Confirmed Speakers

Music Tourism Convention will bring together executives across the tourism, public, private and creative sectors to expand on the opportunities the music and tourism sectors can gain from each other.

WES JACKSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE BROOKLYN HIP-HOP FESTIVAL (USA)

Wes Jackson is currently the President of Brooklyn Bodega and Executive Director of The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. He has over 20 years experience as an entrepreneur and innovator in the music business. His career began producing concerts for Nas, The Roots, The Dave Matthews Band and De La Soul. He then went on to start his own promotions company, Seven Heads Entertainment. Seven Heads was instrumental in launching the careers of Yaasin Bey (Mos Def), Talib Kweli, Rawkus Records and others.

Wes would continue on to establish Brooklyn Bodega and The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival is in its 13th year and is New York City’s largest Hip-Hop cultural event.

In addition to his successful business ventures, Wes travels to colleges and universities across the country lecturing about Hip-Hop History and its impact on society.  Wes also teaches at the City University of New York (CUNY) and sits on the Boards of The Brooklyn Historical Society and The Brooklyn Crescents Lacrosse Club.


Dawn Beaton, Artistic Director, Celtic Colours International Festival (CA)

Dawn hails from Mabou, Cape Breton and has been playing fiddle, and step dancing for over 25 years. Along with her sister Margie, they released their debut album in 2008. They have traveled and taught in Scotland, England, Brazil, China, Ireland and the United States, received a Nova Scotia Music week nomination and won an ECMA for Roots/Traditional Duo & Group Recording of the Year, 2010.

Besides being a musician, she has worked for KPMG in Halifax, as manager for Strathspey Place (a performing arts theatre), and is the Artistic Director for Celtic Colours International Festival.


Dr. Greg Hackler, Founding Board Member, Standin’ On The Corner Foundation (USA)

Dr. Greg Hackler was born in Casa Grande, Arizona, a town of about 9,000 people. He was fortunate enough to have a family that was very musically oriented; singing gospel hymns around the piano, seconding on the guitar with a grandfather who taught him old fiddle tunes, and playing in a rock and roll band. After becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic, Greg moved to Winslow, Arizona, another small town and started a practice in 1979.  Being active in the community he became involved in a group to boost tourism, later to be known as the Standin' on the Corner Foundation, who commissioned a bronze statue and mural on a corner in Winslow, after the Eagles hit song "Take it Easy", and began an annual music festival.  He is married to Connie for 38 years, has two grown children and two grandchildren. He still practices, but on a different corner in Winslow.


Bubba O’Keefe, Developer & Contractor (USA)

Kinchen “Bubba” O’Keefe, Developer/Contractor. Bubba spearheaded the revitalization of downtown Clarksdale through the development of the Lofts at the Five and Dime, a six-room apartment-style hotel, and Yazoo Pass, a bustling coffee shop and restaurant that serves as the default meeting spot for much of Clarksdale. Fifteen years ago, Bubba co-founded Juke Joint Festival, the real-deal Mississippi blues festival that has sealed Clarksdale as a destination for blues lovers from all over the world. A life-long Clarksdale resident, Bubba is a founding board member of Clarksdale Revitalization, Inc., and is an avid supporter of CARES, Clarksdale’s animal shelter


Rachel Skaggs, Ph.D. candidate in sociology, Vanderbilt University (USA)

Rachel Skaggs is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Vanderbilt University where she is conducting her dissertation research on the career pathways of Nashville songwriters. Broadly, Rachel is interested in collaboration, social networks, and work in creative industries. Additionally, she is involved in national arts education and arts policy research, with a focus on arts entrepreneurship and arts funding. In addition to her scholarly work, Rachel has worked in a programming and research capacity for Leadership Music and for the Curb Creative Connection.


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Butch Spyridon, President & CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (usa)

Butch Spyridon has served as the head of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NCVC) since 1991. Over the last 25 years the NCVC has led the strategic development of Nashville’s hospitality industry. During that time, Nashville has evolved into a global, year-round destination.

Visitor spending in Davidson County exceeded $5.7 billion and accounts for one third of the visitor spending in the entire state.

During Butch’s tenure, the NCVC has been involved with development initiatives that include the Tennessee Titans, Bridgestone Arena, Music City July 4th, New Year’s Eve in Nashville, the Music City Center, Music City Walk of Fame, and the first ever citywide branding initiative. Combined with the NCVC ongoing sales and marketing initiatives, the city enjoyed an unprecedented 70 months of record (year-over-year) hotel performance and has been named a top destination in the world by multiple publications for five consecutive years.


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Philip Vanden Brande, Head of Public Relations, Evenko (CA)

Recognized for his professionalism, creativity and tenacity, Philip Vanden Brande has been making his mark in the communication field for several years. He rose in the ranks of the communication, marketing and event teams within the Astral Radio/Bell Media company (Energie FM, Rouge FM, CJAD 800, Virgin Radio, CHOM) before joining evenko, for which he holds the position of Manager, Media Relations and Social Media since 2015. He’s notably in charge of communications, crisis management for the Osheaga and îleSoniq festivals. With the evenko foundation, Philip Vanden Brande works with young people interested in the arts and music community. He is also involved with the LGBT community.


Judy Hood, President, Muscle Shoals Music Foundation (USA)

For the past four years Judy Hood has been heavily involved in supporting music tourism related to the critically-acclaimed Muscle Shoals documentary.

Judy owns and operates “Swampette Tours” and has led thousands of domestic and international visitors through the area’s iconic recording studios and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. She is chairwoman of the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and manages 3614 Jackson Highway which was the original Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. After seeing the Muscle Shoals film, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Lovine of Beats Electronics provided a grant to restore the iconic studio to its original condition. 

Judy works closely with the Alabama State Tourism Department and the Business Council of Alabama to develop synergies that showcase the state, encourage economic growth and celebrate the world-class music that was recorded in Muscle Shoals. She serves on the board of directors for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Business Council of Alabama.


Mark Davyd, Founder & Chief Executive, Music Venue Trust (UK)

Mark is the co-owner of Tunbridge Wells Forum, a venue he founded in a toilet over 20 years ago. Since then, Mark has split his time between various music activities; he is the CEO of the award-winning music charity Rhythmix, which uses music to help people in challenging circumstances, from pupil referral units to dementia wards.

He owns Outstanding Music, a 360-degree music company with a specialism in alternative latin music and client from Disney to Warner Brothers.

Mark founded Music Venue Trust in 2014, a representative body for grassroots music venues which campaigns on their behalf and manages the Music Venues Alliance. In 2016, MVT changed UK law with a landmark amendment to the Town & Country Planning Act. The Music Venues Alliance now boasts over 280 venue members.


Dr. Ken Moore, Mayor, City of Franklin (USA)

Dr. Ken Moore, Mayor of Franklin is the 31st Mayor of the City of Franklin. Ken practiced orthopedic surgery for more than twenty-eight years and gained recognition on a state and national level. In May 2012 he was elected to serve as the Chair of the Middle Tennessee Mayor’s Caucus that covers a 10-county area with a population of 1.67 million people, comprising 27 percent of Tennessee’s population. In the same month, Mayor Moore was given the Leadership in Regional Thinking and Action Award at the Power of Ten Summit.

Prior to serving as Vice Mayor and Mayor, Ken was elected to the Board of Mayor and Alderman in 2007 as an alderman at large. His work on the board has included Chair of the Finance Committee and has led the effort to make Franklin a top 25 sustainable City.


Sonia Outlaw Clark, Executive Director, Tina Turner Museum (USA)

Sonia grew up on a farm in the heart of Tennessee's Delta region in the small town of Brownsville. After a career as a graphic designer and many years of event planning and volunteer experience, Sonia accepted the position of Executive Director of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in 2010. Since that time she has worked to promote the rich musical heritage of the region through the Center's West Tennessee Music Museum, Sleepy John Estes home and live performances and events. Most recently she was instrumental in saving the Flagg Grove School, a one-room African American schoolhouse once attended by Anna Mae Bullock, better known worldwide as Tina Turner. The school is now home to the only Tina Turner Museum and welcomes guests from all over the world.


Ellie Westman Chin, President & CEO, Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau (USA)

Ellie joined the Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau as President & CEO in July 2014. Responsibilities include growing the reputation of Williamson County as a world-class destination to working with city leaders to develop exceptional attractions.

Westman Chin relocated to Williamson County from Denver, Colorado where Ellie served as Vice President, Philanthropy for The Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Prior to her time in Denver, she served as vice president, business development and corporate events for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Westman Chin has enjoyed a 20-year career in marketing and event management. In 1993 Westman Chin moved to Nashville, Tennessee to assist in creating the Nashville Sports Council for the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. As associate executive director of the Council she helped secure both the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) and the NHL franchise Nashville Predators.


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Craig Havighurst, Senior Producer, Music City Roots (USA)

Craig Havighurst is a Nashville-based author, journalist, broadcaster and media producer who’s been studying musical culture and the music business since the late 90s. With academic background in literature, journalism and public policy, Craig has written for NPR, WPLN-FM, The Wall Street Journal, Acoustic Guitar and other magazines. He was a staff writer at the daily Tennessean from 2001-2004. Craig is currently music news director for WMOT/Roots Radio 89.5 FM where he hosts the weekly interview and news feature show The String, covering “culture, media and American music.” He’s also senior producer and writer for Music City Roots, a nationally syndicated weekly live radio show that spotlights Nashville’s roots and Americana music scene. Craig’s book, Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City, tells the story of how Nashville was transformed by one of the nation’s greatest radio stations. 


JULIÁN GUERRERO OROZCO FLS, VICE PRESIDENT, TOURISM OF PROCOLOMBIA (CO)

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. 


Elliott Lefko, Vice President, Goldenvoice Concerts (USA)

Elliott Lefko is Vice President of Goldenvoice Concerts in LA. He is currently promoting tours for Nick Cave, Sigur Ros, and Father John Misty, and also promotes individual shows for groups such as Tool, Norah Jones and Sam Hunt. 


Elizabeth Cawein, Founder, Music Export Memphis
(USA)

Elizabeth Cawein is a publicist, marketing strategist and music advocate. She founded Signal Flow Public Relations, a boutique media firm dedicated to serving the Memphis music industry, in 2011. Her portfolio of clients includes Archer Records, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, The Recording Academy, Royal Studios and more. In 2014, she launched a not-for-profit initiative called Music Export Memphis, which leverages public and private support to function as an export office for Memphis music, creating opportunities for musicians and driving economic development through music and culture. Elizabeth is an adjunct professor of music publicity at the University of Memphis. In 2015 she was honored by the British Council at its inaugural Education UK Alumni Awards, celebrating outstanding U.S. alumni of British institutions, and in 2016 the Greater Memphis Chamber selected Signal Flow PR as one of its ’10 to Watch’ companies in 2017.


Rob Naylor, Communications Director, AARP Tennessee (USA)

Rob Naylor serves as the Communications Director for AARP Tennessee. In this role, he oversees all internal and external communications and public relations for the AARP Tennessee State Office. Rob’s responsibilities also include paid media outreach, content development, organizational branding, event planning and support of statewide grassroots engagement and advocacy initiatives.

With more than 20 years of experience as a communications professional in industries ranging from sports management and advertising agencies to non-profit and corporate setting, Rob has a unique understanding of how music and entertainment are an integral part of meaningful life experiences.

A native of Long Island, New York, Rob earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Kentucky.


ELIZABETH PETERSON-GOWER, FOUNDER & CEO, EPG (USA)

Elizabeth Peterson-Gower oversees day to day operations of the land use consultancy, provides land use expertise, and serves as the principal visionary. Elizabeth has facilitated the development of over 1600 restaurants, bars, theaters, and mixed-use buildings in historic and complex urban environments. Some of EPG’s iconic projects include the Los Angeles Ace Hotel, Freehand Hotel, The Nomad Hotel, The Globe Theater, Wiltern Theater, Henry Fonda Music Box and The Edison. In addition to her land use expertise, Elizabeth has owned and operated several Los Angeles clubs and restaurants – including Clayton’s Public House, Royal Clayton’s, and Bordello. Elizabeth is an executive board member of the Central City Association, the LA chair for RADD – a non-profit organization offering designated driver programs – President of The Friends of Park 101 and the Newton Area Police Coalition, founder and chair of the Northeast Hospitality Alliance, and a leader of the Downtown Hospitality Forum in Los Angeles.


Kevin Griffin, Co-founder, Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival (USA)

To date, Kevin Griffin has produced, written, and co-written albums and songs that have sold in excess of 30 million copies.

Griffin has produced and written songs performed by artists such as Taylor Swift, Train, Sugarland, Barenaked Ladies, Christina Perri and James Blunt among others. He scored a #1 hit in 2005 with Howie Day's "Collide." In 2010, Griffin had Sugarland's #1 Country hit, "Stuck Like Glue" which became the 11th most downloaded country music song of all time.  Griffin made his professional debut in 1995 as the singer and songwriter for New Orleans based band Better Than Ezra. Their debut record, Deluxe, went double-platinum fueled in part by the success of the #1 Modern Rock track “Good.” The band has continued to put out hits ever since and continue to tour around the world.


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Andrew Mosker, President & CEO, National Music Centre Canada (cA)

Andrew Mosker has a good sense of what it means to be Canadian. He is bilingual, was raised in Montreal Quebec and has lived for the last twenty years in the west in Calgary, Alberta. His combined training both as a musician with over two decades of hands-on experience in developing and operating two new multi-disciplinary music facilities, he has gained considerable experience in music programming, fundraising, government relations, planning, design and now, construction! Combined, this journey has led him to become the President & CEO of Canada’s new National Music Centre located at Studio Bell, which opened in July 2016 and is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta.

With a B.A. in History from Concordia University in Montreal, a degree in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance (piano) from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton and a Masters of Musicology from the University of Calgary, Andrew has developed a deep understanding of and passion for music in Canada – past, present and future.


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Stacey Wilhelm, Senior Manager, SXSW Music Festival (usa)

Stacey Wilhelm is Senior Manager for the SXSW Music Festival, the international music industry event held annually in Austin, TX. For ten years, she has contributed to the planning and production of one of the largest showcase festivals in the world. Alongside a team of dedicated programmers, Wilhelm works to curate a diverse mix of new, developing and established artist performances for an audience of industry professionals, media and fans, with an aim to create meaningful connections and career enhancing opportunities for all involved.


Dr Julia Jones, CEO, Found in Music (UK)

Dr Julia Jones has spent 20 years working in the field of music and human behaviour, firstly with GB Olympic Squads and later with high profile consumer brands. She has published research in music, health and business and gained a PhD at the University of Westminster in 2015 after completing a 6 year research project examining the music tastes of the 40-65 year old consumer group. Her findings led to a number of new projects using the curation of music themes to reach and engage this audience. Julia has been CEO of London based experiential agency, Found in Music, since 2003. Tourism clients in the UK include leading over 50s brands Saga Holidays and Warner Hotels. Julia has recently helped Saga launch their first popular music themed product, a David Bowie themed city break in Berlin to mark the 40th anniversary of his critically acclaimed ‘Heroes’ album.

Found in Music also manages the city-wide street performance scheme for the Mayor of London, animating public spaces with live performances.


Jasen Emmons, Artistic Director, Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) (USA)

Since 2006, Jasen Emmons has helped lead the institution’s evolution from its original focus on popular music to the broader world of pop culture. During that time, his team has created its best-known exhibitions, including Bob Dylan’s American’s Journey, 1956-1966; American Sabor: Latinos in US Popular Music; and Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses; grown museum attendance by more than 40%; and produced world-class education programs such as the annual Pop Conference. In addition, he has curated or co-curated 10 exhibitions, four of which toured nationally. 

He is the author of the novel, Cowboy Angst (Scribners, 1996), and co-author with Graham Nash of Taking Aim: Unforgettable Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs (Chronicle Books, 2009).


Enrico Nonino, UK Marketing MANager, lastminute.com (UK)

Enrico Nonino is Head Marketing UK at lastminute.com group, one of the worldwide leaders in the online travel industry which operates a portfolio of brands including the iconic lastminute.com.

With over a decade in marketing and communications, Enrico had previously held roles at McCann Worldgroup and Johnson&Johnson, with a focus on digital marketing programmes and media strategies for global brands. 

After guiding Brand Reputation, Social Media and Channels Management functions, Enrico is now heading marketing operations for lastminute.com, helping the brand to enrich the life of travelers who aim for exciting travel and leisure experiences, through inspiring content, relevant products and cutting edge tech solutions.

Passionate about all things digital and an authentic music lover, Enrico is also the author of one of the first publications about experiential marketing applied into music.


François Poulin, Marketing Director, Tourisme Montréal (CA)

François Poulin has been working in the advertising industry for the last 25 years. He developed extensive knowledge in destination marketing while working with tourism industry clients like Tourisme Québec, Cirque du Soleil and Tourisme Montréal. As Marketing Director for Tourisme Montréal, he contributes to building on the international reputation that Montréal has earned for its extensive cultural, food and entertainment scenes, and to promoting the destination by capitalizing on its key music festivals such as the Montréal International Jazz Festival, Osheaga and Piknic Electronik, to name but a few.


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Brian Wagner, Assistant Commissioner of Marketing, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (USA)

Brian Wagner joined the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development in October of 2015 where he is responsible for leading Marketing, PR and Sales efforts. Since joining the department TDTD has been recognized with two Cannes Lion awards and a Clio. Prior to joining TDTD he served as the Marketing and Special Projects Manager for Ryman Auditorium. During his nine year tenure the Ryman doubled its annual daytime tour visitors and received countless concert industry awards including the Pollstar Theater of the Year five years in a row, Academy of Country Music Venue of the Year and CMA SRO Venue of the Year multiple times. He is an active member of Leadership Music and the Americana Music Association.


Jan-Paul Laarmann, Product Management City Tourism, NRW Tourism (DE)

Jan-Paul Laarmann is working for the tourism board of the German state North Rhine-Westphalia and is in charge of city tourism. He is also responsible for #urbanana, a three-year project that promotes creative tourism in the banana-shaped metropolitan area of Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr area. With about 10 million inhabitants #urbanana is a German powerhouse for creative industries featuring over 200 music festivals, Cologne's vibrant club scene and the cradle of Kraftwerk, the pioneers of electronic music and who are strongly connected to their hometown of Düsseldorf. Before joining Tourismus NRW Jan-Paul Laarmann worked as press assistant of his favorite festival Ruhrtriennale – Festival of the arts and as a project manager for the Berlin based agency Creative Construction. In 2018 he is keen to tap into the potential of music tourism partnering with c/o pop Cologne and the Cologne tourism board.