Thursday, September 6, 2007

Onzie Horne Selected as New Head of Beale Street Merchants Association

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Onzie Horne, a businessman with strong ties to Beale Street, has been named Executive Director of the Beale Street Merchant's Association.

Horne's appointment was approved on September 5th by the association Board. He will be in charge of joint advertising and marketing, administering Board meetings, coordinating special events, and introducing new merchants to the association.

"I'm excited to be coming home to Beale Street, where I grew up,” said Horne, whose father was a musician and band director on the street. "The merchants represent so much history and music. I'm proud to help carry on that tradition."

"With Onzie's background in music and business, he’ll be a real asset," said association president Preston Lamm, whose company manages Rum Boogie and King's Palace. "He understands the heritage of the street and how to keep it a focal point for Downtown."

During his career, Horne worked as business manager for Isaac Hayes and as an executive with the parent company of Isaac Hayes restaurants, with the company that developed The Pyramid and with the House of Blues Recording Studios. He also serves on the boards of the Memphis Music Foundation, the Center for Southern Folklore, and the Smithsonian Rock 'n Soul Museum.

"Onzie will help maintain the momentum of Beale Street as a premier entertainment venue for the next 25 years," said John Elkington, president and CEO of Performa, which developed the street. Horne will serve as liaison between the merchants and Performa.

Horne, who replaces former city councilman Rickie Peete, will help the merchants association focus on mutual goals and speak with one voice. "My goal is to promote the Beale Street experience as exciting, enjoyable, and distinctive. Then, people will come, the merchants and employees will do well and the whole city will benefit. I can’t wait to get started."

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