Co-Founder, President & Managing Director, Made In Memphis Entertainment
Tony D. Alexander is Co-Founder, President & Managing Director of Made in Memphis Entertainment LLC, the parent company of 4U Recording, Beatroot LLC, Heavy Hitters Music Group LLC, MIME Publishing, and MIME Records. Alexander is a serial entrepreneur that has founded, co-founded or was one of the early employees at six different businesses, in various industries, that were successfully acquired (NuAge Technologies Inc., The Gwenet Group LLC, Alveolus Inc., WeCom Systems Inc., OptimumPath LLC, H-Power Inc.). He is a business executive offering 20+ years of experience developing and implementing corporate strategies as well as creating and leading law firm intellectual property and regulatory practice groups.
As a registered patent attorney, he understands the interface of innovation and regulation. To this end, he has focused his legal practice on client counseling in all aspects of procuring, licensing and enforcing patents, trademarks and copyrights. He also has significant experience in trade dress and trade secret matters. Alexander’s background broadly encompasses intellectual property, technology transfer, venture capital and regulatory compliance, with a specific emphasis on emerging companies.
Alexander is an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where he teaches Food & Drug Law, Patent Law, Entertainment Law and Trademark Law. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM).
His legal expertise and work has been featured in publications such as The National Law Journal, Nature Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical Compliance Monitor, Billboard Magazine, Music Week, South Carolina, Business Journal, and In Business Magazine.
Sydney Alston Brown
Strategic Label Partnerships, Original Content, Apple Music
Over the course of her career, Sydney Alston Brown, has worked as a creative strategist across Business Partnerships, Original Content, Global Consumer Marketing, and Lifestyle branding within culturally progressive brands. Currently, Sydney works across Strategic Campaigns at Apple Music, looking after Original Content and Live Events – including Apple Music Awards, Rap Life Live, Up Next, and Artist Films. In this role, she partners with artist teams to create vehicles for artists to tell their stories and share the meaning behind their music.
Prior to managing content campaigns, Alston Brown lead Marketing for Hip-Hop and R&B at Apple Music, spearheading marketing campaigns for the genre’s biggest and up and coming artists. In that role, she prioritized building an authentic voice for the brand within the Hip-Hop and R&B audience, while also establishing strategic partnerships with consumer brands to ensure Apple Music’s inclusion in cultural conversations.
Alston Brown joined Apple in 2014 to work in product for Beats by Dre. Previously, she worked in Film and Television at CAA and NBC Universal. A native of Brooklyn, NY and graduate of Duke University, She has contributed her expertise to the Adcolor in Music Conference and The Show Must Be Paused initiative. She has also served as a mentor for the Adcolor Futures Hackathon and fellow Emma Bowen Foundation Alumni. Alston Brown has made it her mission to blaze trails for the next generation to come. Always leading with the work, passion, and vision to create a platform for artists to tell their stories unapologetically.
SVP, Sales & Streaming, Sony Music
Caryl Atwood is the Senior Vice President of Sales & Streaming for Sony Music Nashville and Provident Entertainment’s label groups. Based in Nashville, she oversees all aspects of sales and streaming for the Sony Music Nashville and Provident Entertainment labels. In her role, she spearheads initiatives in sales, streaming, and non-traditional business, as well as manages the relationships with digital music providers and retail accounts.
Prior to her 22 years with Sony Music, Atwood was employed by PolyGram Distribution and Island Records.
Atwood serves on the Board of the Tennessee Chapter of Easter Seals and is a member of Sony Music’s Nashville Equity Taskforce team. She is a member of the Music Business Association, the Country Music Association, and the Academy of Country Music and is a 2014 honoree of Music Row’s Rising Women on the Row, 2017 honoree of the Nashville Business Journal’s Women in Music City Awards and recognized on the 2021 Variety Hitmakers list.
SVP of Business Development & Strategy, Universal Music Group
Kristen Bender is the SVP of Business Development & Strategy at Universal Music Group. Leading the overall business alignment with UMG’s label groups, Bender also is responsible for developing the partnership strategy with key global social platforms. She began her career at Warner Music Group in 2003 in the digital sales team originally founded to manage the emerging download and streaming music service businesses. In 2004, she was tapped to establish the global digital sales and marketing team at Alternative Distribution Alliance, before moving onto UMG in 2008 to focus on digital product development opportunities. In 2012, Bender joined Sonos as the Senior Product Manager of Music, overseeing product partnerships with music services spanning the Globe. Prior to joining the Digital Strategy team in 2019, she was the head of Digital Marketing for UMe, UMG’s catalog division.
International Music Team Lead, North America, Spotify
As the International Music Team Lead for North America at Spotify, Monica Herrera Damashek connects the region’s strategy with Spotify’s global team across markets. In her previous role as Head of US Latin, Artist & Label Partnerships, she helped shepherd Latin music’s explosive growth on the platform and spearhead industry partnerships, marketing campaigns & content initiatives around flagship playlist brands. She has been with Spotify for seven years, and previously held roles in Editorial and Strategic Marketing. Prior to joining Spotify, Monica was an editor and journalist for Billboard, Rolling Stone, Latina Magazine and Myspace.
Alyssa Talovic Garcia
Head of Music Label Partnerships, North America, Meta
Alyssa Talovic Garcia is a digital/social media marketing, partnership and strategy professional who has dedicated her career to working in the music/entertainment + tech industry. She currently works in Music Business Development and Partnerships at Meta (Facebook, Instagram, Oculus, etc) where she leads the North America Music Label Partnerships team. In her current position, she is responsible for leading the region’s strategy and team as well as working with the corporate and label teams to maximize the partnership in a variety of ways company-wide, developing marketing and engagement opportunities with label partners across Facebook and Instagram, maximizing UGC music and music video activations and advocating for partner/industry needs within all of Meta’s products.
Prior to joining Facebook, Garcia spent years leading the Digital Social Media, Engagement and Product Development team at The Walt Disney Company/Radio Disney Networks. In this role, she was responsible for leading the digital and product marketing for the business, music content and growth strategy across all digital platforms/products, collaborating with the music/entertainment industry partners to launch innovative campaigns, developing strategic digital partnership opportunities for the Disney ad sales business and and spearheading the digital plans and implementation for the Radio Disney Music Awards.
Garcia also previously held positions at Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group working on digital campaigns, sales account partnerships and strategies for multiple artists/labels such as Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Kanye West, The Doors and more.
SVP of Sales, Alliance Entertainment
Ken Glaser is the Senior Vice President of Sales at Alliance Entertainment, the nation’s largest wholesale distributor of physical media including music, movies, games, merch and consumer products. In this role, he oversees the sales team which serves a diverse class of retailers throughout the music business. These include independent retailers, national chains, specialty and non-traditional outlets as well as business development. With a long bloodline tied to the music business dating back to his father and grandfather’s role in the industry, Glaser began his career working as a store manager for Q Records & Video, a small chain of stores throughout South Florida. From there he took on a role with the sales team at Jerry Bassin Distributors, which later became Alliance Entertainment. In his current position, Glaser also works closely with retailers and suppliers in both the video and video game industries, giving him diverse insight into numerous parts of the entertainment distribution business.
Founder, Darkside Records
Justin Johnson is the founder of Darkside Records, an independent record store located in Poughkeepsie, NY. The store was originally conceived in his adolescent brain and birthed into existence in 2011. Darkside Records is a 9,000 square foot retail store specializing in new & used vinyl, CDs, tapes, turntables and dead formats of all other varieties. Darkside is a proud member of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) and Justin serves on the CIMS board of directors.
Head of Strategic and Media Partnerships, Clubhouse
Fadia Kader is the Head of Strategic and Media Partnerships at Clubhouse, where she oversees partnerships across music, entertainment, news, sports, thought leadership and more. In this role, she is responsible for setting strategy for partners to establish their presence and find their voice on Clubhouse as well as educating them about the platform.A creative strategist and trend forecaster, Kader is passionate about creating and amplifying big moments on the platform and championing social audio as a place where creatives, executives, brands and more can connect with audiences in authentic ways. Prior to Clubhouse, she was a key part of the music partnerships team at Instagram, driving key collaborations with artists like Saweetie, Taylor Swift, J Balvin, and Billie Eilish and Versus Battle. Before Instagram, Kader worked on the music partnerships team at Twitter, connecting artists to the social media network. A well-respected music industry veteran with 15 years of experience and deep relationships in the space, Kader has received several industry accolades, such as Billboard’s 2020 Women in Music, the 40 under 40 Fortune list, and many others.
Jacqui Louez Schoorl
Co-Founder and CEO, Jaxsta
Jacqui Louez Schoorl’s career spans more than two decades across music, film and television. She has spent the past eight years establishing Jaxsta – a world-first online database of official music credits that, in this digital age, preserves and celebrates the credits once stored in album liner notes. Louez Schoorl is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), and an in-demand speaker at events in Australia and the USA. Jaxsta is the second only listed company on the ASX to have a female CEO, Chair and C-Suite member. She is also the founder of Women In Music Sydney, a not-for-profit organization bringing together music professionals.
Director, Artist Products and Services, Amazon Music
Sean McMullan is Amazon Music’s Director of Artist Products and Services and oversees the company’s Los Angeles office. He leads a team responsible for developing new products and innovations that help artists connect more deeply with their fans across data insights, livestreaming, artist merchandise, and more.
McMullan’s leadership has included the launch of Amazon Music for Artists, a data insights app that provides artists with a global view of their global streaming and performance data, the livestreaming business that has partnered with artists including Kanye West, Drake, Ed Sheeran, and Coldplay to run events across Prime Video, Twitch, and Amazon Music, and Amazon Music’s artist merch business, which notably included the 2020 launch of the Artist Merch Shop, a comprehensive shopping destination for music fans that offers exclusive merch from some of the biggest names in music. He also leads Amazon Music’s CD and Vinyl business.
A 15-year veteran at Amazon, McMullan has been a key to many of Amazon’s most important music and non-music retail initiatives. Early in his Amazon career, he worked extensively on Amazon Music’s CD and MP3 business. He also led the international expansion of Amazon Music, launching the company’s Unlimited streaming tier for 28 additional countries in 2017. Outside of music, he led the Amazon Toys US business and launched Amazon Fresh in Germany.
SVP and General Manager, Nashville
MNRK Music Group
Gina Waters Miller has been passionate about music and writing for as long as she can remember. A lifelong musician, educator, entrepreneur and executive; her love of the arts and training and track record in multiple genres of music has forged the way, proving to be a significant part of her life’s purpose and work.
Miller’s roles, throughout her career have included, Radio and Retail Coordinator, Marketing Manager, Dir. National Sales and Label Relations, VP Promotions & Marketing, VP Promotions and Label Relations, to currently SVP and GM. As Senior Vice President and General Manager of MNRK MUSIC GROUP (pronounced Monarch) in Nashville, TN; Miller oversees the day to day operations which includes monikers MNRK Nashville, Light Records, IndieBlu Music (Digital Distribution), and a thriving publishing roster. MNRK Nashville (formerly eOne) continues to dominate music spaces across a variety of track sales, albums, and airplay charts – consistently named one of the world’s top Independent Record Labels.
Miller is currently a member of Women In Film, The Americana Music Association, Women In Music, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She also leads the Nashville Network of the National Association of Black Female Executives in Media & Entertainment™ (NABFEME) and is the Founder of the Beautiful Girl, You Are Already Enough campaign, amongst other initiatives.
She believes in service and is committed to reaching back, pulling up and pushing forward. An advocate for equality and equity; she is a sought-after speaker, clinician, mentor, contributor, and philanthropist. Music industry veteran and active champion of numerous D&I initiatives and committees; Miller is a member of several boards and advisory councils, including Co-Founder and VP of Nashville Music Equality (an organization which educates and challenges non-minority colleagues to consider action around equality, tolerance and opportunities for all minorities in the music industry), Governor of the Nashville Chapter Recording Academy, Music Makes Us, Music Biz, St. Jude Urban Entertainment Advisory Board and others.
Named to Billboard’s Women in Music executive classes 2018 and 2020, Miller is frequently published and recognized in publications that focus on industry and leadership. Named to the Nashville Business Journal’s Women Of Influence 2021 Class as a mentor/inspiration, is a reminder that Miller continues to use her voice, influence, and time to work, empower, amplify, drive change, and bring action to the organizations she faithfully serves, in the community which she lives, and beyond. Leadership Music Nashville recently announced that Miller was selected to join the class of 2022.
Founder, Owner & Chief Executive, GoDigital Media Group
Jason Peterson is the founder, owner, and Chief Executive of GoDigital Media Group (godigital.com) a diversified multi-national holding company that owns nine operating businesses across three verticals in media IP rights management: (i) music, (ii) video, and (iii) brands Peterson is an entrepreneur, attorney, and producer named as one of the ‘Top 50 Indie’, ‘Top 40 under 40’ and ‘Top Latin’ Power Players in music by Billboard; ‘Top 40 under 40’ in home entertainment by Media Play News; and as one of the ‘Top 30 entrepreneurs under 30’ by Los Angeles Business Journal.
Artists and repertoire Peterson has worked with include Janet Jackson, T.I., Master P, Jason Derulo, Pitbull, Psy and Daddy Yankee. He has produced dozens of major music videos that have won “Video of the Year” at the Gospel Music Awards, MTV Latin Video Music Awards as well as “Best Directorial Debut” at the MVPA awards. Most recently he co-produced the video for Janet Jackson and Daddy Yankee’s “Made for Now”.
He currently or previously has provided leadership to the following boards and committees:
• American Association of Independent Music (A2iM): the trade group for American independent labels
• Association of Volleyball Professionals (the AVP): was a founding member of the Executive Advisory Board to the national professional sports league for beach volleyball
• City of Hope Hospital: Music, Film & Entertainment Board, which has raised over $130M for cancer research since 2000.
• MERLIN: the global collective bargaining organization for independent labels that represents 15% of the global market for recorded music and is roughly the size of Warner Music Group.
• OTT.x (formerly the Entertainment Merchants Association): representing the US home entertainment industry with a focus on the over-the-top eco-system.
• RD.x a joint venture between IFPI, WIN, and PPL in the UK building a global repertoire database for music licensing collectives.
• Stanford Disruptive Technologies Council: A part of the engineering school that collaborates with technology leaders around the world on the future of tech enabled services.
• The Recording Academy Government Advocacy Committee
• USC Business Cinematic-Arts Program Advisory Board responsible for career development and curriculum feedback
• World Independent Network (WIN): representing and advocating for the global independent recorded music community
CEO, Syntax Creative
Timothy J. Trudeau began his professional journey in the music business in 1997. Since then, he has produced for GRAMMY-nominated artists, designed Stellar-nominated album art, released Dove-nominated albums on his own record label, and became a distribution executive with clients who’ve won all three. As the CEO of Syntax Creative — a digital distribution and marketing company boasting the exclusive worldwide rights to over 70,000 songs — he has the pleasure of working with over 130 record labels and countless talented artists. He has also negotiated direct deals with the largest companies in the world, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. Trudeau’s ability to adapt and predict trends has led to him being cited by CNN, Washington Post, ABC News, People, US News & World Report, Business Insider, Billboard, Yahoo News, and NPR. As a sought-after thought leader, he has spoken at conferences such as Music Biz, Americana Music Festival, Urban Network, Long Beach Film Festival, GMA’s Immerse, Flavor Fest, Legacy Conference, San Diego Music Thing, and All Eyes On Me.
SVP of Music Licensing, Sirius XM
George White is an experienced senior media and entertainment executive, successfully leading organizations through the ongoing digital transformation of the music and publishing industries.
As Senior Vice President of Music Licensing at Sirius XM, Mr. White leads all music licensing and royalties initiatives for the leading audio entertainment company in the U.S., including Pandora, a subsidiary of SiriusXM, the largest ad-supported audio entertainment streaming service in the U.S. SiriusXM and Pandora together reach more than 100 million people each month with their audio products. He works closely with internal teams across the company to lead strategic partnerships with music labels, music publishers, and performing rights organizations in support of all licensing activities for existing and new services.
Prior to Sirius XM, he held senior leadership positions at Billboard, Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, and The Voyager Company.