Richard began his career in the music industry as a songwriter, penning classics such as “My Boyfriend’s Back” and “I Want Candy” and was an artist in the 1960s pop group, The Strangeloves. In 1966, he co-founded leading independent record label Sire Records with fellow luminary Seymour Stein. Later, Richard went on to make a name as a multi-platinum producer for well-known music acts, including Blondie, The Go-Go’s, The Raveonettes and Joan Armatrading before co-founding The Orchard in 1997. Today, as head of Blue Horizon Records, one of The Orchard’s premier labels, Richard supervises recordings of The Black Angels, Scoundrels and Dion. He also produces The Dum Dum Girls for Sub Pop. His motto is, and has always been “Move forward, even in times of adversity. Move forward.”
Scott is the co-founder of digital distribution company The Orchard, the largest digital music distributor in the world with offices in 25 countries. As a well-recognized public speaker and lecturer, Scott travels the world evangelizing new business models for the digital age. He is a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University and sits on the British Phonographic Industry Council. Scott’s music career started in the late 1980s in independent and major label artist management. In addition to his responsibilities at The Orchard, Scott runs a music management company with longtime partner Richard Gottehrer.
In his role as Political Director, Michael oversees Mr. Simmons’ entire social justice, political and semi-political activities. The focus of their work together is based around three core themes: education, poverty and ignorance. GlobalGrind is Hip-Pop, the “Hip” side of popular culture. Chronicling celebrities, lifestyle content, entertainment news, fashion, music, and politics with an authoritative voice, GlobalGrind reaches over 4.5 million people a month, predominantly serving a multi-racial segment of the 18-34 population. Prior to his work for Mr. Simmons, Michael spent over a decade as an award-winning film director and producer. He is a graduate of the UCLA School of Film, Theater and Television.
Dan is an accomplished musician and full time Professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been on the faculty since 1996. He was given the school’s “Curriculum Development Award” in 2006 for his popular on-campus course “Groove Writing”. Dan is also on the faculty of Berkleemusic.com – Berklee’s distance learning school where he teaches an online version of this course called “Arranging Contemporary Styles” to students all over the world. In 2008, his book “Producing and Mixing Contemporary Jazz” was released on Hal Leonard-Berklee Press. In 2009, Dan was awarded the prestigious MacColl-Johnson fellowship for jazz composers, which enabled him to write and produce a project with an Italian traditional orchestra called Piccola Orchestra La Viola (POLV), bringing together his musical and Italian roots. Dan continues to perform and teach seminars around the world.
A native of New Orleans, Randy Fertel, Ph.D., has taught the literature of war at Harvard, Tulane, the University of New Orleans, and the New School for Social Research. He heads the Ruth U. Fertel Foundation, which is devoted to Louisiana education and (which) brought Alice Waters’s Edible Schoolyard project to post-Katrina New Orleans. He also heads the Fertel Foundation, which sponsors the Ron Ridenhour Prizes for Courageous Truth Telling. A contributor to NPR, Huffington Post, the Smithsonian, the Kenyon Review, and Creative Nonfiction, he wrote The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir (University Press of Mississippi) and A Taste for Chaos: The Hidden Order in the Art of Improvisation (forthcoming from Spring Journal Books).
The CEO of Carrollton Group, Chris has spent the last 20 years building, launching and developing innovative technology companies and products. He is the past president of the Young Leadership Council in New Orleans and currently serves on the board of several organizations including Court Watch New Orleans, the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the Foundation for Science and Math Education and the Louisiana Technology Council.
Greg is a recording engineer, musician, and is co-owner of The Bridge Recording. He began building speakers of his own design in high school, while playing professionally in bands and orchestras. As a music performance undergrad student in college, Greg augmented his formal music training by working as a mixing engineer at notorious rock clubs in Milwaukee, WI. After earning his Masters degree in Music Performance at North Texas, he moved to Los Angeles. There, he started performing with and recording some of the world’s best talent in the legendary recording studios of Hollywood. Seeing a need for a modern, no-excuses recording studio, Greg built and opened The Bridge Recording in 2010. Since then, The Bridge has become the busiest studio of its type in the world, recording everything from #1 blockbuster major motion picture scores to chart-topping modern pop albums.
Bob is the President and Founder of Multivision Video and Film, a leader in the use of video and communications technology that has won numerous award for innovation and creativity. Multivision's corporate client list includes Bacardi, IBM, Royal Carribean Cruise Lines, Genting Group, Sky Vodka, AECOM, Bellsouth and many more. Multivision's cutting edge work also has been featured in exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution, the Ellis Island Museum, and at major corporate and political conventions. Additionally, Bob is a Founding Partner in Boomer Radio, a popular streamed radio site.
Darren Schenkler is a Director of Institutional Equity Sales at RBC Capital Markets where he has worked since 2004. Prior to working at RBC Capital Markets, Mr. Schenkler served as a VP of Institutional Equity Sales at Soundview Technology working with the firm's top hedge fund and mutual fund clients. Mr. Schenkler received a B.S. from the University of Colorado with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, graduating Cum Laude.
Dr. Beth Hayes
Beth Hayes earned an undergraduate degree in music education from Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY in 1992, a Master of Music Education from Indiana University in 2000 and PhD in Music Education from Indiana University in 2009.
She taught in the public schools for nine years in both urban and rural communities. Her teaching experience includes concert, jazz, and marching bands, general music, string and full orchestra, music theory, and orchestration. She taught private French Horn lessons for ten years in New York where she was also a brass adjudicator and earned two grants to commission new music for a middle school jazz band. In Washington DC, she conducted a women’s chorale that performed Where I Live: a Breast Cancer Oratorio.
Before serving as Dean of Music Education at the University of New Orleans, Beth Hayes worked at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota as an Assistant Professor of Music Education and director of the Campus Band. She also worked as an adjunct professor at Indiana University. At the collegiate level, she has supervised student teachers and taught secondary methods, instrumental methods, technology education for teachers, band, music appreciation, and musicianship. As a graduate student she was a substitute instructor for 4 master and doctoral level courses in music education at Indiana University.