Confirmed Speakers 

Full speaker list will be added by end of June 2019

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Rebecca Sandiford, Commissioner, BBC Music Day (UK)

Rebecca is the creative lead for BBC Music Day, the UK-wide celebration of the power of music to change lives. Now in its fifth year, the initiative unites over 100 external partners to deliver a thousand live music events every year, which feature in over 100 different BBC programmes across TV, radio and digital. Last year BBC Music Day reached 13 million viewers on TV, 14 million on radio and trended on Twitter throughout the day. Ambassadors included Kylie, Nile Rodgers and Blossoms.

Before launching BBC Music Day, Rebecca was an award-winning TV commissioner & producer, working across Specialist Factual, Documentaries and Children's for BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1 and Discovery. Prior to her TV career, Rebecca worked for the UN in Ethiopia.

AARON WODIN-SCHWARTZ, Vice President, Public Policy & Public Affairs, BRAND USA (USA)

Aaron Wodin-Schwartz is vice president, public policy and public affairs for Brand USA, the nation’s public-private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Aaron develops, executes, and leads outreach efforts to key stakeholders to promote and advance Brand USA's mission and raise visibility worldwide for the organization, build community engagement, and respond to requests from these stakeholders regarding the organization’s progress toward established goals and objectives. Aaron is also responsible for working with federal partners and key industry groups to ensure productive implementation of the Travel Promotion Act, communicate U.S. travel policies, and develop collaborative opportunities to promote inbound travel to the United States.

Arfa Butt, cultural strategisT, Sounds Like London Ambassador & Music Industry Leader (UK)

Arfa has 20 years of extensive marketing, partnerships, and programming experience including; MTV (Global), Mayor Of London’s Music Board, Sounds Like London Campaign Ambassador & Curator, Amy Winehouse Foundation, The Barbican Young Arts Academy, Creative Access, She Said So, Arts Depot, Google and many more.

As a freelance music & talent director and urban music lead at Viacom Arfa has spearheaded an endless array of international platforms, including the launch and management of MTV’s first UK urban channel, MTV Base in 1999 and then commissioned to create MTV’s 100th channel, MTV Base Africa in 2004.

Passionate about individual stories and the power of words, Arfa celebrates and explores language, culture and identity, all the while managing trauma, supporting mental health & wellbeing and caring for everything connected to the heart.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region (UK)

Steve was elected as a Liverpool City Councillor in 2002 representing the Fazakerley ward and served as Lord Mayor of Liverpool during the city’s European Capital of Culture year of 2008-2009.

A bricklayer by trade, he’d set up his own company by the age of 22 and later went on to work in various capacities in the construction industry. After returning to full-time education at Liverpool John Moores University and then Liverpool Hope University, Steve worked for many years as a business manager for the Learning and Skills Council.

In 2010, Steve was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Liverpool Walton constituency, stepping down in 2017. In May 2017, Steve was elected to become the first ever Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region – securing 59% of the vote – on a manifesto that pledged to be ambitious, fair, green, connected and to ensure that the whole city region works effectively together.


Julian’s career spans over 20 years in government, diplomacy, academia and business consulting in Colombia, Europe and Africa, where he consolidated his projects for the conservation of nature under the approach of Smart Experiential Travel. As Vice-president of Tourism (the organization in charge of promoting Colombia’s exports, foreign direct investment, tourism and the country brand) he runs the promotion of the second most important economic sector of one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.

Julian is a lawyer and holds a degree in international relations of the London School of Economics, Wildlife Filmmaking at the American University and at the International School of Wildlife Filmmaking (Wildeye). He is trained in nature and safari guidance and holds an IGS guide certification on birds, invertebrates and botany.

Eileen Chapman, Director of the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music, Former GM of stone pony Nightclub & Founder of Riverfest jazz & Blues festival (USA)

Eileen Chapman was previously the general manager of the internationally known Stone Pony nightclub and of the Fast Lane nightclub, both located in New Jersey’s music capital, Asbury Park.

Eileen serves on the boards of the Grammy Museum Experience, the Asbury Park Music Foundation, the Asbury Park Historical Society, and Asbury Angels.

Prior to joining Monmouth University, Eileen was a founding member of the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation, founding member and event coordinator of Riverfest Jazz & Blues Festival, entertainment director for the Clearwater Festival, owner/operator of the first compact disc (CD) retail store in New Jersey, event coordinator of the Asbury Park Jazz Festival, director of the award-winning New Jersey Seafood Festival in Belmar, and consultant and entertainment coordinator of the Guinness Oyster Festival.

Eileen also serves as a councilwoman for the City of Asbury Park.

Tim Holt, Head of Marketing for VisitBritain and VisitEngland (UK)

Tim Holt is Head of Marketing for VisitBritain and VisitEngland. His passion is driving impactful and emotionally engaging brand campaigns that connect global audiences to what Britain and England offers. His team drive the brand, audiences and effectiveness of marketing at VisitBritain and VisitEngland. Working across brand partnerships he has lead partnerships with Aardman, Boiler Room, Vice and National Geographic, to name a few, developing compelling content and positioning Britain as the modern, dynamic, creative and cultural melting pot that it is! When he isn’t at work he loves the great outdoors, football and trying to get his kids off their screens.

Jane Randall, Head of Visitor Economy, Marketing Manchester (UK)

Jane has spent her career working in both leisure and business tourism and has worked in various roles including destination management, conference venue management, marketing and PR.

Jane has worked at Marketing Manchester since January 2012 as Head of Visitor Economy managing a variety of projects and services including several Arts Council funded projects to promote culture as a key driver for visits. She was previously at the Northwest Regional Development Agency where she managed the Agency’s team of tourism specialists and played a key role in managing relationships and monitoring contracts with the regions five Tourist Boards.

Jane has held various positions over the years including; West Midlands LGA Tourism Advisor, President of the Tourism Management Institute, Tourism West Midlands Board member, and Chair of the Northwest Regional Tourism Management Group.


Kenneth Womack, Dean, Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities & Social Sciences at monmouth university & Author of multiple Beatles books (USA)

Kenneth Womack is Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University, where he also serves as Professor of English. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles (2007), the Cambridge Companion to the Beatles (2009), and The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four (2014). More recently, he is the author of an acclaimed two-volume biography of Beatles producer George Martin, including Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Early Years, 1926-1966) and Sound Pictures: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Later Years, 1966-2016). His latest book, Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles, will be published in September 2019 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ famed LP.

Kevin McManus, Head of UNESCO City of Music for Liverpool (UK)

Kevin McManus is currently Head of UNESCO City of Music for Liverpool.

Prior to this he was the Curator at the British Music Experience in Liverpool, the UK’s only national museum of rock and pop music.

Kevin has been involved in music since he began writing for influential music paper New Musical Express (NME) when he was 18. As well as writing for NME his music journalism career also included writing for The Face, ID, and Mixmag.

He went on to work for the University of Liverpool where he wrote a number of books about Liverpool music history and the social and economic context in which it was made.

In his subsequent public sector career Kevin developed the pioneering creative industries sector development agency for Liverpool, Merseyside ACME, which he led for almost 20 years. Kevin’s achievements during this period included setting up the Baltic Creative CIC and establishing Sound City.

Jeannette Varela Calabria, Project Manager, global Urban Holland Campaign and Country Manager for Spain, Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) & Holland MarketinG (Spain)

Jeannette Varela Calabria has been working for over 9 years at the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) Holland Marketing and as well as being Country Manager for Spain, she is responsible for the global Urban Holland Campaign. She was born in the Netherlands and lived in various places up around the country until 2003, when she moved to Madrid and has lived ever since.

Marketing is her passion and she has been active in this field for over 15 years within different sectors and companies, such as France Telecom, Miele and Havas Media Group. Regarding her role as project lead for Urban Holland, Jeannette says “I truly believe in globalization and in connecting people through different passions, such as music and art. Traveling the world and getting inspired by other cultures and best practices, and above all, sharing this knowledge, makes this possible.”

Mitch Whitten, Executive Vice President for Marketing & Strategy, Visit Fort Worth (USA)

Mitch Whitten is executive president for marketing and strategy at Visit Fort Worth, where he is responsible for all external outreach, tourism and the community’s Destination Master Plan.

In recent years his team has launched the Fort Worth Film Commission, fostered the Hear Fort Worth music association, developed an international tourism strategy and created initiatives to promote the local culinary scene.