Lisa Ellis, an operating partner at investment firm Fireman Ellis, is an executive power player who got her start in the music industry. She was executive vice president at Sony Music Label Group and before that, was president and general manager of Sony Urban Music, after having gained experience in marketing, promotions, A&R and public relations with Sony Music Entertainment. Sony’s musical roster includes heavyweights Beyonce, Chris Brown, and Willow Smith.
Before becoming president of Imani Music Publishing, Angelique Miles was vice president of creative at EMI Music Publishing, vice president of A&R at Universal Music Group, and vice president of creative at Warner Chappell Music. All of those companies have represented and/or signed the best of black star power including Alicia Keys, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, and James Brown, respectively.
As co-founder and former president of Violator Management, Mona Scott-Young successfully led the careers of hip-hop stars including Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J from the ranks of rap royalty to multimedia brands in their own lanes, adding to their resumes endorsement deals and movie roles. She later went on to found and head Scott-Young Monami Entertainment, the multifaceted firm that brought viewers VH1’s top-rated Love & Hip-Hop.
Matisola Zulu, an entertainment law partner at The Davis Firm, is responsible for brokering major deals for her clients, which include industry heavyweights Polow Da Don, Swizz Beatz and Lil Jon. Before joining the firm, Zulu founded entertainment law firm M. Zulu, P.C., which catered to music industry professionals.
PR powerhouse Gwendolyn Quinn is founder and CEO of GQ Media & Public Relations and has a vast background in the music industry PR, including senior posts at Capitol Records, Island Records, and Flavor Unit Entertainment. She has handled media and publicity projects for artists including Diddy, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Prince andNotorious B.I.G, and for music executives includingMathew Knowles, to name a few.
Valerie Simpson is a board member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), bringing her experience as the other half of award-winning song-writing and performing duo, Ashford & Simpson to the table. She has more than 40 years of experience in the music industry, as she and her husband wrote and produced hits that range from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terell‘s classic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” to Chaka Khan‘s (and Whitney Houston‘s remake) “I’m Every Woman.”
Catherine Brewton serves as vice president of writer/publisher relations for the urban music department of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI). BMI, a performers’ rights organization that collects royalties for its member songwriters, composers, and music publishers, represents industry heavy-hitters including Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Eminem, and Lady Gaga.
Nicole George, a former entertainment lawyer, serves as vice president of membership at ASCAP’s Rhythm & Soul division, where members include songwriters and artists Raphael Saadiq, Usher, Beyonce, andMary Mary.