Speakers

Jeff Apregan: President, Gridiron Stadium Network

Jeff Apregan has promoted, produced and executed live events throughout the world in venues ranging from clubs and theatres to NFL stadiums and motor speedways. Apregan Entertainment Group, founded in 1993, provides strategic planning, tour direction and talent buying services. Nitro Circus Live, the Gridiron Stadium Network, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and the Steamboat Strings Festival are among the company's clients. In 2005, Apregan founded Venue Coalition, which provides booking and strategic planning services to over 60 arenas in North America.

Ashley Capps : President, AC Entertainment

Ashley Capps changed the course of Rock & Roll history, according to Rolling Stone, in 2002 when he founded the Bonnaroo Arts & Music Festival in Manchester, TN. In addition to his role of booking and overseeing festival operations, he spearheaded Bonnaroo's innovative, internet-based marketing strategies that have characterized the festival and have been emulated by other festivals and events around the world. Capps has always had a fascination with the synergies between the visual and musical arts and how they can complement each other and in 2008, that fascination was realized with the founding of the Big Ears Music Festival. The groundbreaking festival focuses on unique performances and collaborations crossing multiple genres. Partnering with Moog Music, AC Entertainment launched Moogfest in 2010 to celebrate the life and musical contributions of synthesizer progenitor Bob Moog.

Justin Carbone: VP, Sound Moves

Justin Carbone is Vice President of Sound Moves USA, a global freight organization specializing in Live Event and Concert Touring logistics. With over 16 years experience in the industry Justin has been the lead freight agent on worldwide tours for artists such as Shakira, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and more. After learning the basics of freight transportation from his family based business in Connecticut, he entered the world on concert logistics in 2002 and moved to Sound Moves in 2006, opening the New Jersey office. He currently resides in Westfield, NJ with his wife and three children.

Jon Cohen: Co-Founder/CEO, The Fader & Cornerstone

Rich Egan: Manager, Hard 8 Management

Rich Egan is the owner of the artist management company, Hard 8 Management, which he founded in 1998. His client roster includes such acts as Brantley Gilbert, Mac Miller, Breaking Benjamin, Dashboard Confessional and Augustana. In 1994, he founded Vagrant Records, which would become one of the premier independent labels in rock music. In 2002, Interscope Records acquired a non-controlling interest in Vagrant; a joint venture which lasted until 2007, at which point the label became fully independent again. Egan was born and raised in Los Angeles and graduated Cum Laude from Loyola Marymount University in 1993 with a degree in Communications. He now resides in Franklin, TN.

Brantley Gilbert: Recording Artist/Songwriter

Dominating with the GOLD-certified JUST AS I AM , Brantley Gilbert scored his first #1 Billboard Country Albums debut and notched the third highest Top 200 album debut of 2014. The album produced the Platinum-certified #1 hit “Bottoms Up” and the Top 15 “Small Town Throwdown,”. The Georgia native has racked up five #1 singles, impressive album sales, multiple award show nominations from the CMA, ACM, ACA & CMT Music Awards and was named 2013 ACM Awards New Male Artist of the Year. Brantley's previous project, the PLATINUM-certified HALFWAY TO HEAVEN DELUXE, produced GOLD-certified #1 hit “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do" and PLATINUM-certified “Country Must Be Country Wide.” As a celebrated songwriter, he has also penned #1 songs “My Kinda Party,” “Dirt Road Anthem” for Jason Aldean as well as his own “Country Must Be Country Wide” and Platinum-certified “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.” The second leg of Brantley’s LET IT RIDE TOUR kicks off on September 19 in Austin, TX.

Ali Harnell: SVP, AEG Live/The Messina

Ali Harnell, Senior Vice President, AEG Live/The Messina Group, manages the southeast for AEG from her Nashville headquarters, overseeing all aspects of bookings and operations for the region as well as national touring activity for Hunter Hayes and Little Big Town. Harnell started her career in concert promotion with New York’s Delsener/Slater in the early 90’s before joining Pace Concerts and relocating to Nashville in 1996. There she helped revive concert activity at the historic Ryman Auditorium and co-created the successful three day music festival, Nashville River Stages. Harnell actively fundraises for causes and organizations.

Kyle Jones: Account Manager, Artist Relations, StageCall

After a short career fronting a rock band in the late 70’s, Kyle W. Jones got a haircut and entered the U.S. Navy, attending the Colorado School of Mines.After serving in the Navy for a number of years, Kyle returned to his native Texas. There, a meeting with Steve Lawler, Louis Messina and the Becker family of Pace Concerts started Kyle as a freelance Concert Promoter Rep in the mid 80’s.In turn, that led to a career stage-managing and site-coordinating over 200 stadium and festival shows for countless major artists, many of whom are household names.In the mid 90’s, Mike “Hoss” Keifer had Kyle strap a generator and a P.A. to a flatbed semi. They toured the Best Buy’s and Walmart’s of Texas with Clint Black, who played parking lot shows to promote his album of the time. This planted the seed for Kyle’s entrance into entertainment trucking and logistics, when a few years later he started an entertainment trucking company.

Allen Kovac: CEO, Tenth Street Entertainment/Eleven Seven Music Group

What others say isn’t possible, Tenth Street Entertainment/Eleven Seven Music/Five Seven Music founder/CEO Allen Kovac turns into reality. From resurrecting and expanding the careers of Luther Vandross, the Bee Gees, Duran Duran, Motley Crue, and Blondie, Kovac remains on the cutting edge by learning and bending the rules, but always pushing the envelope to create new, forward-thinking marketing concepts. Kovac stays current with his record companies by working with The Dirty Heads, Nico Vega and Nothing More and by constantly evolving his acts like Papa Roach and Escape The Fate. His mantra? “Create the message, control the content,” using the artist’s assets to open the doors.

Joe Kustelski : CEO, Etix

Joe became CEO at Etix after serving as co-founder and head of product and technology at Rockhouse Partners, a digitally focused entertainment agency based in Nashville, TN. He served as Etix’ Chief Product Officer since the company acquired Rockhouse Partners in January 2011. Joe brings more than 15 years of experience in leading teams that live at the intersection of entertainment, entrepreneurship and technology. He has led teams at Ticketmaster, Idealab, MediaNews Group and product managed the launch of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center.

Darin Lashinsky: President, National Shows 2

Darin Lashinsky, a Los Angeles native and third generation concert promoter, is the CEO of National Shows 2, LLC (NS2). In 1998, Darin helped launch Outback Concerts and later became the Sr. Vice President until he left to form NS2 in 2010 with business partners Larry and Fred Frank, of Frank ProductionsIn 2013 & 2014 Lashinsky was selected to serve on the Board of Directors for the CMA and has been nominated twice for the ACM Promoter of the Year and in 2011, 2012 & 2013 was a nominee for the Pollstar Bill Graham / Promoter of the Year Award. In 2013 & 2014 he was nominated by IEBA for their Promoter of the Year award. Lashinsky is a 2006 Leadership Music alum, and participates each year in various panel discussions for conferences such as IEBA, Pollstar, CIC, IAVM, Leadership Music and Billboard.

Steve Lawler: VP Production, Live Nation

Jonathan Levine: Executive Agent, Paradigm

Jonathan Levine is a Senior Executive Agent at the Paradigm Talent and Literary Agency and co-runs the Agency's Nashville office. As one of the leading agents in the music industry, JL's passion for partnering with artists to help them develop and achieve their goals was recently rewarded with the prestigious Bobby Brooks Agent of the Year Award, at the International Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. With over 25 years of experience, Jonathan has been privileged to have worked with many prestigious & legendary bands. Levine has been with the agency for 19 years, 17 of which were spent working in Monterey, California for Monterey Peninsula Artists which became Paradigm when the agencies merged in 2005 and officially became known as Paradigm in 2007. Levine relocated to Nashville with his family in 2012.

Paul Lohr: President, New Frontier Touring

Veteran booking agent Paul Lohr has been a Nashville staple for 30 years, representing a Who’s Who of Rock, Americana, Country, Bluegrass, Blues and Roots artists. A two-time Pollstar “Third Coast Agent of the Year,” Lohr is the president and owner of New Frontier Touring, which he started in 2003. The agency has offices in Nashville, New York and Atlanta, and represents a diverse roster of 60-plus artists that includes perennial favorites The Avett Brothers, John Oates, Riders In The Sky, Paul Thorn, The Gibson Brothers, Darrell Scott, and Carlene Carter, as well as a bumper crop of new artists that includes Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, Shakey Graves, Desert Noises, Paper Bird, and The Quebe Sisters.

David Marcus: SVP, Partnerships, ScoreBig

David oversees Sales, Business Development and Partner Management for ScoreBig, the live entertainment industry's leading opaque channel for the liquidation of distressed inventory. In this capacity, David works directly with event promoters, sports teams, and professional resellers to secure proprietary ticket supply for distribution via ScoreBig. He also oversees the company's distribution partnerships, including United Mileage Plus, Hilton HHonors, and Alaska Airlines. Prior to ScoreBig, David was Warner Music Group's SVP, Worldwide Artist Services, where was responsible for development of new areas of business including global touring, ticketing, merchandising and e-commerce. Previously, David was SVP, Global Music at Ticketmaster, LLC, where he built and led an international team that provided sales and marketing strategy and operational support to touring musical artists.

Eric Mayers: Manager, Red Light Management

Eric Mayers is a manager at Red Light Management, where he oversees and directs all touring and production for My Morning Jacket, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and The Flight of the Conchords. Eric also owns Ladd Circle Productions; where he co-manages Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek with Red Light Management. With over 20 years experience in the industry, Eric was previously the tour and production manager for My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, Nickel Creek and others. He was the Production Manager for multiple music festivals such as Wakarusa, The High Sierra Music Festival, DelFest, Northwest String Summit, along with numerous one off events throughout the country. He has worked for independent promoters throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Double Tee Concerts, and LMG Concerts where he was the Vice President of Touring and Production.

Greg Oswald: Co-Head of Nashville, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment

Greg Oswald's successful career in the music industry spans over three decades. He began as a concert promoter in Southern California and the Southwest region of the United States before moving to Nashville in 1989. He became a talent agent in 1985 and his agency tenure includes World Class Talent, Triad Artists, William Morris Agency and now WME, where he serves as co-head of the Nashville office. He has been voted CMA Agent of the Year. His clients include: Hank Williams Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd, Randy Houser, Pat Green, 38 Special, John Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Kenny Rogers, Big & Rich, Thompson Square, Lindsay Ell, The Judds, Wynonna, and a number of other high profile country artists.

Doug Rountree: President, Pioneer Coach

Doug Rountree is founder and president of Pioneer Coach, a leading entertainment coach leasing company based in Nashville Tennessee.Doug has been a key player in the entertainment and transportation financing industry for more than 30 years. He launched Pioneer Coach in 2002, and the company is now one of the premier entertainment coach leasing companies in the industry.Pioneer Coach serves the touring community through extensive customer service and creative deal-making. Pioneer Coach also specializes in building and designing custom coach interiors. Doug serves on the advisory board for the Billboard Touring Conference, is a Leadership Music alumnus, and is a frequent speaker at industry gatherings and civic leadership councils.

Ed Rubinstein : CEO, Arena Network

Ed Rubinstein has more than 40 years of experience in the live entertainment industry in CEO positions with the Spectrum Arena in Philadelphia, Target Center in Minneapolis, and BI-LO Center in Greenville (SC). Currently he is CEO of ArenaNetwork based in Los Angeles. ArenaNetwork is an association that consults with 35 arenas in the United States and Canada in the areas of content acquisition, event production, sponsorship sales, event marketing, and ticketing platforms. ArenaNetwork has promoted national tours of "Walking With Dinosaurs:The Live Experience", "2008 Tour of Gymnastics Superstars", "2004 TJ Maxx Tour of Gymnastics Champions", Dolly Parton, and various other live event spectaculars.

Jared Smith: President, Ticketmaster North America

Jared Smith was named President, Ticketmaster North America in December 2012. In this role, Jared is responsible for Ticketmaster’s world-leading business-to-business ticketing software platforms. He provides strategic oversight of the product development teams and leads the company’s support, sales, distribution and marketing operations that provide service to more than 2,000 key customer accounts in North America. Jared most recently was Ticketmaster’s Chief Operating Officer. Under his leadership Ticketmaster revolutionized the company’s approach to client engagement and transformed the client-facing sales and support organization. Always an instrumental part of innovative initiatives, Jared also led the team to focus on data-driven products and services and technology-driven marketing tools.

Clarence Spalding: President, Spalding Entertainment

Clarence Spalding is the President of Spalding Entertainment where he manages Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Kix Brooks, and Terri Clark. He served as President and Chairman of the CMA (Country Music Association) and remains an active board member for the organization. Spalding also serves as a member of the Nashville Music Council with Mayor Dean. He is also on the board of the ACM (Academy of Country Music), Country Music Hall of Fame, Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, and is a member of NARAS.

Aaron Tannenbaum: Agent,CAA

Aaron Tannenbaum is a Music Agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), an entertainment and sports agency based in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, London, Nashville, and Beijing. Tannenbaum is based in the Nashville office and works closely with the agency’s roster of country music artists. Prior to joining CAA in 2010, Tannenbaum was an agent at Paradigm. Tannenbaum graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Mass Communications.

Chris Tsakalakis: President, StubHub

As President of StubHub, Chris Tsakalakis drives all aspects of the company’s growth and evolution as the premier destination for fans to access live events. Chris has held a variety of roles within the eBay family and led StubHub’s acquisition in 2007, helping transform the company into the largest ticket marketplace in the world. Based on his leadership and impact on the industry, Chris was named among the 50 most influential people in the sports business by Sports Business Journal in 2011 and 2012, Billboard’s “Power 100” lists in 2012 and 2013, and Huffington Post’s “Sports Game Changer” lists in 2010 and 2011.

Don Vaccaro: Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, TicketNetwork

Don Vaccaro is the founder and Chairman of the Board of TicketNetwork®, Inc., one of the leading online ticket exchanges in the country. Vaccaro has more than 30 years of experience in the secondary ticket market, including 10 years in industry-related software development, pioneering the creation of the company’s signature software - TicketNetwork® Point-of-Sale. Vaccaro is also the founder of Ticket Galaxy, one of the largest ticket brokerage firms in the country. He is a founding member and former president of the Connecticut Ticket Brokers Association, and was also founder and first president of the Massachusetts Ticket Brokers Association.

Dana Warg: VP of Entertainment, Olympia Entertainment

Dana Warg, a 31-year entertainment and sports facility operations expert directs one of the most diverse entertainment companies in the United States. Warg oversees the entertainment operations of Detroit’s fabulous Fox Theatre, as well as the Joe Louis Arena, home to the Detroit Red Wings, City Theatre and various other venues in Detroit and outside the market area. Warg also coordinates the concert bookings and related entertainment activity at Comerica Park, home to the 2012 American League Champion Detroit Tigers. Prior to joining AEG, Warg served as the Executive Vice President of Programming and Development for Nederlander Concerts. The 31-year industry veteran has also served as Vice President of Arena Operations for SFX Music Group and Clear Channel Entertainment, along with spending 11 years as the CEO of the Target Center in Minneapolis.