Trisha Bell At the core of Trisha Bell’s existence lies a deep connection to and passion for the Arts for over the last 15 years. Beginning as a dancer, choreographer and actress, Bell has expanded her talents as an artist manager, makeup artist, and event planner. She has worked with many artists, while also organizing concerts, including the widely successful Beast Mode Tour (featuring artists from Lamp Mode and Humble Beast Records). In addition, her talent afforded her the opportunity to display her make-up artistry on 106th and Park and the BET Honors Awards. She spoke and moderated the first ever panel discussion at SXSW 2016 that focused on Christian Hip Hop entitled Understanding the Business of Christian Hip Hop with fellow panelists Adam Thomason (CEO, Collision Records), Jason Watson (CEO, Lampmode Recordings), and Joseph Prielozny (Producer/A&R, Word Entertainment & Cobra Music Group).
Chris Belmont Chris Belmont created media company JahRock’n Productions LLC in 2005. Belmont started his professional music career in 1996 as a member of Blessed Hope, a Christian/Gospel vocal group that earned the honor of being the first Christian/Gospel group to perform on BET’s 106 and Park. In 2003, Belmont transitioned to a full-time career in music production, which then lead to the formation of the company. Since then, JahRock’n Productions has grown into a multifaceted media company, providing studio recording, mixing, and mastering services; music production services; and artist development services.
WALTER “DJ TRANZFORMED CRUZ
Walter “DJ Tranzformed” Cruz came to the United States from El Salvador in 1990, started DJing in 1997, and then took his passion and applied it to Christian hip hop after receiving Christ in 2004. Currently, Cruz has been DJing professionally for over 10 years. He has had the privilege of DJing and sharing the stage with Andy Mineo, KJ52, and a host of others. Cruz has a noon slot on C1 Radio every Thursday and provides the video mix for C1 Radio’s video show, The Zone, every Monday.
GABBY CUDJOE WILKES
Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes is a New York City based brand strategist and events specialist. Having worked for industry tastemakers and powerhouses such as Matthew Knowles, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Sony Music Groupand others as well as providing direct publicity support to artists such as Mary Mary, Jonathan McReynolds, Trin-i-tee 5:7, BeBe Winans, and more Cudjoe-Wilkes is well versed in the entertainment industry. She is the founder of PR & Events Company, Brydge Media Collective LLC, which specializes in “brydging” the gap between quality entertainment options and mainstream culture. Brydge connects artists, companies, and organizations to audiences looking for “something more” in their entertainment experience. Brydge clients give a breath of fresh air in a formulaic pop culture starved for a “wow” moment. Brydge clients believe in the messaging of their product and work hard to connect with their target audience. Brydge works just as hard alongside them to ensure their message gets across as it should.
Joyce Dollinger practices in the entertainment law field and concentrates on music law transactions in addition to corporate and business entity dealings and select film and television representation. Before entering into private practice, Ms. Dollinger enjoyed a successful law career in the music industry for major and independent labels such as Arista, RCA, BMG Special Products, Motown, Island, RykoDisc, Palm Pictures and Sony Entertainment. Ms. Dollinger was also creator and co‐founder of a concert‐promotion company that launched Camplified, which provided exposure to emerging artists at unique venues, as well as vice president and in‐house counsel for a talent management firm representing major recording artists, songwriters and producers.One of Joyce’s clients is a company called Wear Your Music. They design, manufacture and sell innovative music jewelry and donate a portion of the profits from each sale to charities that benefit the music community. Ms. Dollinger also works with Cyber PR in helping independent artists get the most benefit from their creative endeavors. Another enterprise client she works with is a both a producer and distributor of premium mobile content and a service provider of mobile marketing solutions.
MANUEL “JBLAZE” GARCIA
“Evolution” is the best word to describe Manuel “Jblaze” Garcia. With 10 years of experience in integrated media, on air radio personality, and brand development, his desire is to change the face of media one platform at a time. Former on air radio personality at South Florida’s La Nueva 88.3FM, Garcia is now the co-host of “The Mack and Manny Morning Show”, alongside Ayana Mack, on Houston’s own NGEN Radio.
Over the past 13 years, Shawn Gibbs has had the awesome privilege of working for some of greatest in the secular and gospel music industry ranging from: P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment to the development of his Sean John Clothing line 1999, to working at Sony Music Entertainment at Epic and Columbia Records as an assistant under the leadership industry giants like Tommy Motola, Polly Anthony. These broad experiences lead him to work at HBO (Home Box Office) Broadcast Company as a production coordinator in the “LIVE” events department. In 2009 after being laid off from HBO due the economic recession, Shawn when back to school to earn a bachelor degree in Social Work from Long Island University. During this time of rediscovery, the vision for his company, The Firm Artists Management, was born.
Michael Gordon is the founder and CEO of JMP Productions, a Christian entertainment company that enriches lives through music. Since it’s inception and under Gordon’s guidance, the company has promoted and produced concerts and events featuring some of the Gospel music industry’s most notable artists: Fred Hammond, Tamela Mann, Jason Nelson, Donald Lawrence and Company, Kierra Sheard, LIVRE, and a host of others.
ANDRE “CRAZYONE” GRIFFITH
The Stellar Award Gospel Announcer of the Year Nominee, Andre “Crazy One” Griffith is the host of The C1 Radio Show on 88.7 FM WNHU, Connecticut’s premiere radio show for Holy Hip Hop and Rhythm & Praise. Gaining industry attention and a presence internationally for playing exclusive music and hits, The C1 Radio Show continues to introduce artists with the same passion Andre possesses for spreading the Gospel to his listeners through interviews, phone crashes and the Takeover series with guests such as Da’ T.R.U.T.H, k-Drama, J. Moss and Dorinda Clark-Cole. Under the direction of Griffith, the show provides listeners with segments geared toward a balanced Christian living. The C1 Radio show is on four stations, 88.7 FM WNHU, Yes Lord Radio, HOT 3:16 Radio, and Star Radio. Listenership for C1 Radio show consists of 60 percent North America, 22 percent Europe, 12 percent Latin America and 5 percent of Australia. Each show is available via podcast on The C1 Radio Show Mobile App.
TeQoa “TQ” Griffith has been a part of music within the church for as long as she can remember. Having sang with and directed many choirs, it wasn’t until she accepted the position of Program Director for STAR Radio, an Internet Christian radio station that she started alongside her father, that her journey into broadcasting truly began. No only did she start the station along with father, she had her own show as well. A wife and mother of 5, TeQoa relocated to Connecticut in 2014 and has taken on the role of Program Director for the C1 Radio Show alongside her husband, Andre “Crazyone” Griffith. With the C1 platform, they have created C1TV and C1 Management which she spearheads.
Ariel Hyatt is the founder of a successful PR firm, an international speaker, and author of four books (three out and one coming in 2015). Her trademarked, award winning Cyber PR® process marks the intersection of social media, PR, and online marketing. Her PR method is taught at several universities. However she is best known in her industry for her ability to simplify and explain things that creative minds don’t necessarily love: PR, marketing, and social media. Ariel is also the author of three successful books on PR and new media, Music Success in 9 Weeks (now out in its 3rd edition) Musician’s Roadmap to Facebook & Twitter, and Cyber PR For Musicians. These offer artists step-by-step plans to create profitable and sustainable businesses. Her newsletter and YouTube series, “Sound Advice,” has over 20,000 subscribers, and she has written over 200 articles to date.
TaQuinda Johnson joins the IMBC team with 9 years of experience within the public relations industry. Affectionately known as T.Marie, she is the CEO of T.Marie Media Group, where she provides public relations and event coordination to the Christian Entertainment, Non Profit, Faith-based and Lifestyle industries. T.Marie has provided public relations and event coordination services and events to various brands such as GM Minority Dealers Association, The Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan, Detroit Youth Boxing, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Stellar Gospel Music Awards. T.Marie is also a member of the National Public Relations Society of America – Detroit Chapter, where she serves on the diversity summit committee and former board member of the National Black Public Relations Society – Detroit Chapter.
BILLY JOHNSON JR.
Billy Johnson, Jr. founded Media & Repertoire in 2016. The digital public relations agency offers media placement, content creation, strategy, coaching and social media services for entertainment clients.
Billy, who holds a B.A. in Public Relations and Professional Writing from California State University, San Bernardino, brings to M&R more than 18 years experience as a senior editor for Yahoo Music as well as contributing writer and reporter roles for Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter and Vibe, among other outlets. As a spokesperson, he has appeared on CBS, BBC, FOX, TV One, VH1, CNN, ABC and KFI.
Media & Repertoire’s clients have included independent music industry acts Derek Minor, Canon, Tony Tillman, Oscar Urbina, Dre Stylz, Sean David Grant and AdELA.
Kevin King is a streaming music maven, with over 20 years experience at major labels like Warner Music Group, Sony, and EMI and early stage music streaming startups where Kevin has been responsible in launching companies from inception through to a revenue generating entity.
Kevin is driven and super passionate about “music in the clouds” or the accessibility of every song ever made and the logistics and data that get that music into the right ears, at the right time.
Roger Maloney founded UFRONT MEDIA INSIGHTS as a media news blog, interviewing media leaders from the world of advertising, technology, social and traditional media. It is definitely apparent that he is no stranger to media, also having various experience working with and for media companies such as HBO, KATZ MEDIA, MTV, BET, GREY ADVERTISING and EMMIS Broadcasting, HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER, BillBoard Magazine Music Conference. His background further includes his work as entertainment program coordinator, constantly monitor shifting and fragmented audience tastes to build a morning, daytime and prime-time TV schedule that draws the most viewers possible. Maloney is both a speaker, event planner, and reporter in high demand. He has been a speaker for the Pivot Conference: Social Media Gives Back, which trains small businesses entrepreneurs on on how to effectively use social media; has planned events for Social Media Week two consecutive years (2011-2012); and reports for the ADTECH Conference, IAB Digital Newsfronts and Advertising Week.
Paul Martinez is Jam The Hype’s lead contributor as well as freelance journalist covering music, sports, and entertainment for other media outlets including HipHopDX, TruSchoolSports, and S.O.U.L. MAG. He has also written for Rapzilla.com, Sphere of Hip-Hop, GoodNewsFL, and FNFLive.
Eldonie Mason is a native of the Caribbean island of Antigua. She graduated magna cum laude from New Jersey City University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Pre-law and earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law. After law school, Ms. Mason worked as a Litigation Associate in a Florida law firm, where she primarily handled contractual and civil litigation matters. In 2007, Ms. Mason established Mason Firm, LLC to provide personalized legal services. She currently focuses her practice on fashion law, intellectual property- copyright & trademarks; contract drafting, review and negotiation; entertainment law including music, film, TV and other areas and has represented an array of clients including fashion designer Marco Hall (Rihanna, Lala Anthony, Ntozake Shange), Stuart Films LLC (12 Steps to Recovery web series), and a host of others. Ms. Mason is also an arbitrator for the Civil Court of the City of New York Small Claims Part and an American Arbitration Association Arbitrator for the Commercial Panel.
MICHAEL “MACK” MCPHERSON
Michael “Mack” McPherson started Churchboy Clothing in 2009 – a company that was counter-cultural in nature (embracing the Hip Hop culture while spreading the Gospel Message) which could be used as a launching pad for his future businesses. To date, ChurchBoy Clothing has expanded into ChurchBoy Clothing Entertainment which consults multiple record labels and artists while providing event planning services to various entities and ministries. He is most well known as the only Christian Hip Hop concert promoter and planner not only in Boston but the New England area overall hosting KB, Sho Baraka, Social Club, Christon Gray, and Da T..R.U.T.H. in recent years.
Andre Mullen is the founder of The Inaxxs Group, a music business services agency. Encompassing music publishing administration, digital distribution, and label services for indie artists and labels, The Inaxxs Group is what Mullen considers his “most ambitious venture to date”. No stranger to the brand and business development space, his previous work in marketing for national media outlets (SPIN and Vibe Magazines), multi-platform brands (FNF Media Group) and mobile companies (MobiVentures and New Visions Mobile), is further enhanced by his MBA in Marketing. With over a decade as entrepreneur in music and brand development, Mullen has a wealth of knowledge to share.
Marcel Oliveira is the founder and CEO of Gi Soap. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) brown belt, he created the Gi Soap brand after needing a skin sensitive soap for after training. Now, Gi Soap is experiencing exponential growth and is widely recognized around the world.
ERNEST “APPLEJAXX” OWENS
Ernest “Applejaxx” Owens is a different brand that inspires others through music,video and apparel. The Campbell University graduate from Fayetteville, NC is a passionate basketball fan and Netflix enthusiast. The desire to create music started on the campus of CU after a torn ACL injury. A couple years later, Owens found himself recording songs in San Diego. While working on a Liberal Arts Masters in Religion at Harvard University, JAXX has released several Jesus High EPs and two full-length albums: Back 2 the Future and Organic.
Kenyan “Ken Pen” Penceal is from Brooklyn,New York, raised in church where he discovered his passion for music. As a young man, he was heavily influenced by music impresarios Berry Gordy, LA Reid and Sean “Diddy” Combs. He experienced his 1st taste of the music industry at 17 years old as an intern for Jive/Verity Records now known as RCA/RCA Inspiration where he currently serves as an A&R rep.
Event coordinator Suleky Roman has been responsible for planning and coordinating a wide variety of events throughout the Northeast, from intimate weddings to concerts for Billboard-charting artists such as Q-Tip, Andy Mineo, Christon Gray and many more. The Washington Heights, New York native is comfortable with venues big and small and works with her clients to conceptualize, plan, coordinate and facilitate an experince beyond their wildest dreams.
TONY “DJ TONY TONE” SIMMONS
Tony “DJ Tony Tone” Simmons has had many different influences from the music industry. He would spend time watching his cousin “Disco Bee” who was a member of Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five. This allowed him to see music in a different way. Tony enjoyed listening and watching the technique of playing music. As time passed he realized how much he wanted to become a DJ. From Hip Hop to traditional gospel music, DJ Tony Tone plays music with a deep passion. Working as a DJ at New York’s WLIB, WBLS, and Hot 97 he continues to be a significant trendsetter on the music scene.
Independent film producer Emelyn Stuart has had her short films “Heads or Tails” and “No Time For Love” soar beyond the film festival circuit straight to network television. They have been broadcast on major network channels, in cities throughout the South and Midwest. Her wildly successful web series, “12 Steps to Recovery,” has also performed beyond what anyone expected. It garnered Stuart the Best Producer award at the 2011 LAWebfest. Having featured almost 100 local New York City actors, “12 Steps to Recovery” not only went viral throughout the world of New Media with over 2 million views, it can now be seen on the Punch TV cable network in millions of homes! Her project, “A Geeks Guide to Love and Romance” aired on Aspire Network.
Andre Taylor has a distinguished 35-year career, building and advising businesses. He’s the author of “You Can Still Win!” and a half-dozen other books, a frequent guest expert on ABC News, and an international authority on winning and leadership. Andre provides indepth multi-competency learning, teaching the spectrum of knowledge and skills essential for professional and personal success. CEOs of small and large businesses, managers in major corporations, government agencies,leaders in the non-profit sector, educators and students in academic institutions and more, value Andre as one of the world’s most respected voices in personal transformation, leadership, and executive development. His high-impact, research and experience based, multi-competency learning, is reflective of the broader needs of emerging leaders, addressing today’s societal shifts and competitive challenges while prioritizing smart decision-making, and disciplined execution.
Robin Ware is a multifaceted business professional who has achieved success following her passions as an author, conference speaker, entrepreneur and consultant. What makes her quite unique, is that her clients are primarily churches and faith based entrepreneurs. After a successful corporate career, she launched The Ware Agency to provide marketing, event planning and conference planning services. In 2006, she self published her first two books, Hosting Church Folk and The Administrator. These books quickly became the go to manuals for churches as they outlined step-by-step how to host special guests and serve in excellence as an Administrator. She has since published 6 more books and DVD trainings.
Derek Webb started his music career over 20 years ago as a founding member of the Texas-based folk/rock band Caedmon’s Call. After 10 years, Derek left to pursue a solo career that quickly garnered him a reputation for being a provocative singer/songwriter, challenging the political and spiritual status quo. In 2006, Webb convinced his label, INO Records / Columbia Records, to give away over 80,000 free downloads of his critically acclaimed album, MOCKINGBIRD. This widely publicized promotion more than doubled Webb’s concert audiences and eventually paved the way for Webb to launch a revolutionary, tribe-building platform, NoiseTrade. Today, NoiseTrade has over 30,000 major & independent artists and authors giving away free content in exchange for data, boasting nearly 500,000 combined full-album & ebook downloads a month. Derek is a Co-Founder and President of NoiseTrade.
Doc Watson is the co-founder and CEO of Reflection Music Group, a Stellar-winning, Dove-nominated and Billboard-charting record label founded in 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. He previously worked as a program and music director in mainstream radio, as well as an in-house producer for Derek Minor and Tony Tillman. He also served in the military from 1995 to 2004, including in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Two time Emmy® award-winner Michael Whalen is a veteran of over 700 TV and film scores, thousands of ads and numerous TV themes and corporate identity pieces. His most well-known credits include music for “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “Inside Edition”, themes & network IDs for HBO, PBS, CBS, Comcast and NHK/Japan, additional music for the feature film “What the Bleep Do We Know?” and the theme for “Good Morning America”. Additional projects include the forthcoming features “Veronika Decides to Die” (starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Melissa Leo & David Thewlis), “Somewhere in the Middle” and the horror comedy short “What’s Eating Dad”. Michael was the music director, producer, music supervisor and arranger for “The Bala Brothers Live in Johannesburg on PBS with the album released on Warner International. Michael recently completed UN endorsed human trafficking feature “Cargo”, the feature documentary “Brothers on the Line” and short films for Disney. Michael is also a prolific recording artist who writes and produces pop songs, ambient, new age, and fusion music for a variety of recording labels.