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Board of Directors

The FAI Board of Directors

FAI is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors representing leadership in the folk music industry. The Board is elected by the voting members of the organization each fall, and an Annual General Meeting of members is held during the February conference.

Click here for a list of Folk Alliance International Board Alumni.


FAI Board Members

LISA SCHWARTZ
PRESIDENT (term end: 2022)
Festival & Artistic Director, Philadelphia Folk Festival

Lisa served as President of the Philadelphia Folksong Society from 2007 until 2015, and is currently the Festival Director, following nine years as Marketing and Press Relations. Under her direction, the PFS has focused on inclusivity, increased membership and attendance, a broadening scope of music, fiscal responsibility, and an increase in sponsors and grants. Lisa is a senior sales and marketing specialist with more than 30 years of experience providing marketing, project management, and consulting services in the new home construction, education, arts marketing, manufacturing, and retail arenas.

 

MATT SEVER
VICE PRESIDENT (term end: 2022)
Artist, Matt the Electrician

Matt the Electrician is a quirky, sincere folk/pop singer songwriter based in Austin, TX. He has self-released 8 studio albums, and 2 live CDs since 1998. With his newest project, Matt gets by with a little help from his friends. Throughout 2015 and 2016, he's focusing on a string of 7-inch vinyl singles. Matt regularly tours all over the world, playing theaters, festivals, clubs and house concerts, and is a fixture in clubs of his hometown, Austin, TX.

 

ALKA SHARMA
TREASURER (term end: 2021)
Executive Director, Folk Music Ontario

Alka Sharma is the Executive Director of Folk Music Ontario, previously the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF), based in Canada's national capital, Ottawa. In this role she oversees the operations, staffing and programming of Canada's largest folk music industry event. Prior to this role she worked as the Interim Executive Director at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival coordinating the country's largest multicultural cinema event. Preceding that she served as the Senior Manager of Operations with the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at Carleton University specializing in History and Political Science.

 

DEANA MCCLOUD
SECRETARY (term end: 2022)
Executive Director, Woody Guthrie Center

Deana is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa. A member of the Tulsa Arts District Business Association, and the Tulsa Regional Chamber, she is also a board member of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice and the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers. McCloud was a charter member of the board for the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture and currently serves on the executive board for Tulsa Regional Tourism. Deana is a National Board Certified educator. For 17 years she was a member of the Woody Guthrie Coalition, booking and producing concerts for the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma. She currently serves on the festival’s advisory board as well as the advisory board for the Woody Guthrie Journal.

 

ELLEN STANLEY
AT-LARGE (term end: 2021)
Founder, EFS Publicity

Founder and owner of EFS Publicity, Ellen Stanley has worked for over 15 years as a publicist, promoter, DJ and music writer. She has worked with venues, writers, arts orgs and some of the top names in folk, roots and Americana music, including The Wailin' Jennys, Josh Ritter and Hot Tuna. As the former Director of Publicity & Promotions for indie label Red House Records, she launched many Billboard-charting releases and was voted “Best in the Industry” by Americana DJs five years running. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the MN Music Coalition, a statewide nonprofit supporting artists of all genres, ages and backgrounds with mentoring, professional training and industry networking. Ellen also hosts the long-running Womenfolk radio show on KFAI and performs her own music under the name Mother Banjo.

 

ENRIQUE CHI
(term end: 2022)
Artist, Activist, EducatorFounder of the internationally recognized band Making Movies, who have most recently teamed up with Latin legend Rubén Blades, singer/songwriter Enrique Chi has dedicated his platform to raise awareness of the political and cultural issues that divide America. He founded a not for profit organization, Art As Mentorship, to expand on the music education and community outreach work that the band was already doing, launching the Rebel Song Academy in 2018 for youth songwriters, and produces an annual festival in Kansas City entitled Carnaval.

 

LYNN CINGARI
(term end: 2022)
Agent, Paradigm Agency

Lynn has been at Paradigm Agency for over 18 years and in the music business for over 23 years. Getting her start at a big agency in Los Angeles, Lynn found that Monterey Peninsula Artists was a better home, and she began working as the assistant to legendary agent Chip Hooper. Promoted to Agent in 2001, Lynn built her own roster while also booking clients from the full roster. Today, Lynn is proud to represent a host of amazing artists, such as Bruce Hornsby, Nickel Creek, Punch Brothers, Aoife O’Donovan, and The Wood Brothers.

 
 

ROSE COUSINS
(term end: 2023)
Artist

Rose Cousins is a Juno award-winning singer-songwriter originally hailing from Prince Edward Island and currently living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A Folk Alliance alumni of over ten years, she deeply values being part of multiple music communities and is constantly fueled by collaboration. Cousins' latest project, Natural Conclusion (produced by Joe Henry), received notable acclaim, including a 2018 Grammy Award nomination, a nomination for Songwriter of the Year at the 2018 JUNOs, and three wins at the East Coast Music Awards. Cousins also writes for film and TV, her songs having appeared on programs such as Grey's Anatomy, Supergirl, Reign, and Nashville. She has shared stages with heroic songwriters such as Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Lori McKenna, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jann Arden, and Ron Sexsmith.

 

lOU DEMARCO
(term end: 2021)
Founder, Momentary Love Management

lou opened Momentary Love Management in 2005 and also began a brief stint as the booking agent for the late, great, Stephen Bruton. During that time, lou befriended numerous artists in need of support and a helping hand, leading him to turn Momentary Love Management into a full-time career after retiring from corporate life in 2014. Prior to his music career, lou was a very successful Human Resources professional for Bank of America, HSBC, and BP. He has served on other Boards including the American Institute of Banking, YEA! (Youth Education in the Arts!), and Project U.S.E. lou is a graduate of Dominican College in Racine, Wisconsin.

 

 

 

ROSALYN DENNETT
(term end: 2023)
Licensing and Outreach Coordinator, Canadian Federation of Musicians

Rosalyn is well-known both as an artist and a music industry professional. Her experience working in the non-profit sector includes pivotal roles at MusicOntario, Canadian Independent Music Association, Music Canada Live, Music Canada, and she is currently the Licensing and Outreach Coordinator for the Canadian Federation of Musicians. She is director on the board of Folk Music Ontario, Local 1000, and is co-founder of Stump Media. Rosalyn is a founding member of the highly-acclaimed band Oh My Darling, and as a freelance artist has been performing/recording with Ken Whiteley, Fred Penner, Donovan Woods, Kaia Kater, and many more accomplished musicians.

 

SUSIE GIANG
(term end: 2022)
Agent, Ground Control Touring

Susie Giang is an agent with Ground Control Touring based in Portland, Oregon. Giang’s current roster includes Ani DiFranco, Gregory Alan Isakov, Haley Heynderickx, Leif Vollebekk, My Bubba, Field Medic, Baskery, Peter Mulvey and Shook Twins, along with many other talented artists. Susie attended her first FAI in 2005 in Montreal and has taken on the Folkie Badge ever since. Previously, Giang was at APA in Portland and Fleming Artists in San Francisco.

 

 

 

 

CHLOE GOODYEAR
(term end: 2021)
Head of Programming, Woodford Folk Festival

Chloe is the Head of Programming for the Woodford Folk Festival, The Planting Festival, and Festival of Small Halls Australia. Though most of Chloe's career has been with Woodfordia Inc, she has acted as the Executive Producer for MONA FOMA (Tasmania), as a show producer for major Brisbane arts venues, and as a consultant, agent, and manager. She has a BA in Theater Studies, has served on the boards of Vulcana Women's Circus, Flipside Circus and Folk Alliance Australia, and the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival (PEI) and was a recipient of the 2017 FAI Spirit of Folk Award.


MICHAEL KORNFELD
(term end: 2020)
Communications and Public Relations Strategist / Founder, AcousticMusicScene.com

Michael is an award-winning communications and public relations strategist, a former contributing writer for The New York Times, and served on the boards of both the LI and NYC chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. His online publication, AcousticMusicScene.com, has provided news and commentary for the folk, roots, and singer-songwriter communities since 2007. Mike is the current board president of the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) and serves as president of the Folk Music Society of Huntington, a presenting organization on Long Island. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stony Brook University and a recipient of its Distinguished Community Service Award.  Photo Credit: Razzi Entertainment

 

SARA LEISHMAN
(term end: 2022)
Executive Director, Calgary Folk Festival

Sara Leishman was brought up on house concerts and CKUA Radio. Her love of music but dislike of practicing led to her interest in the business of music. With a communications degree and NFP work experience she secured the job of Development Director for the Folk Festival Society of Calgary (Calgary Folk Fest, Festival Hall and Block Heater). For 7 years she obtained sponsorship and donations before becoming the Executive Director in 2017. From 2011-2018 she served on the Board of CKUA Radio and in 2015 successfully completed the Rozsa Arts Management through the Haskayne School of Business.

 

GARY PACZOSA
(term end: 2021)
VP A&R, Rounder Records

Gary Paczosa is a multi-Grammy winning producer and engineer. He is best known for his work with Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, and Sarah Jarosz. He has served on the Grammy board and also works as head of A&R at Sugar Hill Records in Nashville.

 

CHRIS PORTER
(term end: 2023)
Producer & Talent Buyer, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Chris has been a music industry professional for over 30 years. After working in college radio, he moved on to artist management and independent record label ownership. That soon led to opportunities booking various venues in Boston throughout most of the 1990s. In 1997 his career continued in Seattle as the music programmer for One Reel, producers of the long-running Bumbershoot Festival and other special events and concerts. After 18 years, Chris left One Reel/Bumbershoot in 2015 and now devotes time to his own company - Porter Productions. Porter offers talent buying, booking management, consulting, and production coordination for various festivals, special events, and venues around the U.S. Current projects include Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (San Francisco), WERS’ Wicked Good Festival (Boston), The Town and The City Festival (Lowell, MA), and The South Lake Union Block Party (Seattle). Chris is also a DJ and sports fan event producer.

 

AMY REITNOUER
(term end: 2020)
Executive Director, The Bluegrass Situation

In 2012, Amy Reitnouer Jacobs co-founded The Bluegrass Situation (BGS) with actor/comedian/producer Ed Helms (The Office, The Hangover). Today she serves as the executive director for the company, which encompasses online editorial/content creation, live music promotion, and targeted audience marketing. In addition to producing a festival, BGS has curated stage takeovers and jams at Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Fest, MerleFest, Americana Music Fest, Bourbon & Beyond, The Long Road (UK), and many others. The website has also become an advocate for change, diversity, and representation within the broader music community. Amy is also an artist manager for artists including Jamie Drake, Matt the Electrician, and Mikael Jorgensen (of Wilco).

 

 

 

 

MEG TARQUINIO
(term end: 2021)
Senior Editor, Spotify

Meg Tarquinio is a Senior Editor at Spotify where she works to nurture folk music culture by curating for folk, roots music, and acoustic audiences - building a playlist ecosystem that aims to engage new listeners and deepen fans' experiences with music. Meg's early experiences with folk music communities at local powwows, Irish traditional music festivals, etc. inspired her to pursue a career in music. She attended Northeastern University to study music business, history, and ethnomusicology. She later obtained an MA and Ph.D. in Literature, situating her work within the digital humanities to explore how technology can evolve the way we create, consume, and critique art.

 

LAURA THOMAS
(term end: 2021)
Owner/Agent, ComboPlate Booking

Laura Thomas is the agent and owner of ComboPlate Booking, which opened in 1999. ComboPlate Booking is an artist agency representing folk, Americana and roots rock singer-songwriters. In addition to artist based tour services, volunteerism and community have been integral to Laura’s business. Since 2001, Laura has presented volunteer musicians at a monthly soup kitchen concert in Austin, Texas. In 2002, Laura started South By Soup Fest, a multi-day showcase at the soup kitchen. Since 2005, Laura has organized a day party raising funds for the same soup kitchen. SXSF and the day party take place during SXSW each year.

 

GERALD TORRES
(term end: 2020)
Jane M.G. Professor of Law, Cornell University, Cornell University

Gerald Torres is a leading figure in critical race theory, environmental law, and federal Indian Law. He previously served as the Bryant Smith Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and taught at The University of Minnesota Law School, where he served as Associate Dean. He is also a former president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Torres has served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and as counsel to former U.S. attorney general Janet Reno. He is an avid Blues-man.

 

REID WICK
(term end: 2020)
Sr. Membership & Project Manager, Recording Academy

Reid Wick has served music communities across the South for many years. He is the Recording Academy's New Orleans-based Membership & Industry Relations representative, where his responsibilities include membership, advocacy, creating professional development and networking programs across a five-state region. For the two years post-Hurricane Katrina, Wick administered the MusiCares' Hurricane Relief Fund. Wick served Loyola University's College of Music as marketing communications manager and instructor in Music Industry Studies. He has served on numerous boards and co-owned an indie record label. He received the 2018 Cutting Edge Music Conference Lifetime Achievement Award. Wick is an active New Orleans musician.

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