Certified Talent and Entertainment Professional (CTEP®)

CTEP Designation
The CTEP designation is given by the Society of Talent Entertainment Professionals (STEP) and its certification committee. The designation shows your professional achievement in the entertainment industry. It is earned through education, performance, experience, and service to the industry, and reflects a commitment to professional conduct and ethics.

As a recognized organization for Entertainment Professionals, STEP certifies entertainment professionals through the Certified Talent and Entertainment Professional designation.

The CTEP program is practice-based. It is not intended to teach individuals how to effectively become an Entertainment Professional rather, it is designed to measure an individual’s “knowledge-in-use” – the application of knowledge and skills by those with real-life experience in this role.

CTEP Certification
~Demonstrates your commitment and your ability to perform to set standards.
~Enhances your professional image.
~Establishes professional credentials and recognizes your           individual accomplishments
~Is an impartial, third-party endorsement to your      
knowledgeand experience
~Improves your career opportunities.
~Offers greater recognition in the Industry

Obtaining Your CTEP designation
To obtain your CTEP designation you must have been a STEP member in good standing for at least two years, acquire the necessary points needed and  agree to abide by the set standards and ethics of the Society of Talent Entertainment Professionals and be approved its certification committee.

CTEP Application
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Debbie Meyers-Shock, CTEP 

Brooks Kendall CTEP

David Granger CTEP

Sparky Sparks CTEP

Mary Ellen Miller CTEP

Melinda Corder CTEP

Mark Johnson CTEP

Swift Stuart Sparks III CTEP

Dave Vandiver CTEP

STEP Lifetime Achievement​​
Awards Recipients

C.W. Kendall Jr.

As the keyboard player for The Big Beats, one of the most popular touring bands of the fifties and sixties, C.W. had the opportunity to meet, tour, and perform with some of the biggest and most popular bands in the recording industry. He toured and performed with many famous musicians including Johnny Cash, Gene Vincent, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson, Sonny James, and Bobby Darin.  In fact, C.W. continues to receive royalties for performing, writing, and playing with Buddy Holly and The Crickets for his song “Little Baby”. This track, one of twelve from the brilliant Buddy Holly debut solo album, released by Coral February 20th 1958, features the tasty piano of co-writer CW Kendall, who also contributed to another two tracks from that iconic album.
The Buddy Holly Foundation says “CW is a fine musician, known for his long association with The Big Beats, founded in 1957,who's personnel included Trini Lopez.”

The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation Says “They are delighted he has graciously accepted our invitation to become an Honored Friend. CW has recalled for us, some amazingly interesting stories regarding Buddy ,including his time arranging and recording with Buddy, Little Baby.”

Not many can say they toured in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Far East with some of the most influential artists of early Rock N’ Roll, but CW Kendall had the opportunity to do just that for many years including being featured on Dick Clark’s American Band Stand and his band being the first rock band ever signed to Colombia Records.

On Sept. 9, 2017 - The Big Beats were inducted into The Texas Musicians Museum, where some of their memorabilia from the last 60 years will be on display and will remain there for years to come.

After touring CW started Ken-Ran Productions an award winning Event Entertainment service company that has been providing Quality Entertainment for 57 years! KEN-RAN Productions is a company that has considerable experience in large scale special event production, with a history in both Corporate and Civic events, creating or participating in spectacular, world class, events, Fairs, Festivals and more.

In the 60’s and 70’s CW owned and operated Night Clubs in Houston, Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans and Little Rock while booking entertainment nationwide.

In 1989 CW and a group of entertainment professionals came together in response to the Texas Talent Agency Act that had just been passed by the Texas Legislature. The act would have forced band leaders, music agencies and novelty variety agencies to submit to expensive bonding procedures, open their books annually to governmental inspection, and give agencies from out of state an unfair advantage in pricing, selling or marketing live entertainment. In self-defense, agencies began to work together to protect the rights of musicians, artists, speakers, comics, and agencies to solicit work without restriction. As a result they decided to form our association (STEP) that furthered the goals of networking, continuing education, political activism, and marketing of and for the profession. At last, there was a voice for professionals who made their liv​ings selling live entertainment in Texas. CW served as the association first president and today, the organization's membership rolls include some of the most effective, efficient, and professional agencies and producers in the state. We have chapters in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin-San Antonio, and Houston.

In addition CW has served as President, Vice President and on the Board of Directors for The International Theatrical Agencies Association for more than ten years where he lobbied and negotiated on behalf of musicians for nationwide scale pay and labor relations.
Phares Corder
 Has performed telethons or shows as conductor, contractor, or musician for many events & stars.​​

Conducted for Bob Hope, Donna Douglas, Janice Page, Bob Newhart, B.J. Thomas, Roberta Flack, Mary Ann Moberly, Gary Collins, Anson Williams. 
Performed with Jim Nabors, Vickie Carr, Larry Gatlin, Natalie Cole, Sheena Easton, Danny Thomas, Stevie Wonder, Tom Jones, Sonny & Cher, John Davidson, Liberace, Peter Nero, Boots Randolph, Floyd Cramer, Danny Davis & The Nashville Brass, Lynn Anderson, The King Family, Pete Fountain, The New Christy Minstrels, Mike Douglas, The Four Lads, The Andrews Sisters, Jack Jones, Wayne Newton, The Spinners, The Temptations, Anthony Newly, Mitzi Gaynor, Debbie Reynolds, Richard Roundtree, Lislie Ughams, Carol Lawrence, Phyllis Diller, Rosemary Clooney, Roy Clarke, Anita Bryant, Lou Rawls, Neil Sedaka, The Four Freshman, and many more.

Played & or contracted for the following Big Band Orchestras:
Vaughn Monroe, Tex Beneke, Jerry Gray, Ray Eberle, Ted Weems, Jr. the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Ray McKinley, Charley Spivak, Warren Covington, Bob Crosby, Les Elgart, Jan Garber, Buddy Morrow, Johnny Long, Si Zentner, Art Mooney, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra.
The Phares Corder Orchestra performed at the Texas Governors Inaugural Ball in Austin, Texas for George W. Bush. The Orchestra has also performed for both Presidents Bush.

He taught and played professionally from 1953 (while still in high school) until 2018. He had cancer last year which resulted in facial nerve damage, keeping him from playing. He has four children and three “bonus” daughters from his marriage to Melinda.

Bachelors of Music Education Degree, Northeast Louisiana University
Band Director for 3 years.
Church choir director for 3 years.
Masters of Music Degree in applied trumpet, Northeast Louisiana University
Phares has conducted over 50 Beauty Pageants  (Partial list):
The Miss Louisiana Pageant 7 years.
The Miss Mississippi Pageant 2 years. (Played in the Pageant Orchestra for 25 years)
The Maid of Cotton Pageant 13 years
The Holiday in Dixie Pageant 13 years.
Performed in the Jr. Miss Pageant Orchestra NBC TV Production 10 years with Michael Landon, Bruce Jenner and Loren Green.


Carol Marks
Former lead vocalist since 1968 and leader of the Carol Marks Band. Through the year’s Carol has worked with many other groups and band leaders over singing everything from the big band music of the 30's, 40's and 50's to the "hits of today" (meaning the 80's and early 90's). Over 40 year’s ago Carol started the Carol Marks Entertainment Booking Agency and Production Company based in Dallas, TX where she now produces major shows and events throughout the US. featuring nationally known artists as well as local artists for small to large social and corporate events.

By joining STEP you are supporting a group that is fighting for YOU to keep your livelihood free and viable!