Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The MusicNext Forum Track: Salon III

3:50 PM - 5:00 PM, Live Webcast from this Room

Women in Music – The Power Players - Artists – Executives – Managers – Journalists

Sandy Alouete, SVP of Talent and Music Programming at VH1

Marilyn Batchelor, Chief Brand Officer & Head of Global Marketing, Hidden Beach Experience

Madeline Nelson, CEO/Managing Member, Heads Music

Sharon Graves, Vice President, Phorus, a subsidiary of DTS

Tish Ciravolo, Founder and President, DAISY ROCK GIRL GUITARS

Asya Shein, Founder and Publisher of Fusicology.com

Susan Brazer, CEO, LionShare Media, Moderator


Syracuse as a full-time student, she worked as a full-time newspaper reporter for the Syracuse Post-Standard and a contributor to the Daily Orange, the campus paper.  After graduation, she worked as a reporter for The Detroit News, earning two Sigma Delta Chi awards for excellence in general news and spot news reporting.  Her last journalism position was general assignment reporter for The Orange County Register in Santa Ana, CA.  After transitioning from journalism into the entertainment industry, Marilyn joined the Universal Music Group working her way up from director of marketing for Urban music to head of strategic marketing for Interscope/Geffen/A&M.  At UMG, she marketed more than 30 Grammy and American Music award-winning artists and orchestrated strategic deals for Patti LaBelle, Mary J. Blige, Gladys Knight, B.B. King, Gwen Stefani; Eminem; Keyshia Cole; Snoop Dogg along with brokering numerous commercial endorsement deals for: Mary J. Blige; Chevrolet; Reebok; Common; The Roots; Coca-Cola; Sheryl Crow; BeBe & CeCe Winans and beats by Dre’, to name a few.  She is also responsible for the awarding of three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Gladys Knight; George Benson and BeBe & CeCe Winans).  Prior to joining Hidden Beach, she spent three years in music publishing, as the licensing executive for film, television and web productions at Killer Tracks/Universal Publishing Production Music.  She also serves as children and youth pastor at Lewis Metropolitan CME Church in Los Angeles, while pursuing a PhD in Religion, Culture and Public Policy at Claremont Graduate University.  A local and global activist, Marilyn travels to Haiti annually to volunteer with GoHaiti, of which she was recently voted to their board of directors. She’s also a member of the National Council of Black Studies; Association of Black Journalists; American Marketing Association; board member of the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California; the City of Hope Music & Entertainment Committee; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and the Fuller Theological Seminary Alumni Council.  She continues to publish as a freelance writer with articles in the CME church’s version of THOSE PREACHING WOMEN series; mainstream entertainment blogs and academic publications.  A few of her awards include the 2013 Our Author Study Club (Carter G. Woodson Foundation) as the Entertainment Executive Icon; Key to the City of New Orleans for Community Service and the Syracuse University Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Music Business.


Madeline Nelson, CEO/Managing Member, Heads Music; In her most recent role as Senior Vice President of A&R, Artist and Label Relations at Sony Music, (a role created specifically for her by SME’s CEO Doug Morris), Madeline’s responsibilities included developing and nurturing new talent in coordination with the A&R teams across three major labels: RCA, Columbia and Epic. Madeline’s earliest days in the entertainment business, came when she started her career as a talent booker and eventually became a producer for the famed television series “It’s Showtime At The Apollo”.  In addition to her work on “Showtime”, she held various coordinator and producer roles for Def Comedy Jam, The Soap Opera Digest Awards, Essence Awards and the B.E.T. Awards. In a natural progression from music television to the actual music business, Madeline signed on as Vice President of Music Operations for New Jack Swing Productions, a subsidiary of Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope Records Label.  There, she managed the day-to-day operations of hit-makers Teddy Riley and R&B super group BlackStreet.  During her tenure at New Jack/Interscope, Madeline worked with other great talents such as Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dog and Pharrell Williams. Through the years, Madeline has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience from her time spent working in the television, fashion, music and marketing industries. Prior to joining Sony Music, Nelson worked for Donna Karan’s organization, where she served as Vice President of Foundation Operations. Previous to Donna Karan’s organization, she was Executive Director of Mary J. Blige’s foundation and also served as a Project Manager at Steve Stoute’s marketing company, Translation, LLC.  While at Translation, Madeline coordinated campaigns for high profile personalities such as Ray Allen, Ray Lewis, Denzel Washington, LeBron James, Faith Hill and Rihanna.


Sharon Graves, VP of Phorus, a subsidiary of DTS; Sharon leads business development, marketing, strategy and all non-technical operations for Phorus, the company behind DTS Play-Fi, the first licensable wireless home audio technology. Sharon is the former CEO of PhatNoise and is an advisor to Ascend Venture Group on its investments in emerging technology companies.  While at PhatNoise, Graves was instrumental in raising $6 million of venture capital and successfully selling the company to Harman International in 2005.  She previously served as a Principal at the boutique merchant-banking firm Metier Capital Group where she helped architect private and public equity investments for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and GEICO Insurance, as well as develop capital and business strategies for global financial services firms, entertainment industry clients, and smaller companies.  She also worked as an Analyst in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co.   Sharon received a B.S. with distinction in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.


Tish Ciravolo, Founder and President, DAISY ROCK GIRL GUITARS:  The past fifteen years has brought Daisy Rock Girl Guitars Founder and President, Tish Ciravolo, museum inductions, awards, motivational speeches to millions of girls, billions of media impressions touting the girl guitar revolution, the world’s first girl guitar/bass instructional books/CDs/DVDs, and appearances in Guitar Hero®/Band Hero™ games. Ciravolo has also propelled the girls’ rock empowerment message far beyond the music industry through licensing partnerships—on top of rocking stages all over the country in her punk rock band, Sassafrass and most importantly, being a mother of two.  Tish grew up in Merced, California, where her best friend Barbara taught her to play the guitar while they attended El Capitan High School. Ciravolo was a quick learner and by age 16 was on tour with a band called Plateau. When playing in Kansas City with the group, she decided to stay in the city and enrolled in Penn Valley Community College as a journalism and business major. After receiving her degree, she relocated to Los Angeles, where she balanced a series of day jobs, with amateur night performances at The Improv and Comedy Store. Intent on being a rock star during those middle 1980s, she gravitated towards what would become her primary instrument: the bass.  Hopping from band to band and inching ever-closer but never getting to that elusive record deal, Ciravolo became the quintessential L.A. rock queen, playing in several bands including Rag Dolls, The Velvets (a female Psychedelic Furs-type outfit), They Eat Their Own (new wave pop), and eventually, her own group, Shiksa and the Sluts. Then she entered her “big hair metal phase,” hanging with the popular band Lypstik from 1988 to 1992. “We had a billboard on the side of the Roxy and everything,” she said. “We did the windmill head shaking routine when we played, which was big at the time. We were also the house band at the Whisky for a time, and played in the Battle of the Bitches at FM Station.”  Combining a lifelong passion for making music with a desire to “level the playing field” for dedicated female guitarists and bassists of all ages, Tish Ciravolo founded Daisy Rock Girl Guitars in 2000. Ciravolo’s dream that “every girl who wants to play guitar is welcomed and inspired to do so” is centered on the love she has for her two daughters, Nicole and Sophia. In a sense, Ciravolo’s daughter Nicole is the true visionary behind Daisy Rock. When Nicole was a year and a half old, she drew a picture of a daisy, and Tish was inspired to draw a neck on it. “I was enjoying her being a child, not like so many other days when it feels like you are just trying to keep up,” Ciravolo said. “She drew a daisy, I turned it into a guitar, and my motherly, protective, musician self decided, in that frozen moment, to create a better experience for her in the music industry. Maybe one day she could walk into a music store and feel like she was welcome to be part of this ‘club,’ this culture, this awesome community of guitarists—regardless of gender. A community that I never felt welcomed into while being a musician in the ‘80s and ‘90s. This was my chance—my duty—to change the culture and provide her and all girls with a better, more inviting experience.”


Sandy Alouete is Senior Vice President of Talent and Music Programming for VH1, where she has been since 2000.  Her high-profile role encompasses everything from identifying priority album/video releases and integrated marketing opportunities, to booking music talent for the network’s events and original productions, including “VH1’s Super Bowl Blitz Concert,” two years of the VH1 "You Oughta Know Concert" and most recently the first ever international and live airing of “Ed Sheeran Storytellers Live!” From Dublin, Ireland. Alouete has guided VH1’s developing artist franchise "You Oughta Know" since its inception in 2005 and helped bolster album sales for artists including Adele, Mumford & Sons, Ed Sheeran, The Lumineers and Sam Smith. Two years ago, the “You Oughta Know” franchise helped break Lorde in the U.S. in tandem with Republic Records. Alouete was instrumental in securing the first exclusive album stream and exclusive performance content for Lorde. This, coupled with strong video support, on-air and digital promotion and a lead spot in the “You Oughta Know Concert,” helped yield a #1 single on Billboard's Hot 100 for 9 weeks, a multi-platinum album and two Grammy® awards.  Most recently, Sandy led a very successful “You Oughta Know” campaign for UK artist Sam Smith and helped build awareness for the artist who went on to sweep the 2015 Grammy Awards. With Alouete at the helm, “You Oughta Know” continues to drive revenue for VH1, consistently attracting sponsors such as Wendy's, Dr. Pepper, Snapple and AT&T. In addition, Sandy has been an integral part of negotiating partnerships with major artists and brands such as Reese's and Pepsi for branded advertiser content on the channel. She has also been vital in helping the VH1 music integration team generate triple-digit sales increases and gains on the iTunes and Amazon charts as a result of featured in-series placements on shows such as “Love & Hip Hop.” Prior to her time at VH1, Alouete held a variety of positions at Sire Records and Reprise Records (Warner Music Group) from 1985 to 2000, including Label Manager, Vice President of Artist Development and Vice President of International Marketing.  She worked with a diverse roster of artists including Madonna, Depeche Mode, The Replacements, Morrissey, Ice-T, Lou Reed and The Ramones.  During and post-college, Sandy worked in radio research and promotion at New York's WAPP-FM as well as United Stations Radio Network. Alouete holds a bachelor’s in communications arts and sciences from Queens College/City University of New York.


Asya Shein, Founder and Publisher of Fusicology.com, the source for progressive soul music & culture since 2003; The hub for new music, artists + content for the urban alternative movement, calendar listing of events across North America. Along with maintaining the desktop and mobile versions, we have iPhone/iPad and Android apps; I publish the Wordpress/PHP website, email newsletter, manage lifestyle marketing, social media, sales partnerships and biz dev.  Outside of technology and content development, Asya has worked on many experiential campaigns and has vast experience in event production, project management, sponsorships & deck building along with 2 decades of experience with music artist relations.The site, commemorating its 12 yrs in the fall of 2015, has high-open rate email blasts and a popular mobile app providing event listings, new music, curated videos & content multi-cultural urban progressives. Ms. Shein would describe myself as an "online marketer, community builder and lover of soulful music, branding & technology."


SUSAN BRAZER – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) and Founder of LionShare Media, an LA-based mobile media development studio that’s launching disruptive new apps, e.g., the mLP, an immersive music experience for millennials.  Susan has led Strategy, Business Development and New Products for the world’s leading technology, consumer electronics and media companies including: Apple, DirecTV, Viacom, SES ASTRA, FIFA World Cup, KirchMedia, Virgin Mobile USA and Nokia.  Recently, Susan was VP of Strategy and Business Development at Nokia's for Smart Sevices and VP Corporate Development and New Products for Virgin Mobile USA, where led created the Sugar Mama mobile advertising and Stash payments services.  Prior to this, she was EVP, Business Development of Kirch Media's venture fund for the FIFA World Cup  and SVP for Viacom's digital TV services in the Middle East and Africa, where she managed MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, The Movie Channel, TV Land, Bloomberg and Discovery channels.  Susan was the CEO of Global Music One (“Moviso”), which created the first online music promotions for AT&T and pioneered the $8B global ringtone market.  As VP at SES ASTRA, Susan led the migration to digital TV for 70m TVHH in 20 Europe countries.  Susan led strategic planning and the launch of the world’s first digital TV systems-- DirecTV and SpectrumSaver at Compression Labs.  Susan started her career in mobile products at Apple Computer, where she launched the 1st Mac portable and concepted the first PDAs—the Newton and Knowledge Navigator, which laid the blueprint for the iPAD and Siri. Susan started her career at PepsiCo in M&A with the acquisition of Kentucky Fried Chicken and at Philip Morris as an international treasury analyst.  Susan holds a B.A. in Economics from Brandeis University, an MBA from Kellogg and attended the London School of Economics.   She mentors at Princeton University’s Keller School of Engineering on Innovation.

Marilyn A. Batchelor is chief brand officer and head of global marketing for Hidden Beach Experiences, the umbrella company for Hidden Beach Recordings in Los Angeles, California.  A 15+ year veteran of the entertainment industry, she has brokered more than 50 national endorsement and partnership deals with recording artists, entertainment personalities and lifestyle product lines.  As head of strategic marketing, she was the architect behind the Monster Music and Interscope Records relationship, resulting in the beats by Dre’ multi-billion-dollar headphones deal.  A native of Detroit, MI, Marilyn graduated from the prestigious Cass Technical High School, followed by from Syracuse University, where she earned a bachelor of science in magazine journalism and a bachelor of art in English Literature with minors in African-American Studies and French.   She also holds an executive MBA from Harvard University and a Master of Theology and Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.  While attending