is a frequent speaker and moderator at conferences and universities worldwide.


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