Co-Founder & Director
Leslie Jordan is a Tennessee native who has lived and worked as a worship leader and songwriter in Nashville for the past 10 years, primarily in the band, All Sons & Daughters.
In the past three years, Leslie's heart has grown to provide a safe place for writers & songwriters to find their original voice. This led to the development of a songwriting community and now The Fold as a Nashville-based 501-C3 Non-Profit. Leslie graduated from MTSU with a degree in Organizational Communication with an emphasis on Non-Profit. The Fold is the perfect marriage of her two passions, music & non-profit.
Leslie & her husband Thomas live in Franklin, TN with their son Judah.
Co-Founder & President
Chris DeTray is a Kansas native who has lived and worked in Nashville for 16 years, first as a touring artist and then as an artist manager. Chris' deepest passion is to help artists find their original voice so that they can create their most authentic art.
He has worked alongside and shepherded many artists, bringing a sense of care and enthusiasm to everything he does. Chris is currently a manager at BE Music Management where he works with artists, Dave Barnes, All Sons & Daughters, Matt Wertz & Sandra McCracken.
Chris has years of non-profit experience from his former band which began in 1998 as a 501-C3 serving churches & other ministries. He has carried that experience into The Fold and brings layers of knowledge as the Executive Director.
Chris & his wife Brea live in Brentwood, TN with their three children, Finley, Cason and Maya.
Meet The Board
Mark Nicholas - Having spent my entire vocational life in the music business serving artists and songwriters, I see first hand the pressures that creators face when their art intersects with industry and how those external forces can change things. The work of The Fold is to create a safe environment where a writer’s honest expression is nurtured and their craft is honed in the context of kindness and community. This is an important work and I’m honored to serve on the board of The Fold. The world doesn’t need to hear just another song - we need each other’s embodied and truthful stories in both word and song. The Fold’s workshops and retreats are a place for those meaningful stories and songs to emerge.
Mark is the head of Publishing at Integrity Music in Nashville, TN. With his years of experience in relationships with writers and songwriters, Mark brings a special depth and vision to our team and we're so honored to work with him!
Becky Nesbitt I love helping writers and artists find the right words to express their thoughts, their concepts, and their vision, clearly and authentically. I’ve seen what happens when an artist is given the space and permission to cut through the surface noise and mine something deeper. It’s pretty amazing. It’s the stuff life-changing songs and books are made of. The Fold is doing exactly that—helping artists find their true voice. And I’m thrilled to be a part of that process.
Becky is an Editor-at-Large for Howard Books/Simon & Schuster. Her heart for writers is a force to be reckoned with and her mind is full of wisdom with her 20 years of experience in book editing and publishing. We're so honored to work with her!
Mark Stuart - Encouraging the next generation of writers to find their voice means the world to me. Each of us have something valuable and life-giving to share, when we are brave enough to be honest. Providing a space for writers to truly express themselves in the purest form of collaboration results in some magnificent art. I’m thrilled to be a part of The Fold as they steward the voices of our Faith.” - Mark Stuart
Mark is the Co-Founder of Hands & Feet Project, caring for Haiti's orphaned & abandoned children. He also worked in the music industry for 20 + years. With his wisdom and experience in non-profit work, Mark is a voice to keep us focused and inspired as we raise funds.
Melanie Penn - Music is our most precious natural resource! The Fold's mission gets right to the heart of making music, and helping songwriters do just that. But it's not only an organization that helps artists, it's an organization that brings concrete outcomes: new songs. I work as an independent singer-songwriter and I also work part-time for a non-profit based in New York City - For many years I've hoped to combine my experience in the arts and philanthropy worlds, and help others. So when Leslie and Chris asked if I would join the board of The Fold, I said YES! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Melanie is newest member of our board and is a total rockstar. With her heart for music and her experience in raising money for City to City, she keeps us fired up and confident about raising funds for The Fold. It’s a joy to work with her!