ADVISORY BOARD

Tristin Marshall

Content Partnerships & Strategy

Capitol Records

Tristin Marshall works at Capitol Music Group (CMG) in Content Partnerships and Strategy on the company's Global Creative team. Over the last three years, she has worked in digital marketing, digital strategy and business development, including growing the social media accounts for Motown and PRIORITY Records, creating tech and artist accelerator programs, and the musictech conference Capitol Royale.

 

Tristin began her career after college as a digital fellow for Southern Living magazine in Birmingham, AL. After the fellowship concluded, she followed her passion in music and accepted her first role at CMG as Coordinator, Community Manager, running the social media pages, websites, and email marketing for Motown Records and PRIORITY Records. She served as the cultural voice for both labels who both have a deep-rooted footprint in music history and Black culture. A year later, she moved to Digital Strategy and Business Development where she assisted on the first ever hackathon held at a record label and CMG’s musictech festival Capitol Royale. She also helped to launch several speaker series and workshops focused on the music and larger entertainment industry featuring women and young, aspiring executives.

 

Aside from her main role at CMG, Tristin is also a co-advisor for the Hollywood & Vine Intern Program and is co-chair of Universal Music Group’s Black employee resource group, Black Label. In her free time, Tristin volunteers in the children’s library of the Inglewood Public Library and loves to travel.

 

Tristin attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied Media and Cinema Studies with a minor in African-American Studies, and she earned certifications in Public Relations and Black Women & Gender Studies. During college, she was a digital marketing intern at the United Neighborhood Houses of New York and Bravotv.com at NBC Universal.

OMAR GRANT

Co- President

Roc Nation

As Co-President of Roc Nation Records, Omar Grant consistently amplifies talent, fosters creativity, and enables GRAMMY® Award-winning multi-platinum superstars to markedly exceed their potential and ascend to unparalleled heights. Throughout his illustrious career, the venerable executive has spearheaded seminal records for everyone from Rihanna to Kylie Minogue and signed the likes of DJ Mustard. Achieving single and album sales in excess of 100 million worldwide as well as multiple GRAMMY® victories and nods, his approach relies on a classic instinctual sensibility.

“I pride myself on being a record maker first and foremost,” he exclaims. “For me, it’s about getting into the studio alongside the talent, digging in really deeply, and making a definitive album. I’m there to empower artists to be their most creative.”

In many ways, growing up in The Bronx groomed him for an eventual career in A&R. In high school, he went from DJ-ing local neighborhood parties to identifying his path. He admits, “A&R reps seemed like the cool guys when I was seventeen, so I researched and studied Steve Stoute, Chris Lighty, and a bunch of other people.”

While interning at Columbia Records, he caught the attention of Matthew Knowles. Impressed by Grant’s work ethic, Knowles invited him to act as assistant tour manager for Beyoncé’s historic Dangerously In Love Tour. Among many duties, he walked JAY-Z to the stage nightly and started to develop a rapport with the Roc Nation founder and legend.

Following the tour, he spent three years at EMI Publishing, signing everyone from Solange Knowles to STREETRUNNER and Rico Love. After a stint at Epic Records, he joined Roc Nation as Director of A&R in 2011.

Amongny accomplishments, he oversaw Kelly Rowla Here I Am, including the double-platinum smash “Motivation” [feat. Lil Wayne]. He handled A&R for Rihanna’s Unapologetic, which not only became her first #1 debut on the Billboard Top 200, but it also sold four million copies and earned a 2014 GRAMMY® Award in the category of “Best Urban Contemporary Album.” Continuing this successful collaborative partnership, he spearheaded the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for Home featuring Rihanna and the superstar’s second consecutive #1, ANTI, which boasted the six-times platinum “Work” [feat. Drake]. Not to mention, he guided Big Sean to his second straight #1 on 2017’s platinum I Decided.

2013 saw Grant sign powerhouse producer and artist DJ Mustard and A&R both 10 Summers [2015] and Cold Summer [2016]. Mustard notably made history as “the only person to win both BMI Producer and Songwriter of the Year” at the 2015 BMI Awards. Additionally, he earned another smash with the gold-certified 2018 hit “Want Her” [feat. YG & Quavo]. Along the way, he A&R-ed key releases for Kylie Minogue, Justine Skye, and more in addition to signing Latin Hit maker Tainy, Dutch DJ’s Yellow Claw and the legendary Buju Banton. Splitting his time between New York and Los Angeles, he became Head of A&R, SVP Roc Nation Records in 2016.

In the end, Grant only just begun making records that influence and impact the culture on a grand scale.

“I want to help artists make music that lasts,” he leaves off. “I still listen to everything I grew up on. I’d love to give listeners a timestamp for their lives with these albums.”

Simone Dixon

A&R | Creative

Universal Music Publishing Group

Simone Dixon works at Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) in the A&R Department.  UMPG is a leading global music publishing company.

In addition to her responsibilities working in the A&R Department, Dixon also works on UMPG’s initiative with Sound Thinking NYC, a mentorship program for high school girls who have aspirations of writing and/or producing in the music industry.  Sound Thinking NYC is a program of the CUNY Creative Arts Team and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, in partnership with NY is Music.

 

Simone began her career hosting her own weekly talk show at Manhattan Neighborhood Network. She rose to writing, producing and video editing for numerous shows and specials on the following networks: BET, BuzzFeed News/Facebook Watch, MTV, NBC Universal, Netflix, Quibi, Revolt TV, Starz, TLC, VH1, and We TV.

 

Dixon previously worked as a College & Lifestyle Urban Marketing Representative at Universal Music Group, maximizing the visibility of various artists’ content on record labels including Def Jam, Interscope, Roc Nation, Quality Control, Republic and more.

 

Simone is a firm believer in paving the way for future industry creatives and committed to helping others break barriers and succeed in their respective fields.

 

She attended Lehman College in the Bronx, NY where she majored in Film & Television Studies and minored in Media Communications.

RANDY SPENDLOVE

President of Worldwide Music and Publishing

Paramount Pictures

Randy Spendlove is an American record producer, songwriter, Grammy Award winner, and music executive. As President of Worldwide Music and Publishing at Paramount Pictures, Randy Spendlove oversees all aspects of music supervision including: publishing, licensing, scoring, and clearance. He has worked with artists such as Rihanna, BeyoncéLinkin ParkGreen Day, Imagine Dragons, Ryan Tedder, John Legend, and U2.

 

Randy grew up in San Francisco and has always had a passion for music. He has been playing professionally since he was fifteen, and at twenty-five his passion shifted towards production and A&R. In 1993 Randy moved to Los Angeles to work for A&M Records. His first project was Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation.” Randy then moved to Miramax, where he became President of Motion Picture Music.

 

Spendlove joined Paramount in 2005 as Executive Vice President of Music and Creative Affairs, and was promoted to President of Motion Picture Music in 2007.  He supervises Music Creative, Music Production, and Music Business and Legal Affairs.  A typical day for Randy could start in a boardroom and end in a recording studio. He calls it “an honor and a privilege to come to work everyday and do what you love.”

 

Randy oversaw the creation and production of the single “Sledgehammer” an original song written for Star Trek, and first ever IMAX music video. In 2014, Randy executed the production of “Glory” by John Legend and Common, which won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Under Randy’s supervision, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never brought in $73 million at the US box office. Never Say Never is the highest grossing music concert movie to date.

 

Randy Spendlove won a 2004 Grammy for Best Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture for Chicago. He also co-supervised the music and co-produced the soundtrack album for Dreamgirls, which was nominated for three Best Song Academy Awards. In 2012, he was ranked 69 on Billboard’s Power 100 list. 

 

When asked what the future holds for the film and music industry, Spendlove said, “It’s constantly evolving and changing. All I want to see is people continuing to be passionate about music, and to feel how I feel about it. When music and film come together in the perfect way that gives you the chills, there is nothing more powerful.”

MARILYN F. BOOKER

Managing Director

Morgan Stanley

A Morgan Stanley veteran of over 24 years, Marilyn Booker serves as Head of Morgan Stanley’s Urban Markets Group. In addition to running a traditional wealth management business, Marilyn also focuses on the urban community and teaches financial education programs all across the country.  Prior to establishing The Urban Markets Group, Marilyn was the head of Diversity, Work-Life, EEO and Human Resources Policy for Morgan Stanley. Marilyn is an attorney by training, who has practiced in the areas of criminal defense litigation, municipal finance, corporate bankruptcies and corporate restructuring.

 

A native of Chicago, Marilyn received her B.A. magna cum laude from Spelman College and her J.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago Kent College of Law. Marilyn is a former trustee of the Morgan Stanley Foundation, a member of The Morgan Stanley Benefit Plan Administrative Committee and a former member of the Morgan Stanley Residential Franchise Risk Committee. She is a former board member of the New York Urban League and a member of the Executive Leadership Council. She is also a former board member of the Arthur Ashe Institute of Health and the Michael J. Berkeley Foundation and has served as Co-Chair of the legendary Apollo Theater’s Women’s Committee.  Marilyn testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations at its hearing on “Diversity in the Financial Services Sector.” She also appeared on “ABC World News Tonight” in a segment on “Women and the Workforce” and was featured in a “CBS MarketWatch Weekend” segment highlighting Morgan Stanley’s Emergency Day Care Program.

 

The 2018 graduation speaker for the William & Mary Law School, Marilyn was recognized by Savoy magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America,” was recognized by Uptown Professional as one of the “100 Top Executives in America” and was honored by the Mt. Sinai Hospital Center for Multi-Cultural Affairs as a Diversity Champion. Marilyn was also selected by the Network Journal as one of the “25 Influential Black Women in Business,” was selected by Harvard College Black Men’s Forum as its “Woman of the Year” and was honored by the United Way Pipeline Crisis, the Association for Black Women Attorneys and the Brooklyn, New York, Weeksville Heritage Center. Marilyn was recently honored by the LadyLike Foundation of Los Angeles as its “Woman of Excellence” and was also the keynote speaker for the Wharton Whitney M. Young Conference. She received the “Woman of Distinction” Award from the Greater New York Chapter of the Links, Incorporated. She also spoke at the Harvard Law School BLSA 2017 Spring Conference, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government 2018 Conference and was the main stage speaker on Finance and Rebuilding Wealth in Urban Communities at the Living World Christian Center Missions and Marketplace Conference.  Marilyn was also the keynote speaker for the Boston Consulting Group‘s Women@BCG conference, a speaker at the Dallas Bar Association’s Diversity Summit and a speaker at the BOSS Network’s “Ladies That Lead” Conference.  Marilyn also has her Series 7, 9, 10, and 66 licenses. The proud parent of three lovely children, Marilyn’s interests are golf, tennis, playing the piano and making a difference in the lives of others. 

Allison Frenzel

Education Programs Consultant

California Department of Education

Allison Frenzel began her career in education as a district intern with Windsor Unified School District where she worked for 15 years as a teacher, career technical education program coordinator, and visual and performing arts coordinator. She founded and directed Windsor High School's Dance Program, and co-founded the Nueva School for the Arts.  She currently works as an Education Programs Consultant with the California Department of Education and is a member of the California Dance Education Association's greater board.  Allison was selected as the Region 1 Educator of the Year for 2017 by the California League of High School Educators and is a founding member of Pulse Arts, an nonprofit dedicated to building creative communities by connecting arts professionals to education.

Herb Trawick

Creator/Co-host

Pensado's Place

Herb Trawick is the creator, executive producer and co-host of influential and popular Pensado’s Place.  Seen in over 200 countries by 6 million people a year, Pensados Place just passed its 400th episode and is the leading digital media show in the audio space.

 

Creativity combined with taste and relentless execution is his mantra. From manager to label exec, Broadway producer to author, exec producer to talent scout, co-host to advisor, Trawick remains true to that vision. 

 

With real results. As manager and executive producer, Herb built Brian Mcknight into an R&B superstar with 20 million albums sold, global tours and 30 plus Grammy, American Music, Billboard, Emmy and Image award nominations. As a talent scout Trawick signed Robin Thicke and Tyrese Gibson.  Client Dave Pensado is a mixing legend with hits on Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Shakira, Wiz Khalifa, Christina Aguillera, Afrojack and Jill Scott among others. Herb was a partner of the legendary creator of Earth, Wind and Fire Maurice White. He took the EWF catalog to Broadway and was a producer of the play Hot Feet. Herb is a multiple winner of the Manager of the Year award.  And in 2016 was inducted as a Living Legend in the category of Creative Visionary.

 

From marketing chief at Solar records to running imprints at Interscope, RCA, Mercury and Capitol along with consultancies at Motown, Def Jam and Primary Wave publishing,Herb has been asked to lend his expertise his entire career. He is sought out speaker at various schools and trade associations,  an advisor to the 1500 Sound Academy, a board member to Opera Noir and has added tech to his arsenal with recent Facebook and YouTube strategic relationships. When asked why such a diverse career arc, Trawick replied "Why not? Its a privilege and a blast.”

Trell Thomas

Director of External Affairs

Waco Theater Center 

Founder of Black Excellence Brunch

Trell Thomas is a media expert and activist. His work spans from career beginnings on the historic Obama Presidential Campaign in 2008 to overseeing talent relations and communication within some of the biggest brands at Viacom to perfectly aligning social good causes, corporations and celebrities. 

 

Additionally, Trell has a great appreciation for sharing narratives of diverse communities and bringing stories of excellence to the forefront through various events that he curates and hosts. Over the years, he has sat down with many respected figures to share their journey including; Ms. Maya Angelou, Ms Tina Knowles Lawson, Smokey Robinson, Chaka Khan, Chris Rock, Ms. Gladys Knight, Usher, Jason Derulo, Matthew Cherry, Ralph Farqua, and Tina Gordon Chism to name a few.

 

Trell is a well connected man that uses his network for good. He also brings a passion for inspiring and empowering the next generation to Girls Make Beats. We are happy to have him serve on our Advisory Board. 

Becki Barabas

Manager, Global Product & BD Support

HARMAN Professional Solutions

At 20 years old, Becki turned her passion for music into a career in audio, with a job managing the office at Score One Recording. She has since worked in MI, Tour Sound, and with Integrators and Audio Rep firms, doing everything from Sales to Marketing.

She has held many positions since coming to HARMAN 10 years ago. She started the HARMAN Professional Ambassador and Influencers Program in 2016, signing such names as Chuck D, Parliament Funkadelic and Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club. She is currently Managing Business Development for Recording and Tour.  

Cory Rooney

Grammy Winning Producer

Cory Rooney Media Group

Cory Rooney is one of the music industry’s “native sons”. Raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York by hit-making parents Herb Rooney and Brenda Reid of ‘60s group The Exciters, Cory’s own love for music was reinforced at an early age. Cory Rooney has an undeniable track record in the music business having created a historic legacy. Cory Rooney’s albums have sold over 100 million copies worldwide with many exceeding the 1 million records-sold mark. Cory’s star began to rise at Uptown Records in the late ’80s where he wrote and produced major hits like Real Love and Sweet Thing for the then-unknown R&B icon Mary J. Blige. His success at Uptown drew the attention of Sony Music chief Tommy Mottola, who brought Cory to Sony where he served as Senior Vice President of Sony Music Entertainment.

Among his many responsibilities, Cory was charged with identifying and developing new talent, guiding the careers of established artists, producing and executive producing projects in a wide variety of genres, composing material for new and established artists, and overseeing an array of writers and producers. During his tenure at Sony Music Entertainment, Cory wrote and produced a slew of hit singles, including Jennifer Lopez’s Ain’t It Funny, I’m Real, and Jenny From the Block. He also worked with other multi-platinum artists including Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Marc Anthony, Jessica Simpson, Brian McKnight, Mandy Moore, Aretha Franklin, and many more.

Cory has also guided multiple movie soundtracks including: Men in Black, Runaway Bride, The Nutty Professor, and Charlie’s Angels — for which he was nominated for a GRAMMY for writing and producing that year’s #1 hit single, Destiny’s Child’s Independent Women Part 1. The song was later named the 18th most successful song of the 2000s, on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade.

Cory Rooney has also achieved success in the world of television as co-Executive Producer, along with Tommy Mottola, of MTV’s hit reality show, The Shop, which was based on his Mr. Rooney’s Barbershop in Jamaica, Queens. In addition, he executive produced VH1’s hit show, Born to Diva, and served as industry-expert judge, along with Patty LaBelle, Gloria Estefan and others.Cory Rooney is the consummate multifaceted music executive, capable of much more than just writing and producing a hit. Now focused on new media powerhouse, Cory Rooney Media Group, Cory is dedicated to finding and nurturing the greatest talent in the world, creating music at the highest level, and helping to forge the future of the media industry.

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