Joi Brown is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Brand Partnerships at Atlantic Records, responsible for cultivating strategic partnerships with the goal of marrying musical talent with prominent brands to create impactful campaigns and promotions. In an industry marred by change and uncertainty, Brown has secured her place as a trusted and steadfast executive.
Brown works with companies like MasterCard, Covergirl, McDonalds, Pepsi, and many others to develop campaigns that extend from overall company-based partnerships to artist-based, third-party campaigns. She also works with brands to develop their music strategy globally as a member of Warner Music Group’s Global Brand Council. Some of her most successful campaigns include a Remy Martin endorsement deal for T.I., Rosa Regale endorsement deal for Estelle, and K. Michelle’s partnership with Jack Daniels, just to name a few.
Brown is an alumna of Howard University and member of the esteemed Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She founded HU United, a grassroots organization of over 3,000 alumni from historically black colleges and universities who are committed to community activism. She recently launched Culture Creators, a series that includes networking, panel discussions, and mentorship to create, share, and inspire the black experience through entertainment.
Doug Camplejohn (Executive Committee Member-At-Large)
Doug leads product strategy for Sales Navigator, LinkedIn’s flagship solution for sales professionals. He has been a serial entrepreneur for nearly 20 years, and has founded three technology companies that have each had successful exits. Most recently, he was the Founder and CEO of Fliptop, a predictive analytics application for B2B sales, that was acquired by LinkedIn in 2015. Prior to Fliptop, Doug was the Co-founder and CEO of Myplay (acquired by Bertelsmann in 2001) and Mi5 Networks (acquired by Symantec in 2009).
Nicole Crystal (Secretary)
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.
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.
Bob retired as a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers after a 37 year career, where he specialized in Financial Services. At the time of his retirement in 2014, he led the Banking and Capital Markets practice in the Metro New York region. In 2016, Bob joined the board of UBS Americas Holdings – the holding company for UBS’ operations in the US. An avid guitar player since the early 70’s, he was hooked on the LKR mission from his first introduction in 2015, joining LKR’s NY Area Advisory in December 2017.
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.
Brian Hardgroove is a record producer, bassist, drummer and member (on hiatus) of the legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy.
Although he’s done productions that include the extraordinary talents of Chuck D (Public Enemy), Steven Tyler & Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Burning Spear, Marc Anthony, Supertramp and The Fine Arts Militia, his most cherished work is the production of two of China’s premier punk rock bands Demerit and Brain Failure.
Hardgroove’s musical repertoire spans the genres of hip-hop, soul, rhythm and blues, rock, and reggae.
In 2013 Hardgroove joined the faculty of Santa Fe University of Art & Design as Artist in Residence until shortly before the school began closing in 2017.
In 2009, Gov. Bill Richardson proclaimed May 8th as “Brian Hardgroove Day” in the state of New Mexico for Hardgroove’s commitment to the regional music scene and for using his position as a touring musician, radio personality, writer, performer, and producer to promote the state in interviews while touring the world with Public Enemy and Bootsy Collins. Santa Fe Mayor David Coss proclaimed June 7 as “Brian Hardgroove Day” in the city of Santa Fe as well.
Hardgroove is currently producing two separate album projects with Stewart Copeland (The Police) and Fred Schneider (The B-52’s).
Dick Hoffman is CEO of Atomatic Mechanical Services, Inc. Atomatic is a full service mechanical contracting firm founded in 1945 serving the greater Chicagoland area. Dick purchased Atomatic from a roll-up consolidator in 1993. Prior to Atomatic, Dick attended the University of Miami where he obtained his finance degree, then began his career with Motorola where he worked on the pilot cell phone project.
John Hopkins is EVP & COO of Sweetwater, one of the United States’ largest dealers in musical equipment for musicians, recording studios, schools, churches, concert sound companies and broadcasters.
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.
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.
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.
Farid has 30 years of experience in the financial technology industry as an entrepreneur, investor and manager. Previously, he founded FNX Limited, a leading provider of global over-the-counter trading technology to the world’s largest financial institutions. FNX was acquired by GL Trade (now part of SunGard) in 2007. Farid also has served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, as a board member of Gain Capital and is an operating partner at LLR. He joined Lightspeed Financials’ Board of Directors (now Professional Trading Solutions) in September 2012 and became CEO in 2014. He holds a Series 7 and 24 licenses.
Farid currently sits on YPO International’s Board of Directors where his term ends in September, 2020.
Brad Peterson currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology and Chief Information Officer (CTO/CIO) for Nasdaq. He previously served as CIO and EVP for Schwab Technology Services (STS), responsible for Schwab’s technology innovation, development, infrastructure and operations.
Priscilla Shaw Rahn
Priscilla is a 26-year veteran public school Master Teacher; an elite distinction held by less than 1% of Colorado’s teachers. She was the first teacher in Colorado to become National Board Certified in Early Adolescent/Young Adult Music. Priscilla has worked in urban, suburban and rural schools in Texas, Colorado and Alaska as a public school teacher, principal, Regional Team Specialist, teacher evaluator/coach, Summer ELA Site Leader, high school tennis and volleyball coach and higher education Student Teacher Supervisor at CCU. Priscilla volunteers her time as Secretary of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, DUU Board alternate for the Colorado Education Association.
Priscilla’s husband is Darren Rahn, an accomplished saxophonist, with over 25 #1 radio singles and multiple Grammy nominations over the past 11 years as an artist, producer and mixing engineer. He has become urban jazz’s premiere sonic architect, the “go-to” guy for established genre greats and up and comers looking for their next sure-fire hit.
Stefani Scamardo is the founder of Hard Head Management and Evil Teen records. She has a wide variety of musical influences dating back to her early days as an avid record collector and live show enthusiast. She is able to work within different genres including rock, Americana, alternative, indie, and electronic as well as with classic and new bands. Stef came up through the ranks of the A&R department of Island Records at the start of her music business career and she spent 16 years as the face and voice of SXM’s Jam On where she hosted “Jam On with Stef Scamardo.” Coming up shortly she will be debuting a new talk show on channel 100, Volume. Stef also co-founded Mountain Jam, one of the country’s premier music festivals in Hunter, NY.
Stefani has managed Gov’t Mule for 20 years and under her guidance, they have solidified themself as one of the most influential rock bands of the modern era, developing a robust touring regimen and showcasing their virtuosity over the course of 27 studio and live albums, millions of album and track sales, and over 2,000 live performances. Simultaneously, she has overseen Warren Haynes’ impressive balance of Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers Band, The Dead, his solo acts, and more. She’s worked closely and consulted with both the Dead and the Allman Brothers Band, most recently co-managing and producing The Brothers sold-out performance at Madison Square Garden.
Stefani has a great ear for talent as well as helping artists develop that talent. She is able to find unknown and young acts and develop them into global powerhouses through connections with venues, promoters, press, radio, digital and traditional marketing, and labels. Recent discoveries and success stories include the Revivalists and the Marcus King Band. Other acts she manages and has managed include Tyler Ramsey, DJ Logic, Living Colour, Chris Robinson, Soulive, and others.
Stefani is a philanthropist as well. She co-founded the W&S Charitable Foundation and continues to sit on the board, helping produce The Christmas Jam in Asheville, NC which just donated over a half-million dollars from the proceeds of the 30th-anniversary show featuring Dave Grohl, Eric Church, Jim James, Gov’t Mule, Grace Potter and many more. She has been on the board of Headcount (since its inception in 2004) as well as Little Kids Rock and is an advisor to the board of the NY Chapter of the Recording Academy. She is also a member of several organizations including Women In Music, Music Management Forum, A2IM (American Association of Independent Musicians), and NITO (National Independent Talent Organization).
Chris was the Director of Business Development for Google and also the founder of Blip.fm. In addition to Little Kids Rock’s San Francisco Bay Area Advisory Board, Chris sits on the boards of the Kanye West Foundation, and the Friends of Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo.
George “Beau” Taylor
Beau Taylor is a founding partner and Chief Investment Officer of Madava Asset Management (formerly 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.
Ken is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Verifi Media, a company focused on modernizing how media data is shared and dynamically managed across all parties in the media value chain, with an emphasis on music data. Verifi believes that moving copyrighted media at “the speed of digital” will spark new revenue streams, information transparency, and efficiencies that will form the foundation for a more sustainable and diverse global creative economy.
Ken is also an independent investor and business advisor for music startups and artists, through his company Digital Daruma, with a specific focus on artist facing music and media service companies. Digital Daruma has invested in numerous promising music startups over the decade. Digital Daruma has also made select direct investments in music artists and songs.
His past experience includes 25 years in financial services trading, asset management and senior management positions. Lastly, he is involved in a number of music foundations and academic organizations, including serving on the board of Little Kids Rock, as well as advisory board position for programs at New York University and Berklee College of Music.
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.
Jay Vyas (Treasurer)
Jay has been a Little Kids Rock volunteer and supporter for nearly two decades and has been a past Treasurer as well as Head of the Audit Committee. He is a dedicated amateur musician who is currently focused on improving his guitar and electric bass skills. Jay’s professional life covers over 30 years in the field of quantitative investing. Most recently, he was the Managing Director, Head of Research and Innovation at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Prior to that, Jay was a co-founder and managing member of Vyas Capital Management, LLC. Continuing back into time, his career journey included roles at Barclays Global Investors, Martingale Asset Management, and BARRA, Inc. Jay earned his BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley, and he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Cheryl Zimlich (Vice Chair)
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.
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.