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Leadership Music Has Tapped 46 Industry Leaders for 2023 Class

June 2, 2022

Forty-six industry leaders from around the country have been chosen for Leadership Music’s 33rd class, the Class of 2023, which begins in October. 

Founded in 1989 by 12 music industry executives, Leadership Music, a national program based in Nashville, has graduated more than 1,300 leaders. The annual program is designed to create a forum for recognized music industry leaders to learn about other areas within the music business, explore issues currently affecting the industry, and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences while building lasting relationships with classmates.


“Being selected for Leadership Music is a life-changing experience,” said LM President and Class of 2014 alumnus David Kells, Co-Chair of the Selection Committee. “The 46 leaders who make up the Class of 2023 are embarking on one of the most significant journeys of their career. I know I speak on behalf of everyone who served on the committee when I say that choosing the class from nearly 300 qualified candidates is a responsibility we don’t take lightly.  We devote an enormous amount of time, thought and deliberation to selecting the next ‘best class ever.’”


Class of 2007 alum Diane Pearson, Past President of LM and Co-Chair of the Selection Committee, agreed. “The focus of the committee is on assembling a class that is uniquely talented and diverse in every way—gender, ethnicity, genre of music, segment of the music industry and more,” she commented. “The members of the Selection Committee feel a great sense of pride in the leaders chosen for this program year, who are exceptional in every way. We look forward to watching them develop as a cohesive unit as the Leadership Music Class of 2023.”

The 46 Members of the Class of 2023 are: 
1. Kris Ahrend, CEO, Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC)
2. Ashley Alexander, Chief Marketing Officer, Girlilla Marketing
3. Tony Alexander, Co-Founder/President/Managing Director, Made in Memphis Entertainment (Memphis)
4. Scott Bailey, President, Opry Entertainment Group
5. Wade Asher, Promoter/GM, Chippewa Valley Music Festivals (Cadott, WI)
6. Brian Bauer, President, Bauer Entertainment Marketing
7. Emily Cohen Belote, Principal Music Curator, Amazon Music
8. Stacy Blythe, SVP Promotion, Big Loud
9. Robert Carlton, SVP Development, SMACKSongs
10. John Clore, VP Marketing, Communication and Content, Curb Records
11. Rose Cook, SVP Licensing Operations, SESAC Rights Management
12. Michael Darpino, Senior Director Customer Services, SoundExchange (Alexandria, VA)
13. Eleonore Denig, Violinist/Arranger
14. Kenneth Doroshow, Chief Legal Officer, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) (Washington, DC)
15. Steve Eggart, Business Manager, Wiles + Taylor & Company PC
16. Andrew Farwell, VP, Outback Presents
17. Joseph Fishman, Professor, Vanderbilt University
18. Sam Forbert, Agent, CAA
19. Randall Foster, Chief Creative Officer, Symphonic
20. Shan Foster, Executive Director, AMEND Together
21. Steve Gaches, Worldwide Head of Music Business and Legal Affairs, WME
22. Rebekah Gordon, VP Publishing, Black River Publishing
23. Ben Hall, Senior Director of Development, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
24. Michael Harris, EVP/COO, Universal Music Group Nashville
25. Jeffrey Hasson, Co-Head of Nashville Office, United Talent Agency 
26. Ben Hutto, Director of Brands and Partnerships, Triple 8 Management
27. Gena Johnson, Producer/Engineer/Mixer, Key of G Productions 
28. Chris Joslin, Executive Director, Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum (Owensboro, KY)
29. Brian Loschiavo, Co-Founder/Executive Producer, Riverside Entertainment
30. Ritz McCain, Senior Editor, Spotify (Phoenix, AZ)
31. Haley McCollister, VP Touring/GM of MTG Nashville, Messina Touring Group
32. Regina McCrary, Artist/Songwriter/Producer/Actress/Author/Minister, McCrary Sisters
33. Billy Montana, Songwriter, Curb/Word Publishing 
34. Austin Neal, Owner, The Neal Agency
35. John Riley, Assistant General Counsel, U.S. Copyright Office (Washington, DC)
36. Erica Rosa, VP Royalties and Contract Compliance, FBMM Entertainment Business Management (Los Angeles)
37. Jennifer Rosen, Head of Music Publishing Partnerships, YouTube (Wayne, NJ)
38. Sarah Rosenbaum, Counsel, Greenberg Traurig (Los Angeles)
39. Patrick Sabatini, SVP Legal and Business Affairs, Warner Music Nashville
40. Sina Seger, VP Accounts, FlyteVu Agency
41. Shannon Sorensen, VP Legal and Business Affairs, National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) (Washington, DC)
42. Kelly Striewski, SVP Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, CMA
43. Trae Vedder, Talent Buyer, Artist Collaborations and Festival Development, Sixthman (Atlanta)
44. Tracie Verlinde, VP Creative, BMI (Los Angeles)
45. Gebre Waddell, CEO, Sound Credit (Memphis)
46. Russell Ziecker, EVP/Global Head of Television Music, Lionsgate (Studio)/Starz (Network) 
 
Participants first attend an orientation, alumni welcome reception, and a two-day Opening Retreat in October, followed by six all-day sessions once a month, ending in May with graduation at a two-day Closing Retreat.