National Board

Nicole Crystal

Nicole is founder and Chief Creative Officer of The Memory Vault, LLC, a company specializing in custom-made photo books, photo management & organization, greeting cards and photography. She received a Bachelors of Science Degree from Boston University in Mass Communication and also holds a New Jersey Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education (K-8). Nicole has been an active member of her family foundation since 1995. Prior to joining the national board, Nicole served as a member of the New York Area Advisory Board. Nicole joined the board as an independent, voting member in 2013. FULL BIO

Chris Donohoe (Chair)

Chris Donohoe is an independent singer/songwriter. He has released six albums including “Build a Bridge” in 2014 and his latest “Time and Truth” in 2015. Prior to his music career, he spent 12 years in television news primarily as a weather anchor. He also held duties as an environmental and feature reporter. Chris chaired the Little Kids Rock San Francisco Bay Area Council from 2011-2014 and continues as vice chair. He has also served on the board of The Bluefield Project to Cure Frontotemporal Dementia since its formation in 2010. He was raised in Sunnyvale, California on Simon and Garfunkel, Benny Goodman, Neil Diamond, and Cheap Trick records, and holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Davis. Prior to joining the national board, Chris served as a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Advisory Board. Mr. Donohoe joined the board as an independent voting member in 2015. FULL BIO

Jules Follett

Jules Follett is the Executive director and Founder of The Sessions (TheSessions.org), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that brings together a panel of Artists and industry experts to teach Musicians the BUSINESS side of the industry. The Sessions was spawned from Follett’s years as an entertainment photographer, as she heard countless stories of talented artists not getting their due. Jules joined the Little Kids Rock board as an independent voting member in 2014. FULL BIO

Craig Kallman

Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman carries on the entrepreneurial tradition that has driven Atlantic Records since its founding by Ahmet Ertegun over 65 years ago, and is embodied in the careers of such fellow Atlantic producer/executives as Jerry Wexler, Nesuhi Ertegun, and Doug Morris. Craig joined Atlantic in 1991, when the company acquired his independent Big Beat Records label. Advancing through the executive ranks, the New York-born Kallman was named Chairman/CEO of the Atlantic Records Group in 2005. Craig joined the board of directors in 2014 as an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

Howard Kerbel (Treasurer)

Howard has extensive experience in Internal and External Auditing, Risk Management and Governance roles in the Financial Services industry, and in Board leadership positions for Not-For-Profit organizations. Since October 2015, Howard has served as a Special Advisor in the Office of the General Counsel at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., with a focus on Corporate Governance and Project Oversight.  Previously, as a Managing Director, he was the Global Head of Risk Management for the Investor Services line of business and before assuming that role in October 2013 he was the General Auditor for the Firm. A CPA with an MBA from Columbia University, Howard’s undergraduate degree is a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia. Howard is a long-time member of the Board of Governors of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, a progressive rabbinical school, and he has served as the Treasurer of that organization since 2013. Howard is an active member of Bnai Keshet Synagogue in Montclair, New Jersey, and he has previously served the congregation as Treasurer.  Effective November 2016, he began a two-year term as its co-President. Prior to joining the national board, Howard served as a member of the New York Area Advisory Board. Howard joined the board of directors in 2015 as an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

Joseph Laska (Secretary)

Joe Laska is an attorney in the Los Angeles office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a national law and consulting firm. Joe’s practice focuses on all aspects of general business and commercial litigation in both state and federal courts. He has experience in a wide range of areas such as contractual disputes, insurance, labor and employment, corporate dissolutions, intellectual property, unfair competition, class actions, international arbitration, and appeals. Joe joined the board of directors in 2010 as an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

Nadine Levitt (Vice Chair)

Nadine is a Swiss born, German, Kiwi, US transplant, wine collector, mom of two toddlers and holds several patents in the fitness and technology sector. A professional opera singer and songwriter who has performed extensively all over the United States, and the world, Nadine has shared the stage with David Foster, Roger Daltry, Christina Perri, and Steven Tyler to name but a few. In 2013 she founded a label & publishing company (Feel Like A Giant & FLAG Publishing), and through those deals formed partnerships with TAP Management and Interscope Records. The need for a platform such as Wurrly was born out of her personal need as a singer. “Not everyone can afford a pianist to accompany them, and location and economic differences should not be a barrier to entry for self expression.”Nadine also holds a Law and Arts Degree (Majoring in languages and translation) from Auckland University (New Zealand). Nadine joined the board of directors in 2016 as an independent voting member. FULL BIO

Bruce Schroder

Bruce Schroder is President of Moe’s Southwest Grill; a leading Fast Casual chain approaching 700 restaurants in 38 states. In addition to his restaurant experience, Bruce has led consumer products growth for great brands like Pepsi, Starbucks, and SoBe during his 16 years at PepsiCo. Mr. Schroder was honored to deliver the keynote address for a White House “Champions of Change” event recognizing the Department of Labor’s Summer Youth Jobs initiative. Bruce formerly served on the Board of Directors for Nature Bridge Yosemite, a non-profit organization committed to building environmental literacy & stewardship in our youth. Bruce joined the board of directors in 2017 as an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

George “Beau” Taylor

Beau Taylor is a founding partner and Chief Investment Officer of Taylor Woods Capital Management LLC. Prior to founding Taylor Woods Capital in 2011, he served as a Managing Director of Credit Suisse, Head of the Global Commodity Proprietary Trading Group and Co-Head of Global Commodities. He also served as a member of the Fixed Income Operating Committee. Mr. Taylor joined Credit Suisse in 2007 from JP Morgan where he was the Global Head of Energy Sales and Trading. Prior to that he was the Co-head of Power Trading at Morgan Stanley. Mr. Taylor began his career at Merrill Lynch Commodities in 1994. Mr. Taylor graduated Cornell University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Economics and Business Management. Prior to joining the national board, Beau served as a member of the New York Area Advisory Board. Beau joined the board of directors in 2015 as an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

Ken Umezaki

Ken is an independent investor and business advisor for music startups, through his company Digital Daruma, with a specific focus on artist facing music and media service companies. Digital Daruma has also made select direct investments in music artists and songs, and has co-founded Five To One Media, an artist centric multimedia services hub in Manhattan. He is also the co-founder of the Dot Blockchain Music Project, a public benefit corporation building and promoting a new music file format and supporting technology architecture to modernize copyright management and the music supply chain fit for the digital music age. Prior to joining the national board, Ken served as a member of the New York Area Advisory Board. Ken joined the board of directors in 2014 as an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

Steve Venz

As the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education, Steve Venz supports the increased access and implementation of arts education for over 650,000 students in Orange County, CA.  He serves as project lead for the Arts + STEM Collaborative, a member of the Americans for the Arts State Policy Pilot CA Team, and as a faculty member for the Longy School Of Music of Bard College’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program in Los Angeles.  Steve was the co-architect/principal of the award-winning Quincy Jones Elementary School, a jazz music and arts-focused Title I school in South Los Angeles.  Jose joined the board of directors in 2016 as an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

Jose Vergara

Jose Vergara is a music teacher at Miramonte Elementary (LAUSD). Prior to becoming a full-time music teacher at Miramonte, he was a general education teacher for fifteen years. Since 2009, Jose Vergara has volunteered countless hours to run the modern band music program at Miramonte, with the support of the national organization, Little Kids Rock. Four times a week, when every teacher is wrapping up the day after a long day of teaching, you can find Jose Vergara preparing himself for band practice with his students. Jose joined the board of directors in 2016 as an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

Cheryl Zimlich

Cheryl Zimlich serves as executive director and as a member of the board for Bohemian Foundation, a philanthropic, grantmaking institution based in Fort Collins, Colo. The foundation works to empower citizens and is committed to the care and enrichment of local, national and global communities. Through the foundation’s Community Programs area, the organization seeks to support youth, economic stability and the vibrancy of the Fort Collins community. The foundation’s Music Programs area works to build community through music. Through its Civic Programs area, the foundation funds organizations that aim to strengthen democracy. Zimlich has been responsible for the development of the foundation’s fourth program area, Global Programs, which seeks to identify and support organizations addressing some of our most serious global challenges at the intersection of public health, poverty and the environment. Zimlich is a respected community leader and 20-year volunteer in the nonprofit sector. In addition to serving Bohemian Foundation, Zimlich has held board and leadership positions with more than a dozen organizations. Cheryl joined the board of directors in 2012 as an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

J. Michael Fernandez (Chairman Emeritus)

Mike is the Founder of Quant 6 (www.quant6.com). Previously, Mike was a Managing Director at the BTI Group, a mergers and acquisitions firm. Mike co-founded The Coffee Review, the world’s leading guide to coffee ratings, and GreatCoffee.com, an on-line retailer of specialty coffees. He served in the US Army Reserves attaining the rank of Captain and graduated at the top of both his military class and his officer basic course. He earned his Airborne (paratrooper) wings and served with the 411th Civil Affairs battalion, a special operations unit engaging in humanitarian relief and reconstruction missions. Mike joined the board of directors in 2002, but is no longer an independent, voting member. FULL BIO

 

All board members are active, unless otherwise noted, as of May 18, 2016