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April 18, 2013

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

A View From The Top - Creatively Speaking

Please join us for this annual event, as this year we hear from the creative heads of the major publishing companies.


Zach Katz
Executive VP, BMG Chrysalis

Jennifer Knoepfle
VP Creative, Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Monti Olson
Executive Vice President/Head of Pop & Rock Music, Creative, Universal Music Publishing Group

Greg Sowders
Sr VP/Head of A&R, Warner/Chappell


David Hirshland
Executive VP Client Services, BMG Chrysalis / AIMP President

AIMP Panel

Place: View Map
Lawry's The Prime Rib
100 North La Cienega Blvd. (near Wilshire)
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

From left, Greg Sowders, Monti Olson, David Hirshland, Jennifer Knoepfle and Zach Katz.

Photos by Liz Redwing, courtesy Lawry's The Prime Rib, Beverly Hills.

Additional Speaker Information

Zach Katz, Executive Vice President of Creative for North America at BMG Chrysalis, earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola School of Law in 1996 and directly thereafter went into private practice in his home city of Los Angeles. He quickly found success and became the go-to guy for numerous notable artists, producers, record labels, distributors and publishing companies who heard about the young music attorney with a true love for music. In 2001 & 2002 he served as GM of Groove Attack USA when the German record label opened a US division. In 2002-2005 he worked closely with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment by managing Rakim and the label’s top producers and song writers. In 2005 he discovered, developed and continues to manage super-music producer Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem. In 2006 Katz Co-Founded Beluga Heights, a record label and publishing company, with partners J.R. Rotem and Tommy Rotem. Zach Katz served as CEO, Co-A&R and Co-Executive Producer of every record created. In the past 6 years Beluga has sold more than 30 million singles and 5 million albums with artists like Sean Kingston and Jason Derulo. From 2010 -2012 Zach Katz and Beluga Heights served as an A&R Consultant for Island/Def Jam, reporting directly to LA Reid.

Jennifer Knoepfle is a VP of A&R at Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Her artists include Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost from Fun., Clams Casino, Foster The People, Rome and Lord Huron. She also plays a pivotal role with other artists on the roster such as Rise against, Sara Bareilles and Lenka. Before coming to Sony/ATV, she was a Senior Director of Membership for ASCAP. There, she was responsible for bringing new writers into the organization and helping them in the early stages of their careers. During her time there, she worked with The Killers, Lana Del Rey, Greg Kurstin and many others.

Monti Olson is Executive Vice President/Head of Pop & Rock Music, Creative for Universal Music Publishing Group, the world’s largest music publishing company. In this role, Mr. Olson jointly leads the company’s U.S. creative teams (Los Angeles and New York), along with Ethiopia Habtemariam, Executive Vice President/Head of Urban Music. Mr. Olson oversees the company’s Pop and Rock creative operations and is based in the company’s world-wide headquarters in Santa Monica, California. Mr. Olson has signed some of the hottest hit-makers, writers and artists in music, including Christopher “Tricky” Stewart (hit-maker at the helm of RedZone Entertainment, responsible for over 25 millions albums sold); Ari Levine of the songwriting and production team The Smeezingtons (2011 Grammy winners for Producer of the Year, whom Mr. Olson co-signed along with UMPG’s Ethiopia Habtemariam); and All-American Rejects (over 10 million records sold world-wide) to name just a few. Mr. Olson previously served as Vice President of A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group. Prior to joining UMPG, Olson was Vice President, A&R, BMG Songs where he headed the pop creative operations and was responsible for all pop and urban creative administration matters. Before that, Olson spent five years at peermusic as Senior Director, Creative Affairs where he oversaw the company’s creative operations in New York and Los Angeles. He was also responsible for signing new songwriters/artists and creating joint venture deals with such companies as Red Zone Entertainment/Arista (Blu Cantrell, Crav and Sam Salter).

Greg Sowders is Senior Vice President, U.S. for Warner/Chappell Music. He is the senior Pop & Rock executive for the US A&R department, based in Los Angeles. During his 20 + years at Warner/Chappell, he has played a key role in identifying and developing its leading roster of rock, pop and alternative songwriters. A veteran of the industry with more than 30 years of experience, Sowders joined Warner/Chappell in 1991 as manager film & tv. He then moved to A&R working with artists and writers including Nickelback, Green Day, Katy Perry, Nate Ruess of fun., Kimbra, Lucinda Williams, Paramore, The Black Crowes, Portugal. the Man, and Grouplove among others. Sowders began his musical career in 1982 as the drummer for the groundbreaking Los Angeles alt.country pioneers The Long Ryders.

David Hirshland is currently the Senior Vice President, Client Services for BMG Chrysalis. Prior to holding this position he was President of Bug Music, until recently the largest independent publishing administration company, which in October 2011 merged with BMG Rights Management. David was previously employed at the law firm of Rosenfeld, Meyer and Susman where he represented both talent and institutional clients in the film and music industries. Prior to his legal career, David was an agent at the Rosebud Agency and later formed his own management company. Having been at Bug for 17 years, David started as V.P. of Business & Legal Affairs, then Executive V.P. before being named President in 2006. In addition to his management of the roster of writer and publisher clients he also functions in an A&R capacity, allowing the company to increase the size of its ever expanding roster of writers and catalogs. Among them are the estates of Johnny Cash, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Woody Guthrie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, legendary artists such as Iggy Pop, the Guess Who and Los Lobos and contemporary alt rock stars such as Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon and Wilco. David received a B.A. in English Literature from Brown University and a J.D. from UCLA.

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