As President, Media & Conferences, Ray Waddell, steers OVG’s rapidly expanding portfolio of media properties, including the print and digital platforms for VenuesNow, Pollstar, Pollstar Daily Pulse, and pollstar.com; and the company’s investment in sports technology media company SportTechie.com. 

As a journalist, Waddell has covered the live entertainment business for over 30 years, predominantly for Billboard, where he was Executive Director, Content and Programming, for Touring & Live Entertainment.  He joined the Billboard family in 1987 as a Los Angeles-based reporter before relocating back to his home town of Nashville in 1991 to continue covering the live business as the industry changed dramatically. 

Waddell’s byline has appeared an estimated 10,000 times under the Billboard banner, where he wrote features and news coverage on the global touring industry and other music-related topics for Billboard, Billboard.com, Billboard.biz, and Billboard Bulletin. He was a columnist for 20 years, with his weekly On The Road column considered a “must read” for touring industry professionals. Waddell has interviewed countless music industry professionals and the most successful artists of all time, including Billboard cover features on Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, Tim McGraw, Roger Waters, the Eagles, Phish, Dave Matthews Band, the Who, Garth Brooks, Chelsea Handler, Miranda Lambert, Bon Jovi, Imagine Dragons, Kings Of Leon, Billy Joel, Kid Rock, and many others. 

Ray Waddell has covered—and often forecasted—virtually every significant trend in the dynamic live music business in the contemporary era. His contacts in the industry are second to none. As the industry’s leading journalist, Waddell is highly informed on issues related to touring, concert promotion, event marketing, booking, artist management, ticketing, festivals, sponsorships, production, merchandising, venues, tour deals, and any other topic related to live entertainment on a global basis, across all genres. He often serves as an industry consultant, is a frequent speaker at university music programs and industry events, and has been widely quoted as a touring business expert in such publications as USA Today, the L.A. Times, the New York Times, the Boston Herald, Time, People, Rolling Stone, Spin, NPR, CNN, and many others.   

Waddell helped launch and programmed 13 consecutive Billboard Touring Conference & Awards events, which each year hosts the most influential executives, artists, dealmakers and visionaries in the live business. Speakers at the Billboard Touring Conference have included such artists as Roger Waters, John Fogerty, Halsey, Skrillex, Gene Simmons, Brad Paisley, Chris Cornell, Florida Georgia Line, Perry Farrell, Warren Haynes, and virtually every major player in the industry. At Oak View Group, Waddell will oversee existing conferences within the platform, as well as launch new events targeting the venue, touring, sports and entertainment sectors.  

He is the co-author of the Random House publication “This Business of Concert Promotion & Touring,” which is considered the definitive guide to staging, promoting and marketing concerts and tours. The book has been used as required text in music business courses at Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, the University of Georgia, the Berklee College of Music, Syracuse University's Bandier Music Program, New York University, and several others. 

Waddell lives on a farm North of Nashville with his wife of more than 20 years, Teri, amid five dogs, three horses, and assorted other animals.

Neel Vasavada's background in sustainable energy began in 1994 with hybrid electric vehicle projects funded by Ford, GM and Chrysler. In 2003, he founded Apex Speed Technology, an engineering company specializing in electronic controls and data systems. Apex’s growth coincided with the rising interest in electric vehicles, which led to consulting work with Tesla, the US Department of Energy and research departments within several major universities.

Neel entered the Live Events industry in 2012 as managing director of eps america. During Neel’s leadership, eps grew into one of the largest site equipment providers in North America. Neel’s interest in emerging technologies then led to business development roles within other technology suppliers in the live event industry. When live events came to a halt in early 2020, Neel worked with SafeSet, a COVID compliance technology company started by Live Event Production veterans

During this time, Neel also became active in industry outreach activities within the US Department of Energy, which prompted conversations about how to make the live events industry more sustainable. The response led him to form Overdrive Energy Solutions. Overdrive’s consulting, engineering, sourcing and management services are dedicated to making live event productions more sustainable. Overdrive is currently developing technologies to measure energy consumption in production environments, as well as proprietary battery/solar products to simplify integrating renewable energy in touring and festival environments.

Neel currently serves on the board of directors for the Event Safety Alliance.

Doug Oliver has served as the General Manager at Pioneer Coach, a leading entertainer coach company, since 2007. In that role, he works with Pioneer’s leasing, driver, conversion and maintenance teams as they serve the North American touring community. Pioneer strives for the highest levels of safety and professionalism so its clients can Rock, Roll, Relax. Additionally, Doug serves as the Chair for the Entertainer Motorcoach Council, a subgroup of the American Bus Association.

Doug grew up in Nashville and has been married to his wife, Erica, since 2003, after meeting at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. They have 5 children ages 9 to 15. His hobbies include tennis, golf, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Stephen (Steve) O’Connell is Co-Founder and President of SOS Global Express Inc, which was acquired by NEP in October 2019. Steve started his career in 1979 at Expedair International in New York as an export agent and left the company seven years later as VP of Worldwide Operations. He brings over forty years’ experience in worldwide logistics, and since 1986 has overseen operations and worldwide sales for SOS Global.

Steve has been a licensed custom broker (CHB) since 1983 and has served as a board member of the International Freight Association and the Air Forwarders Association. He has traveled every corner of the world since 1979 for sales and he has overseen numerous large, multi-national projects including every Olympic Games since 1988, Super Bowls, World Cups and many of the U.S. Presidential trips since 1987.

Steve lives in Raleigh NC with his wife and enjoys time with his three children and three grandchildren, outdoor activities, golf, wine and a good book.

Steve Lopez began his career in his native Portland, OR in the mid-nineties managing and tour managing local bands. He became a regular around the Portland music scene and developed relationships with musicians, promoters and club/venue owners around the northwest.

It was during a stint tour managing longtime Widespread Panic friend and occasional co-writer Jerry Joseph in 1998, that Lopez met Panic. Joseph was opening for the band when Lopez was made aware of a Production Assistant opening that Panic was looking to fill. Eventually, Lopez got the gig and hence began his decade-long relationship with the Widespread Panic family.

Lopez worked his way up, starting as Production Assistant, then Assistant Tour Manager and finally becoming the band’s full time Tour Manager in 2006. Running the road show for one of America’s most successful touring bands.

In recent years, Lopez has also tour managed such acts as My Morning Jacket, Gov’t Mule and Devotchka, while lending his talents to the Warren Haynes X-mas jam, and Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Over 20 years of experience in facility management with an extensive background in security, risk and event management, parking, guest services, and venue operations. Throughout his career, Mr. Klingenmeier has been a key contributor to the successful operation of many high-profile events including the NBA Finals, NBA Conference Finals, NBA All-Star Game, MLS All-star Game, multiple NLL All-star Game, NHL Conference Finals, NHL Outdoor Games, NHL Return to Play Edmonton Bubble, NBA Global Games, Basketball Africa League, NCAA Final Four, NCAA Frozen Four, Democratic National Convention, FIFA sanctioned events and other internationally sanctioned soccer events.

Mr. Klingenmeier specializes in a variety of staff training including emergency, crowd, and crisis management, emergency procedures, customer service, employee safety, and TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) training. Mr. Klingenmeier has successfully conducted joint operational exercises with both federal and local law enforcement agencies in preparation of large-scale events, including live exercises during NBA and NLL games. In addition, Mr. Klingenmeier has sat on NCS4 Professional Sports Arenas and Stadiums and NBA Security Guidelines Committees, where he was instrumental in helping the NBA rewrite the league guidelines.

Prior to joining Prevent Advisors Mr. Klingenmeier worked for the Houston Dynamo and BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Security Department and coordinated all aspects of security for the venue during events. Mr. Klingenmeier’s other responsibilities included managing local law enforcement, medical provider, parking operations and staff safety training.

Before working in Houston, Mr. Klingenmeier was the Director of Security Venues for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment in Denver, Colorado for 13 years. During his time in Denver, Mr. Klingenmeier oversaw the security operations for multiple sports and entertainment venues including the Pepsi Center, Paramount Theater and First Bank Center, including the build and operations at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Mr. Klingenmeier is a graduate of the Sonoma State University in Northern California and has a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration from the University of San Francisco. Mr. Klingenmeier is based out of Las Vegas, NV with his wife, 3 kids and dog.

Trent Hemphill, co-founder of Hemphill Brothers Coach Company with his brother Joey Hemphill, has been in the bus business for over 40 years.  Located in Nashville, TN,  Hemphill Brothers’ fleet includes more than 115 coaches and over 200 employees with an unparalleled team of drivers, mechanics, office staff, interior builders and a client list that looks like a who’s who roster of celebrities, musicians, sports figures, and politicians.   Joey and Trent, have appeared on Oprah, VH1-The Fabulous Life of Pop Stars, HGTV and are regularly featured on the new Travel Channel series, “Extreme RVs”.  The two have also been on the cover of American Profile and in Billboard magazine.  10 times Hemphill Brothers has been presented with The Coach Company of the Year award at the annual Parnelli Awards in Las Vegas, NV and three times by Tour Link.  Trent and Joey were finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 Southeast Award and nominated for 2013 Most Admired CEO by the Nashville Business Journal.  Despite all the accolades and success, the core foundation and principles behind Hemphill Brothers Coach Company has remained unchanged for over 40 years and the company still strives to deliver an unparalleled level of quality, comfort, safety, reliability, and client relationships.

Ken Started his tour management career with noted blues guitarist Chris Whitley in 1997. In 2002 Ken joined up with John Mayer and has been John’s Tour Manager ever since. This has also covered looking after John’s side projects: The John Mayer Trio (featuring Steve Jordan and Pino Palladino) and ‘Controlled Danger’, John’s shows with comedian Dave Chappell. In 2015, John joined forces with Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann to form Dead & Company, which led to Ken taking on the role of Tour Manager for Dead & Company.

Ken is happily married for 20+ years to his wife Mara Stern, and they have two children, Liam Helie and Lola Helie. They all reside in Boca Raton, FL.

Dr. Hawk is a physician scientist and President of Ampersand Intelligence. Her integrated MD/PhD training built a foundation to explore translational discoveries, understand the research process, and teach new emerging concepts. Following an undergraduate degree in Molecular Cell Biology at UC Berkley, Dr. Hawk completed a master’s in medical radiation physics and a PhD in Neuroscience at The Chicago Medical School. She then completed her medical doctorate, residency and dual fellowship requirements at the University of Southern California (USC), and is now dual board certified in Nuclear and Molecular Medicine as well as Radiology. Currently, Dr. Hawk holds several national leadership positions in organized medicine and is internationally recognized as a thought leader in artificial intelligence applications. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she has strategically applied her translational abilities to ensure sports, entertainment and hospitality spaces create safer environments for people to gather and thrive.

Jeroen O.G. Hallaert is a long-time entertainment service executive with extensive experience supporting feature film and television projects. Mr. Hallaert has a proven track record of building business and providing turnaround management to entertainment industry service providers. With over 25 years experience in live production and entertainment industry solutions, Mr. Hallaert has provided strong technical, operational, managerial and executive advisement to many prominent companies in the entertainment industry.

In 2003 Mr Hallaert ran away with the Circus and joined the largest theatrical producer in the world, Cirque du Soleil. After a career under the big top he joined Production Resource Group (PRG) in Belgium in 2013 and was asked to relocate to PRG Los Angeles in 2017, where he leads the Production Services department, including overseeing PRG’s feature film and television offerings in Virtual Production. His team is responsible for ensuring that all productions commissioned by the company are fully supported both creatively, technically and financially. The role covers all production aspects; including live music, feature film, episodic series, shorts, commercials, games, new media endeavors and any other live entertainment. A high-energy executive with an outstanding track record of evangelizing new technology, spanning both strategic and operational functions.

Over the past 6 years Jeroen and his team we involved in design aspects and successful execution of U2’s Joshua Tree and Experience + Innocence Tour, Beyoncé OTR II Tour, Keith Urban Tours and LV Residency, Metallica Symphony and 40thanniversary, Metallica Festival Tour, Justin Bieber Justice World Tour, Coachella Main Stage and many more. 

Mr. Hallaert holds Master Degrees in Architecture and the Arts, giving him a well-rounded perspective of the industry and this has taken him around the globe. He is a high-energy executive with an outstanding track record of evangelizing new technology, spanning both strategic and operational functions.

Much used quote : “In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete.”  ― Buckminster R. Fuller

Richard Coble is a UK born, Los Angeles based Tour Manager who’s managed tours for Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, JLo, The Weeknd, Madonna and most recently, The Rolling Stones, Green Day and Lorde. Richard’s favorite catch phrases are, ‘be in the solution’, ‘don’t forget your passport’ and’ for the love of god, pay your incidentals’!

Richard is an eternal optimist who hopes one day to solve the great mystery of why nobody ever reads the day sheet. In the meantime, he’s planning the Lorde world tour and continuing to lead the charge for Covid safety in a business he loves.

Eric Ritz is the Founder and Executive Director of Global Inheritance, a 501c3 non-profit organization that develops interactive experiences to engage audiences at live events, cities, and school campuses. Eric has produced over 800 original environmental programs within the last two decades at major events & venues including the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, Super Bowl, Stagecoach Music Festival, Indy 500, Outside Lands, EDC, Lollapalooza, ESPN X Games, and others.

Global Inheritance also works with a large number of universities and companies to bring creative sustainability programming to their events and communities. In addition to leading Global Inheritance, Eric consultants for global brands, city governments, and NGOs seeking to develop actionable strategies for inspiring stakeholders to create a sustainable future.

Eric began his journey in the environmental and social cause space producing charity concerts at the University of Oregon in the early 90’s. Eric then joined Bill Silva Presents where he organized a number environmental awareness concerts with the likes of Incubus, Blink 182, and other major Southern California artists.

After helping launch American Legacy’s Truth campaign, Eric founded Global Inheritance in 2002 to reinvigorate creative activism and support new voices working to solve global imbalances. Global inheritance is known for a number of popular environmental initiatives including the Energy Playground, TRASHed: Art of Recycling, Oasis Water Bar, Public Displays Of Affection, Rain Supreme, Plastic Surgery, Recycling Store, POSTed Studio, Carpoolchella, among others.

For 23 years, Zito has been working in the concert touring industry. You can currently find him on the road handling Production Manager Responsibilities for Green Day.

President of Screenworks for 33 years 1989-present Producer and/or Director of live broadcasts / DVD. ….Rolling Stones ,Madonna , Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews Band ,Farm Aid (14 years) among many others Promoter rep in LA for Avalon Attractions for 13 years 1981 thru 1994 Lighting Designer/Director. Bob Dylan, Joe Walsh, America, Dan Fogelberg ,Peter Paul and Mary Touring Lighting technician. Eagles ,Joni Mitchell ,Neil Young, Rush, Foghat ,Steve Miller ,Alice Cooper

Victor Reed takes creative visions and makes them realities. This has been the professional calling that he has consistently answered for over 4 decades.

As CEO of Global Event Productions Network (GEP Network, LLC), Victor has established himself as one of the most well-respected and sought-after Production Managers in the Concert Touring Industry. The roster of artist and clients that he’s served spans over 40 years and includes names such as Rick James, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Bobby Brown, TLC, Notorious B.I.G., Usher, Jay-Z and more recently Outkast, Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, J. Cole, A$AP Rocky & Nick Cannon, just to name a few.

As CEO of McGhee Entertainment Inc., a full-service entertainment, marketing and production company, DOC McGHEE is a pioneer of the entertainment industry, founding the legendary careers of Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, and Skid Row. Managing the world-famous band KISS for over two decades, Doc reunited the band for their sold-out ‘96-‘97 Alive Worldwide Tour. This tour restored their position as the most identifiable and valuable music marketing brand in the world. With products ranging from coffins, to comic books, to skateboards, to pinball machines, it’s hard to find a product today without KISS on it. Doc has had an amazing history rebranding acts such as Darius Rucker, who he led into being a country sensation, where he revolutionized the way we see country stars today by breaking through various genre and racial stereotypes. Not only did Doc help Darius transition from a mega-selling pop act with Hootie & the Blowfish to a Country sensation, he also helped Darius become the first black country star to crack the top 10 in two decades. Doc continues to lead the entertainment industry as an innovator with a roster that includes classic rock stars as well as emerging young artists.

Doc has played a key role in the development, execution, and filming of live events that include the Moscow Music Peace Festival, the first stadium rock show in Russia, which was aired worldwide as a top-rated pay-per-view event; producing FOX TV’s live New Year’s Eve program “America’s Party”, and producing “Rockin’ The Corps,” a free concert for soldiers and their families held on the beach of Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton where KISS, Destiny’s Child, Ja Rule, Godsmack, Ted Nugent, and Hootie & The Blowfish performed.  The concert was attended by 45,000 people and aired nationwide on Regal Cinema screens as a pay-per-view special as well as a DVD release.  Proceeds from the event were donated to the non-profit organization Support The Corps. Doc has also appeared on many shows such as VH1’s Supergroup, AMC’s 4th and Loud, Scooby Doo!, Behind the Music, Gene Simmons: Family Jewels, and many documentaries. He has produced and continues to produce shows for film and television.

As an entrepreneur, he created and ran the entertainment division of Home Shopping Network for five years, was a co-owner of the LA KISS Football team and created 1-Degree Management, which united six like-minded management and marketing companies specializing in artist and athlete management, event production, mobile marketing, corporate consulting and public relations.

Some additional McGhee Entertainment clients over the years include:

Bon Jovi
Clint Black
Darius Rucker
Diana Ross
Guns N’ Roses
Hootie & the Blowfish
Isaac Hayes
James Brown
Julio Iglesias, Jr.
Liz Phair
Mink DeVille
Mötley Crüe
Pat Travers
Rodney Atkins
Scorpions
Skid Row
Yoshiki

A veteran Production Coordinator and Road Manager of 20+ years for acts such as *This is where you insert impressive lineup of artists* 

This is the stuff she would much rather talk about- 

A founding member of the Women In Touring Summit, she continues to advocate for change on behalf of the 1,800 members of the group in regards to trying to assess how roles have changed and where duties are falling in the return to touring along with many other subjects such as pay parity, women’s equality and diversity in touring.

In addition to guiding the conversation with mental health and substance abuse professionals on the 10 part "I’m With the Crew" weekly webinar which addressed mental resilience during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, she continues to advocate for and speak to the importance of mental health needing to be brought to the forefront of our industry and focuses on fostering touring into a new era with a focus on humanity.

Bob O’Brien has been in the music industry since 1988, touring solidly with some of the biggest names in music during that time. He has spent over 15 years as a Production Manager for artists such as The Corrs, Ellie Goulding, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes and The Script amongst many more and has been involved in some of the largest events in the music industry over the past 30 years.

In 2018 Bob moved his knowledge and experience over to freight specialists SOS Global to head up SOS Event Logistics, which is their Touring & Entertainment division. Ensuring he is never far away from where the music happens.

During the COVID pandemic he hosted a series of podcasts talking with current tour managers, veterans and industry legends.

Bob is currently based in the Middle East setting up a larger footprint for SOS Event Logistics with a view to being able to service the needs for our client base throughout the entire Middle East region as well as servicing the Music & Event Industry worldwide, with his dedicated Music Touring Team.

Ed McPherson has been a practicing attorney for the past 40 years. He is licensed to practice law in California, New York, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, but has litigated cases all over the country. He is a partner with the Los Angeles entertainment litigation firm McPherson LLP, which specializes in the representation of artists in the music industry. Ed has been honored in Billboard Magazine as one of “Billboard’s Top Music Lawyers for 2021” (for the second year in a row), and previously as one of Billboard’s “50 Attorneys of Note in the Music Biz.” The Los Angeles Daily Journal has listed him as one of “California’s Top (50) Entertainment Lawyers.” He is rated A/V Preeminant by Martindale-Hubbell, and he has been selected as a Super Lawyer every year for over fourteen years.

As part of his artist-side representation, Ed has been involved in numerous touring crisis situations from mosh pit injuries, to on-stage injuries (flashpots, flying microphones, etc.), to a crushing death of a fan at an Australian music festival, to the Rhode Island Station Nightclub fire in which 100 people were killed and 200 were badly injured. Most recently, he is representing Travis Scott in connection with the deaths and injuries at the 2021 Astroworld Festival in Houston.

In addition to his trial practice, Ed has served as a consultant and expert witness on numerous occasions in connection with touring, crowd safety, manager-artist disputes, agent-artist disputes, and the entertainment industry in general. He has also given countless lectures on civil litigation and the entertainment industry, and has written numerous published law review and other articles.

Laurent Vaissié holds the position of CEO of LAcoustics, with supervision centered around Business operations and strategy worldwide.

Prior to his global CEO appointment in 2019, Laurent joined LAcoustics in 2011 to lead LAcoustics operations in North America, driving its growth by developing vertical fixed installation markets and introducing LISA technology to live music tours and residencies.

Before joining LAcoustics, Laurent worked on advanced laser technologies in various technical and business leadership positions for over a decade. Laurent holds a Ph.D. in Optics and Lasers from the University of Central Florida and is an alumnus of Ecole Centrale Marseille and UCLA’s executive program.

Laurent is based in Los Angeles, California, and is an avid music, motorcycle, and outdoor enthusiast.

Robin Shaw is one of the major influencers in the development of Upstaging, Inc., which provides stage lighting, video, set construction and trucking services to the live event and the touring industry.   Robin was one of the first women in the business of touring production and has been an innovator in the field for over 30 years. Her clients are truly the who’s who of the music business and live event production. She was also one of the founders of Los Angeles Women in Music, serves on the board of the Parnelli Awards, the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.  She is also a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization.  Robin believes that her industry is one of the most interesting, capable and collaborative businesses in the world.  She says that the people she has met along the way have become some of her greatest friends.

Todd Dyer is Vice President of Sales for Venues, Music Tours & Live Events for CAPS, a Cast & Crew Company. As the senior leader in the Live Entertainment department, Todd serves top-level entertainment clients for the Employer of Record Payroll Services Company. He has nearly 30 years’ experience as both venue operator, managed services provider and business development executive within the sports, entertainment, convention, and special events industry. Todd’s clients and projects have included major music festivals and concerts, world class touring acts, conventions, sporting events, and major league sports teams – serving to recruit, train, and manage thousands of crew members at a time. These days, Todd supports the administrative side of crew productions for live events & festivals, venues and touring acts by ensuring an efficient, digital and secure environment is provided for staff onboarding, timekeeping, secure document storage, workers compensation insurance and medical coverage, all while providing employer of record payroll services to over a thousand clients in the industry.

In an era where celebrity talent and brands alike seek to find proven and committed purpose, Denise Melanson’s work provides a compass for meaningful social contributions. In her pioneering role for the company – and the industry – Denise consults with client teams and executives on philanthropic strategies and client social impact engagement. She’s a leading voice on parent company Wasserman’s DE&I Council and its Health & Wellness Committee. Through collaboration and thought leadership, she ensures that all of Wasserman Music’s strategies can deliver a positive impact on society through a variety of initiatives.

After 17 years as a music agent, Denise created the Social Impact Department at Paradigm Talent Agency – prior to Wasserman’s acquisition and integration of the team in 2021. As leader of the Social Impact department, she was responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing all of Paradigm's philanthropic strategies with the goal of helping the agency and its represented artists to have a positive impact on society.

During her years leading the department, Denise established relationships with a variety of non- profit organizations around the globe. Denise bridged the gap between nonprofits and cause- related campaigns and agency and artists, co-creating impactful campaigns while empowering staff and clients to engage with their communities. Further, she and the team developed programs and strategies that built industry connections and inspired positive change. She has worked on national campaigns with Planned Parenthood, Red Nose Day, Everytown for Gun Safety, NRDC, and many more. She’s also partnered on local efforts with Urban Roots in Austin, HOLA in Los Angeles, The Bowery Mission in New York and beyond.

During Denise’s music agent tenure, she represented clients including Stormzy, A-Trak, Knife Party, Pendulum, Chase & Status and many more – securing top spots on festivals and worldwide tours.

In addition, Denise has also served as an advisor to Plus1, as well as Children in Conflict. In May 2019, Denise was selected to represent Austin as part of the United State of Women, a national organization tackling gender equity. Denise was also recognized by Headcount in 2020 for her contributions in helping to engage artists and register voters. She has also joined as an advisor to Propeller, an organization that connects cultural leaders to powerful campaigns that inspire activism and build moments of positive social change.

Denise is a proud resident of Austin, Texas where she and her dog George actively enjoy Austin’s fantastic park system.

Jamie Cheek, president and co-owner of FBMM, is a trusted adviser and financial manager to top recording artists and one of the most highly regarded business managers in the industry. With over two decades of experience in entertainment business management, Jamie is responsible for directly overseeing the firm’s staff of more than 140 employees and sets the vision for the company’s continued growth and excellence. He has been a co-owner of FBMM since 2006, but has been working as a business manager in the industry since 1997.

Jamie is well-respected in the music industry. He has been named the CMA Touring Awards Business Manager of the Year twice (2013 and 2016) and was a finalist for the 2018 award, which co-owner Julie Boos won. He was also recognized as one of Billboard’s Country Power Players, a member of Music Row’s InCharge list of professionals and named to Variety’s 2018 Business Managers Elite list. Jamie was most recently named to the Nashville Post 2019 In Charge list for his influential role in Nashville’s music industry.

He is a board member of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Riser Foundation.

FBMM manages business needs for clients across all genres of music. The firm is composed of award-winning professionals who provide counsel and strategic support to artists and their teams. Their services include tour and personal lifestyle budgeting, tax return preparation, royalty statement review and auditing, and more.

Cory founded Staff Pro in 1987 shortly after graduating from California State University, Long Beach. The same principals upon which Staff Pro was founded still apply today: attention to detail, a guest services security culture and providing excellent training to all staff levels. Cory’s vision and mission for Staff Pro has allowed Staff Pro to provide it professional security service to 100's of facilities and over a 1,000 events annually and is viewed as an industry leader.

Cory has over 40 years of successfully coordinating security and managing facilities and events. He is a member of many organizations, some of which include International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Stadium Managers Association (SMA), National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NC4S) and American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS). Cory has attended the NFL Annual Security Training Conference for many years. He sits on the private security advisory committee for NC4S.

After 9/11 Cory was on the IAVM Safety and Security Task Force where he helped to design the industry best practices to be utilized by NHL, NFL, MLS, NCAA and all types of facilities across the country.

In 2013 Cory attended a work shop hosted by Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA) a part of homeland security to document best practices in counter terrorism and security for stadiums. Additionally, he has been published in various magazines and trade publications, representing the security, audience management, and event staffing industries.

Cory is a licensed security manager in California, Nevada and Washington.

Michael P. Downing brings 35 years of experience to Prevent Advisors. Most recently he served as the Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department and Commanding Officer, Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau where he led five operational divisions: Major Crimes, Emergency Services Divisions, Metropolitan Division, Air Support Division, and Emergency Operations Division. These divisions include the Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Section, Criminal Investigative Section, Organized Crime, Surveillance Section, Hazardous Devices Section, LAX Bomb K-9 Section, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Mounted Unit, Dive Teams, Emergency Preparedness and Response.

He has worked with the New Scotland Yard's Metropolitan Police Counter-Terrorism Command SO 15. Deputy Chief Downing has testified before Congressional sub-committeeÕs relative to intelligence, homeland security, information sharing, and prison radicalization. In April 2010, Chief Downing served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council working group on developing a national strategy for countering violent extremism.

In October 2009, Deputy Chief Downing was appointed as the Interim Police Chief for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Deputy Chief Downing is an active member of the Leadership in Counter-Terrorism (LinCT) Alumni Association, working with alumni from the FBIÕs LinCT Program to develop a global enterprise of networked counter-terrorism practitioners from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Deputy Chief Downing has also worked with the Department of Justice and State Department, traveling throughout South America, Africa, Turkey, Poland, India, and Kenya to transition large national police organizations into democratic civilian policing models and overlay counter-terrorism enterprises on top of cities. His work in counter-terrorism has taken him to Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, Kenya, India, France, Afghanistan, and Iraq; all to examine smart practices and build a network of practitioners.

Deputy Chief Downing attended the University of Southern California where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in 1982 and completed POST Command College in 1997, the FBIÕs Leadership in Counter-Terrorism (LinCT) in 2008, the Post Naval Graduate Executive Program in 2009, and the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston (SMIP PERF) in 2012.

Award-winning playwright, actor, producer & educator, Fanshen Cox recently completed touring her one-woman show: One Drop of Love. One Drop travels near and far, in the past and present to explore the intersections of race, class and gender in pursuit of truth, justice and love. The show is produced by Cox, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon.

Fanshen has been featured in the New York Times and on NPR and has published OpEds on Shondaland, Blavity and the Washington Post’s The Lily. She is a Producer and Development Executive at Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Pearl Street Films. She has appeared in Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and Argo. She co-directed the nonprofit Mixed Roots Stories.

She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, West Africa, and has designed curricula for and taught English as a Second Language to students from all over the world. She has been honored with the Peace Corps’ Franklin H. Williams Award, Peace Corps Fellows and Hollywood Foreign Press Association scholarships, an ‘Exemplar of Humanity Centered Media’ award by Media Done Responsibly and Outstanding Alumni Award from Cal State LA Department of Television, Film, and Media Studies and Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds a BA in Spanish and Education, an MA in TESOL, and a Master of Fine Arts in Television, Film and Theatre from Cal State LA College of Arts and Letters. While attending Cal State LA, Fanshen was the recipient of the Charon D’Aiello and David Sandoval Scholarship and Alumni Association Scholarship.

Her play, One Drop of Love, was awarded Best Non-Fiction Script by the United Solo Theatre Festival, and the film version won Best Documentary Film at the Roxbury International Film Festival and is an official selection of the San Francisco Black Film Festival and the Black International Film Festival.

Fanshen is also a co-author of the Inclusion Rider which was announced at the 2018 Oscar awards by Frances McDormand and the co-creator and co-host of the Webby nominated podcast Sista Brunch - highlighting Black womxn thriving in entertainment and media. Fanshen facilitates workshops and delivers keynotes on using narrative in empathy-building, exploring historical context, and how the construction of race affects our closest relationships. In spring of 2020, she delivered the University’s Academic Senate's Distinguished Lecture on Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. During the engaging presentation, she shared stories from her life and career about race, truth, justice and love.

Kalpana Kotagal is highly acclaimed civil rights and employment litigator at Cohen Milstein. She is also the co-author of the Inclusion Rider – a novel contract clause designed to improve hiring practices and workforce diversity, referenced by Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand in her 2018 Best Actress acceptance speech. Originally created for Hollywood, the Inclusion Rider has been adopted by the Recorder Academy for its production of the 2022 GRAMMY Awards and other industry leaders.

Ms. Kotagal represents women and other disenfranchised people in high-profile class action litigation, involving pay and promotion discrimination, access-to-healthcare, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act.

Ms. Kotagal is also a leading voice in the national conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion. She speaks to a wide-range of audiences, including the American Constitution Society, Democratic Attorneys General Association, TEDxLinz, and was a featured legal commentator in “This Changes Everything: An Examination of Sexism in Hollywood,” a documentary co-produced by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. A Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow, she has also had the honor of mentoring law students in public interest law and delivering the commencement speech to the graduating classes of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the University of California, Irvine School of Law. A prolific writer, Ms. Kotagal’s Op-Eds have appeared in The Washington Post, The Hill, Variety, among others.

Ms. Kotagal is on board of directors and advisory boards of several not-for-profit civil rights organizations, including Public Justice, A Better Balance, American Constitution Society Task Force on #MeToo in the Legal Profession, and she is the Co-Chair of University of Pennsylvania’s Law School Alumni Advisory Board on Inclusion and Engagement.

Ms. Kotagal is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including being named to the Lawdragon 500, Law360’s “Employment – MVP,” recognizing the top five most influential employment lawyers in the United States, The National Law Journal’s “Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar,” and receiving Chambers Women in Law: USA’s “Outstanding Contribution to the Community in Advancing Diversity” Award, as well as “The Work & Family Legal Center’s Distinguished Public Service Award” from A Better Balance.

Jim’s nearly four-decade journey in leadership and project management roles inside the live entertainment and music touring industry has had him working alongside artists as diverse as Linkin Park, Enrique Iglesias, Back Street Boys, the Bolshoi Ballet, Phil Collins, and most recently helping to lead the delivery of entertainment mega-projects inside Saudi Arabia including delivering the first-ever international music festival in the Kingdom in 2018.

Co-founder and President of the Event Safety Alliance, board member Behind the Scenes Charity, keynote speaker/presenter in matters relating to event safety, the events production career path, and mental health in live events, Jim tirelessly and passionately advocates for the health and sustainability of the industry at large.

Since being invited to join the touring family of the Legendary Roots Crew back in 1999, Tina hasn’t looked back, amassing a client list that has included some of music’s hottest acts including Chris Rock, Lil Wayne, Queen Latifah, Jill Scott, Maxwell, Nicki Minaj, Solange, Ella Mai and Anderson Paak just to name a few. A quick look at some of the most successful tours in the past six years would reveal that Farris was at the helm of many of them. The force that is Tina Farris managed the highest grossing tour in the history of Hip Hop, Lil’ Wayne’s AMERICA’S MOST WANTED TOUR. The following year, she hit the road with The Black Eyed Peas, guiding the group through 15 countries, 76 cities and 99 sold out shows before 1.3 million attendees, grossing more than $86 million dollars along the way. She rejoined Lil’ Wayne when he and Nicki Minaj headed out on the I AM STILL MUSIC TOUR – then broke from Wayne to build Nicki Minaj’s solo touring career. Following this success, she used her masterful skills to guide the elusive D’Angelo during his critically-acclaimed comeback run in Europe and the United States. In 2018 she led the Chris Rock Total Black Out tour selling 500,000 tickets worldwide. She is also a producer of Queensfest, ESPN Live Nation Women's, Global Citizen South Africa, and The Roots’ annual GRAMMY Jam (which has amassed a cult-following.) This is a night of who’s who clamoring for a single show ticket and has been heralded as the must-attend event during Grammy week! From Steve Lacy to Solange…Tina leaves no talent untouched. There is none other like Farris. Dave Chappelle’s “Artist Whisperer” is a tour de force and was recently, rightly chosen…as one of Pollstar's Top Tour Managers of 2019. “I build performances. That’s what I do.”

What’s next? Tina has pivoted into a full time digital production since the onset of Covid-19. Roots digital Picnic, Black Star Live! and Planet Afropunk are just a few of the events she’s produced in 2020.

Michael T. Strickland grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee where at age 12 Michael started what would become his lifelong passion, Bandit Lites. Michael moved the firm to Knoxville to attend the University of Tennessee and University of Tennessee Law School, while serving as Kenny Rogers Production Manager.

Through the many years’ artists such as Garth Brooks, The Monkees, Alice Cooper, WWE, Lord of The Dance, Brooks and Dunn, Chris Young, Rascal Flatts, Jimmy Buffett, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Alan Jackson, Pink, Carrie Underwood, Queen, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Jason Aldean, REM, Widespread Panic, Aerosmith, Kenny Rogers, Alabama, Barry Manilow, The Judds, and hundreds of others have worked with Michael and Bandit for all their lighting needs.

In 1999 CNN USA Today named Michael as Entrepreneur of the Year. Over the years Bandit Lites has won 26 Lighting Company of the Year Awards. Strickland was named Distinguished Alumni from The University of Tennessee College of Business. The University also bestowed on Strickland the Presidents Service Award, Alumni Council Service Award, The Development Council Service Award, and many others. Strickland is in the East Tennessee Business Hall of Fame, The Nashville Business Hall of Fame and was awarded the Parnelli Visionary Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020 Pollstar Magazine named Strickland as an Impact 50 Award winner as one of the top 50 most impactful people in live entertainment.

Bandit Lites now has offices globally in Knoxville, Nashville, Charlotte, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Bandit has over 300 full time employees and 200 part time employees.

The 53-year-old Bandit Lites continues to grow in 2021. The company philosophy of Humanomics has propelled Bandit Lites to the forefront of the industry as taking care of people has insured the highest quality service in the world. Michael is the founder and Chairman of the Board. The people at Bandit Lites are what make the firm the global leader it is.

Lance “K.C.” Jackson is the Production Stage Manager for the Legendary R&B group Earth, Wind And Fire. Lance is also one of the Co Founders of the Roadies Of Color United Social Network and Professional Association. Lance’s Career spans over 40 years in the Entertainment Services and Live Concert Touring Industries.

Lance has over those years learned to wear many hats to stay active in the game everything from FOH Engineer, Monitor Engineer, Electronics Tech, Audio Tech, Truck driver, Guitar Tech, Keyboard Tech, Stage Manager, Production Manager and Tour Manager.

Lance has been privileged since that first tour to have toured every single year since then on some of the Hottest Tours and with Main stream A List Gold and Platinum Artist. The Gap Band, Larry Graham, Rick James, Cameo, Marvin Gaye, Jeffery Osborne, Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle and Justin Bieber to just to name a few

Lance Thanks this Industry and the many folks who shared their knowledge and stage craft with him to help him development his various skill sets and for molding a lot of his character and professional ethics which he now shares through Roadies Of Color United.

Justin Carbone is Executive Vice President of Live Performance Touring for Rock-it Global, an international freight organization specializing in Live Event logistics. With over 20 years experience in the industry Justin has been the lead freight agent on worldwide tours for artists such as Shakira, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Fleetwood Mac, Beyonce and more. After learning the basics of freight transportation from his family-based business in Connecticut, he entered the world on concert logistics in 2002 and moved to Sound Moves in 2006, opening the New Jersey office. In 2020 he moved to Los Angeles to assist with the launch of Rock-it Global combining the Rock-it Cargo, Sound Moves, CargoLive, Waiver and Airworks brands.

He currently resides in Redondo Beach CA with his wife and three children.

All registrants will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to gaining entry to the conference.

Speakers

BIO

Lucy August-Perna

Live Nation

Justin Carbone

Rock-it Global

Jamie Cheek

FBMM

Richard Coble

RC Touring

Fanshen Cox

Pearl Street Films

Jim Digby

Event Safety Alliance

Mike Downing

Prevent Advisors

Todd Dyer

CAPS, A Cast & Crew Company

Tina Farris

Tina Farris Tours

Jeroen Hallaert

PRG

Dr. K. Elizabeth Hawk

Ampersand Intelligence

Ken Helie

John Mayer/Dead & Company

Trent Hemphill

Hemphill Brothers Coach Company

Lance Jackson

R.O.C.U.

JT Klingenmeier

Prevent Advisors

Kalpana Kotagal

Cohen Milstein

Steve Lopez

Widespread Panic

Doc McGhee

McGhee Entertainment, Inc.

Ed McPherson

McPherson LLP

Denise Melanson

Wasserman Music

Cory Meredith

Allied Universal Services

Bob O’Brien

SOS Event Logistics

Danny O’Bryen

Screenworks/NEP

Steve O’Connell

SOS Global

Doug Oliver

Pioneer Coach

Victor Reed Sr.

Global Event Production Network

Eric Ritz

Global Inheritance

Misty Roberts

Independent

Robin Shaw

Upstaging, Inc.

Michael Strickland

Bandit Lites, Inc.

Laurent Vaissié

L-Acoustics

Neel Vasavada

Overdrive Energy Solutions

Ray Waddell

Oak View Group

BIO

Malcolm Weldon

Just A Guy Pushing Boxes

Zito

Zito Production Services

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