About Us

Georgia Music Partners (a Georgia not-for-profit 501(c)(6) corporation) exists because we believe that music matters to the people of Georgia – in our communities, in our schools, and in our economy. Our mission is to help Georgia’s music industry grow to become one of the country’s biggest and best, which promotes both job growth and culture in our state. We believe this is an exciting cause worth focusing on, as it fuses arts, sciences and business in a unique manner that impacts multiple silos in our marketplace.

Georgia has a very rich music history, being the home of legendary artists such as Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers, R.E.M., the B-52s, Outkast, Ludakris and many others (see Legacy). According to a 2011 study conducted by B. William Riall, Ph.D., the estimated economic impact of the music industry in Georgia is already $3.7 billion annually. Additionally, the study credits the industry with creating 19,955 jobs and generating more than $313 million in tax revenues for state and local governments. In recent years, however, Georgia has been losing its music industry as artists, producers, managers, and other industry professionals moved to places like Nashville, New York and Los Angeles.

GMD 2017

Georgia Music Day 2017, Georgia State Capitol Photo credit: Cara Pastore @f22studio 

Making this loss more poignant, the erosion of the Georgia music industry took place against the backdrop of an immense boom in Georgia’s non-music entertainment industry (i.e., film, television and digital entertainment productions). The growth of the film and television industry was in large part the result of Georgia passing a competitive film tax credit in 2008. While the music industry shrunk in Georgia, direct spending in film and television production grew from $67 million in 2007 to $2.7 billion in 2017. 

In order to halt and reverse the losses to Georgia’s music industry, and in hopes of replicating the success of Georgia’s film tax credit, GMP has been fighting for a music incentive in the past several years. These efforts produced a surprise win during the 2017 legislative session. Effective January 1, 2018, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Georgia Music Investment Act, which creates a new tax incentive for music production in Georgia.

GMP’s objectives for 2017 and 2018 are as follows:

  1. Generate national PR exposure and begin targeted business development in order to promote GA’s Music Investment Act’s use nationally to industry stakeholders.
  2. Develop workforce readiness “best practices” in collaboration with schools and universities to help students chart the path to gainful employment in the local music industry.
  3. Continue government relations and advocacy work with elected officials, acting as the intermediary between our Members and Georgia’s Legislators.

Board of Directors

 

President: Shachar Oren, Neurotic Media

Since founding Neurotic Media in 2001, Shachar Oren, as President and CEO, has been responsible for the management and development of the company’s business strategy, sales, and financial administration – including product, marketing, and operations. Neurotic Media creates products and services that allow people to access and enjoy digital media on the devices and platforms they choose to use. Neurotic Media drives consumer behavior with popular artists and songs on a business-to-business basis, providing white-label and bespoken services for Fortune 500 companies.  Its customers include retailers, mobile carriers, consumer brands, and record companies.

Music moves us.  It makes us dance, sing, laugh, and sometimes even cry. Music is a powerful driver of perception and action. Brands who harness the power of music can do extraordinary things. They can change brand perception, win hearts and minds, drive loyalty – and ultimately, drive dollars. Neurotic Media offers brands Music That Moves people, product, price point, perception and purchase.

Previously, Shachar served as Senior VP of International Business Development at Amplified Holdings, the first business-to-business digital distribution company – and oversaw early customer signings with Tower Records, Transworld, and Wherehouse Music in ’98.  Prior to joining the high tech side of the business, Shachar worked at Ichiban Records as an A&R person and radio marketing specialist. Shachar graduated in 1995 from Georgia State University with a B.S. in Music Industry and Music Production.

 

Treasurer: Llew Haden, Wales Business Management

Llew Haden, a seasoned executive with over 40 years’ business experience, is president of Wales Business Management, a company that which manages the business and personal affairs of professional athletes, entertainers and executives. In his role, Llew provides advice and support to clients and their families so the client can focus on their career and know that all other aspects of their lives are covered. The combination of concierge services with lifestyle leadership, financial planning and stewardship gives clients the comfort they need.

Before founding Wales, Llew was CEO of SafetyNet LLC, a call center company located in Atlanta, Georgia. During his tenure there, he completed a two-year turnaround of the company and positioned it for sale.

Prior to SafetyNet, Llew was president of Albemarle Corporation (GA), which facilitated the placement of money between companies, real estate developers, investors and lenders. Previously, Llew was president of Interspe, USA, Inc., a subsidiary of a German logistics company where he managed three separate functions. First was the entity that marketed the European logistics services to US companies. Second was a real estate investment and development company, and third was an investment company that targeted second and third round investment in small to medium sized companies.

Llew began his career in 1968, working with The First National Bank of Atlanta (later Wachovia). In his twenty years in banking, he developed skills in lending, strategic planning, competitive and industry analysis, and merger and acquisition analysis.

Llew serves on the boards of the “I Have a Dream”® Foundation, where he is a past chairman, Georgia Music Partners and Project Pericles. He has previously served in Leadership Atlanta and was chairman of Zoo Atlanta, where he was responsible for revitalizing the organization into one of the top zoos in the nation. Llew received his BBA in management from Georgia State University.

 

Secretary: Julie K. Roach, Esq., Letterbox Legal and INFORM

Julie enjoys practicing law to support artists and creatives in the advancement of their careers, and to ensure that their works are respected and protected. Julie received her Juris Doctor degree from Emory University School of Law, and graduated with a certificate in Transactional Law and Skills. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Music and Philosophy. Go Dawgs!  She is admitted to practice law in the State of Georgia. Julie has worked with ASCAP, at The Coca-Cola Company, with the Artist Rights Acquisition team at Live Nation Entertainment, and with several solo practitioners. She was also on the executive board for Emory Law’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Julie has played alto saxophone for over 15 years and frequently attends live music concerts, especially at the Georgia Theatre, a famous music venue in Athens, Georgia.  Currently, Julie is:

 

VP, Public Relations: Tara Murphy, 360Media 

Tara Murphy is the founder of 360 Media, a leading Atlanta-based public relations boutique agency specializing in entertainment, lifestyle and hospitality clientele. Since establishing the firm in 1996, Tara has become well-known as one of Atlanta’s foremost public relations and media mavens, having represented many of the top festivals/events, venues, hotels, restaurants, personalities, brands and bands.  Prior to starting 360 Media, Tara was the Director of PR for Ichiban Records and before that she did PR for Concert Southern Promotions, now Live Nation Atlanta.

With clients and connections that span the globe, 360 clients have included Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Music Midtown, Voodoo Music Experience, BottleRock Napa Valley, Lakewood Amphitheater, Candler Park Music + Food Festival, Charlotte Marriott City Center Hotel, Krog Street Market, Netherworld Haunted House, Marriott Marquis, Miracle Christmas Pop Up,  ADAC, Renaissance Atlanta Airport Gateway Hotel,  Jennifer Nettles/Sugarland, 10th Anniversary of the Olympics, The Atlanta Jazz Festival, W Atlanta Downtown, Cousins Properties, The Lawrence, radio personality Bert Weiss of Q100 and The Bert Show, Eight Sushi Lounge and non-profits such as Bert’s Big Adventure,  Jane Fonda’s G-CAPP, The Frank Ski Kids Foundation, Grady Health Foundation and March of Dimes. 

Tara is an active member in the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) and is the recipient of several professional awards. She was also named as “One of the 25 Power Women to Watch,” and was nominated as one of Atlanta’s Top 25 Women by Rolling Out Magazine.

 

VP, Workforce Readiness: Lyn Schenbeck 

Dr. Lyn Schenbeck has been teaching and performing for 50 years. With a bachelor, masters, and doctorate in music, her career spans both the United States and Eastern Europe. Currently, she, and her musicologist husband, Dr. Lawrence Schenbeck, are reconstructing and creating a critical edition of Shuffle Along, an African-American musical from 1921, by Ragtime and Jazz composer Eubie Blake and singer/lyricist Noble Sissle, which started the careers of Paul Robeson, Hall Johnson, Florence Mills, and Josephine Baker. It will soon be published in the series Music of the United States of America. As an avid supporter of the Civil Rights movement, during her undergraduate days, she sang and played folk music in coffee houses all over the country.

Dr. Schenbeck currently serves on the Atlanta Board of Governors and co-chairs the Education Committee of The Grammy Recording Academy. She has written dozens of CD and record liner notes. Most recently, she just completed liner notes for a recording of Civility, a piece by composer Lee Johnson, with narration by former President Jimmy Carter. It is due to be released shortly. She has conducted and performed in more than 30 musicals, sung background vocals on recordings, and done a great deal of studio work. She has worked for many years as a Music Therapist and intends to continue her work in that field.

Her teaching career has included chairing the Music Industry Program at Georgia State University, being Director of Choral and Orchestral Activities at Agnes Scott College and Director of Career Development at LaGrange College. She just retired as Director of the Music Technology, Performance, Business, and Medicine Program at Central Educational Center, a publically funded Charter College and Career Academy in Newnan, GA.

 

VP, Government Relations: Tammy Hurt, Placement Music

(Co-Founder, President Emeritus of GMP)

Tammy is the managing partner of Placement Music, a boutique entertainment firm specializing in licensing, custom music and scoring for all media. Highlights at Placement Music include, being commissioned by FOX Sports for two consecutive years to create original, orchestral score for Super Bowl XLVIII and Super Bowl XLV. Additional credits include multiple custom placements in David Cross’ indie film HITS, which debuted at the Sundance Festival, as well as placements for Paramount Pictures, SONY, CBS, NFL and NASCAR.

She serves on the Board of Governors and is former two-term National Trustee of The Recording Academy, Atlanta Chapter, and serves on the Advisory Board for Girls Rock Camp Atlanta.

Tammy began playing drums at age 4 and has been playing professionally since the age of 14. Among her credits, she has recorded and performed live with the GRAMMY Award-winning Indigo Girls, GRAMMY Award-winning producer Brendan O’Brien and GRAMMY Award-winning engineer / producer Nick DiDia.

 

Director, Social Media: Shani Sammons, Shani Sammons Marketing Group

Shani Sammons focuses on connecting fans with their favorite artists through strategic social and digital strategies. Shani has worked with Sugarland, AT&T Country Deep/DirectTV, Verizon, Sean Kingston, Styx, Sonia Leigh, Cole Taylor, Delta Air Lines, Turner Broadcasting, Verizon, Nike Athlete and Olympic Gold Medalist, Elena Delle Donne, and NASCAR. She has also managed projects with – Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, and the CMA Awards.

While working with Sugarland, Shani led Sugarland’s social media and fan engagement while traveling with the band on a national tour. In 2011, Shani launched SSMG, a digital marketing firm for entertainers and athletes. In 2013, Shani also joined AT&T to lead their marketing strategy for their newest U-verse music channel, Country Deep. While at AT&T, Shani launched a national 15-city tour with CAA and four country artists – Sam Hunt, Jana Kramer, David Nail, and Canaan Smith. Shani graduated from Georgia Tech with a Masters in Business Administration. Shani also serves on the Board of Governors for the Recording Academy, Atlanta Chapter.

 

Margaret R. Marshall, Greenberg-Traurig

Margaret R. Marshall is an attorney in Greenberg Traurig’s Global Entertainment Practice Group. Her awards and accolades include Leadership Atlanta (2015), Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40, Top Woman Attorneys in Georgia, Georgia Superlawyer – Entertainment & Top 250 Women in IP in the US. She works with GRAMMY winning and internationally acclaimed recording artists and advises top entertainment enterprises and music festivals, worldwide. Margaret is on the Board of the Atlanta Film Festival, Songs for Kids Foundation and The Callanwolde Foundation.

 

Scott Mills, William Mills Agency

Scott Mills is President of William Mills Agency. He is responsible for guiding the account teams, monitoring tactical activities as they relate to the strategic plan, day-to-day management of the agency and customer service. Since joining the agency in 1989, he has worked in both creative services and client relations.

Mills is also the editor of Bankers As Buyers, an annual guide to technologies and spending trends in the financial services industry. Scott also serves on the City Council of a very small town, Mountain Park, Georgia. Secretly, Scott wishes he could play drums for a living but for now, he is an officer for a non-profit advocacy group for the music industry, Georgia Music Partners.

Prior to joining the agency, Scott worked in the entertainment industry for WEKS-FM, WEA (record distribution) and WKLS-FM. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia State University. Currently, Scott also works as an executive director on an independent movie-a redneck comedy. He lives with his wife and son in Mountain Park, Georgia. Scott is accredited in Public Relations through the Public Relations Society of America.

 

Advisory Board

Creative Advisory Circle

David Barbe: Producer / Engineer – Deerhunter, Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt, Amy Ray, New Madrid / Musician – Sugar,  Mercyland, Drive-By Truckers, The Bar-B-Q Killers / Director – UGA Music Business Program

Katie Deal: Vocalist / Performer

John Driskell Hopkins: Zac Brown Band

Chuck Leavell, Keyboardist: Rolling Stones

Matt Still: Producer / Engineer / Mixer – Elton John, Lady GaGa, Outkast

Peter Stroud: Guitarist, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLaughlin, Don Henley

Jan Smith: Vocal Producer / Instructor – Usher, The Band Perry, Rob Thomas, Justin Bieber, Drake, TLC

Phil Tan: Mixer – Coldplay, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, NE-YO, Ludacris, Usher, Janelle Monae

Tom E. Marzullo: Production Designer / Production Manager – Justin Bieber, KISS, Prince, Chris Brown, Pitch Perfect 2 (performance scenes), T-Pain, NE-YO

Advisors

Joel Katz: Greenberg-Traurig

Craig Hoffman: CFO, Monarch Private Capital

DiAndria Green: Manager, Bennett Thrasher

Peggy Still Johnson: Executive Director for Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

Brian Hudson: Managing Principal, The Hudson Group

 

GMP with friends

 Bill Signing

 

From L to R John D. Hopkins (Zac Brown Band), Tammy Hurt (Georgia Music Partners), Mala Sharma (Georgia Music Partners), Governor Deal, Michele Caplinger (The Recording Academy), Ed Roland(Collective Soul) Photo credit Andrea Briscoe (Governors office)

From L to R
John D. Hopkins (Zac Brown Band), Tammy Hurt (Georgia Music Partners), Mala Sharma (Georgia Music Partners), Governor Deal, Michele Caplinger (The Recording Academy), Ed Roland(Collective Soul)
Photo credit Andrea Briscoe (Governors office)