Dear CCC Constituency,
We’re pleased to introduce this year’s candidates running for executive and board member positions at the California Copyright Conference for the 2021-2022 season. The CCC is very fortunate to have an outstanding assemblage of candidates for this year’s open board seats, including current board members who have chosen to stand for re-election.
CCC members should expect to receive an invitation to vote in the election in the first week of May. Voting will close May 24, 2021 at 11:59pm PDT. We encourage all members to vote and give their support to the candidates of their choice.
We’re looking forward to an exciting new season as we continue to provide in-depth music business webinars and virtual networking events. Please review our wonderful candidates below.
The CCC Election Committee
President – Running Candidate, Mara Kuge
Mara Schwartz Kuge is the Vice President of the Board of the California Copyright Conference. She is President and Founder of Superior Music Corporation, a full service music publishing and supervision company.
Kuge has spent close to two decades in music publishing, including heading the Film and TV Music departments at Bug Music (now BMG) and 10th Street Entertainment (now Better Noise). She has extensive experience in both synch and A&R, having placed hundreds of songs in various media and signing major artists to publishing deals including the National, Grizzly Bear, Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama), Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), and Sleater-Kinney. Superior Music Publishing, a Los Angeles-based joint venture between Kuge and Modern Works Music Publishing, recently celebrated their seventh anniversary.
Kuge’s two most recent music supervision projects, “The Stand at Paxton County” and “For Madmen Only: The Stories of Del Close,” have both received distribution, and she is currently supervising “Jabberjaw! The Documentary,” about the legendary Los Angeles nightclub. She is a member of the Guild of Music Supervisors and a professional member of NARAS.
Vice President – Running Candidate, Renee Jeske
Manager, Income Tracking, Disney Music Group
Renee Jeske manages the income tracking department of the Disney Music Group. The income tracking department services both the Walt Disney Company’s music publishing companies, and record labels. Renee has been on the board of the California Copyright Conference since 2013.
Secretary – Running Candidate, Jean Montiel
Jean was most recently the Publishing Administration Manager at Ingrooves Music Publishing, LLC / Sovereign Music. Prior to Ingrooves, she was a Royalty Manager at David Weise & Associates, one of the top business management firms in the country for a brief period, moving from the Sr. Director of Administration role at the independent publisher, Reach Music for 5 years. Earlier in her career, Jean was the Director of Administration at Bug Music (now BMG). Having attended Columbia College in Chicago and graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Music Business Management, she started her career in music publishing at Bug over 20 years ago as an Executive Assistant. Since then, she consistently rose through the ranks and grew along with the company through many constructive and inspiring changes. She has held the following positions: Business and Legal Affairs Administrator, Licensing Manager and Director of Global Affairs. Her current position allows Jean the ability to see the big picture of the future of music rights administration/monetization and is very familiar with the pitfalls the industry is currently facing. In addition, Jean is a private piano and voice tutor for all skill levels and has a passion for promoting music education both for the makers of music and the facilitators of music rights.
Assistant Secretary – Running Candidate, Rene Merideth
Rene Merideth is the Co-Founder and COO of Exploration, a media management and technology company headquartered in Los Angeles. She is primarily responsible for copyright, licensing, and royalties. Exploration is proud to be the company of choice to compile and administer the metadata identifying much of the world’s most important media.
Rene graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee with a degree in Music Business, after which she quickly climbed the music publishing ranks. Starting as a Mechanical Licensing Manager at Windswept, she has since served as the Director of Licensing at Bug Music, Director of Licensing at BMG Chrysalis, and VP of Operations at AdShare.
Rene has been a speaker and writer at events and publications produced by Billboard, the National Association of Recording Industry Professionals (NARIP), the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), Songwriters of North America (SONA), the Grammy Foundation, the Recording Academy, and is board member of the California Copyright Conference (CCC). In addition, she hosts her own podcast called “Red Dragon Sessions,” where she tells stories – good and bad – about her childhood and her time on the road. Rene is also an active contributor and supporter of Steven Tyler’s Janie’s Fund, a non-profit organization helping young women overcome abuse and neglect.
In addition to her industry success, Rene is a renowned rugby photographer having shot hundreds of matches worldwide, including the Rugby World Cup in 2015. She is a powerful and respected voice in a male-dominated industry, and a proud advocate of women’s empowerment and equality.
Treasurer – Running Candidate, Cheryl Dickerson
Cheryl Dickerson is an entertainment industry veteran with more than three decades of experience in A&R and publishing. She has held executive positions at BMI, SONY/EPIC and MCA. She currently consults independent labels, artists and producers, as well as music placement in TV.
She has been a member of the California Copyright Conference for over 20 years and has served on the Board of Directors for the last 17 years.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS – Running Candidates
Elizabeth Henderson | Senior Manager, Sync Clearance, Warner Music Group
Hello CCC Members!
Some of you may already know me, but for those who may not, my name is Elizabeth Henderson, and I am running for re-election to the CCC board!
A little background about me. I attended Penn State University where I studied business administration with a major in marketing. I’ve worked in music publishing for my entire career and my background has provided me with an understanding of the many areas and facets of the industry. I am currently a member of the sync clearance team at Warner Chappell Music Group.
For the past two years in my role on the CCC board I have served on both the sponsorship and marketing committees where I worked with both teams to help attract sponsors for panels and events, updated and revised existing marketing materials, worked to expand individual memberships, and to better promote our panels across social media. I also co-moderated this past April’s Here We Go Again…Mamma Mia! And The Rise of the Jukebox Musical panel which was one of our successful and informative events of the 2020-2021 season.
Thank you for your time and reading my bio. I hope that you will consider me for reelection to the CCC board.
Jessica Vaughn | Vice President, Sync & Creative, Heavy Hitters Music
Jessica Vaughn is a rarity: a songwriter who understands artists, an artist who understands business, and an entertainment industry executive who understands––and empathizes with––it all. Jessica was still a teenager when she first turned heads as Charlotte Sometimes, a recording artist whose full-length debut on Geffen Records found a spot on the Heatseekers Chart and prompted VH1 to name her a “You Oughta Know Artist.” Later, Jessica became a fan and critic favorite on Season 2 of The Voice and inked a deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, before moving on from her Charlotte Sometimes persona altogether to write and perform under a new alias, LACES. Still defined by the honesty and cashmere voice that originally set her apart, Jessica’s work as LACES is subtly brilliant alt-pop for adults. Under her own name and as founder and leader of multi-service hive Head Bitch Music, Jessica continues to pen songs for other recording artists; write, produce, and sing music for Hasbro cartoons such as Jem & the Holograms, Baby Alive, Littlest Pet Shop, Equestria Girls, and more. As Senior Director at Heavy Hitters Music she has secured placements with the CW, Netflix, ABC, Hulu, Samsung, NBC, MTV, CBS, Cassegrain, Hallmark, Discovery, Ion & more. Jessica lives and works in Los Angeles.
Jonathan Lane | Senior Director, Synch & Licensing, 5 Alarm Music Music & Supervisor, Tapestry Music Services
Jonathan Lane’s music industry journey started over 10 years ago as freelance writer who would frequently review albums for a local Los Angeles publication and write press releases and marketing content for various music companies. Early on, Jonathan accepted a role at Atrium Music – An independent music company where he was instrumental in growing their TV and film music licensing business and brand awareness. Years later, Jonathan accepted an offer at Audio Network where he was one of the first employees in their Los Angeles office. At Audio Network, Jon was responsible for managing the company’s Music Supervisor, studio, film, and trailer relationships. Jon was also instrumental in managing their relationship with the Guild of Music Supervisors and helping to develop their local marketing strategy. In 2015, Jon and his partner Caitlin Payne were yearning for a more creative outlet. To help fulfill this need, they created Tapestry Music Services – a full scope Music Supervision company for TV, film and advertising.
Over the last 6 years, they’ve provided Music Supervision services to many top film marketing and advertising agencies in the industry most recently working on campaign elements for The Addam’s Family 2, Wrath of Man, Respect, several scripted podcasts, and the 2020 SAKS Fifth Avenue Holiday Light Show in New York.
Today in addition to Tapestry Music Services, Jonathan Lane’s full-time focus is being the Senior Director of Synch & Licensing at 5 Alarm Music (an Anthem Entertainment company) where he oversees the TV and film music licensing strategy and executive partnerships, with a hand in catalog development, marketing, and beyond.
If elected as a board member, Jonathan hopes to help shift the culture of the organization, fostering relationships with new and emerging industry professionals while significantly growing the membership base. He also hopes to develop new and exciting ways to connect with current and potential CCC members, leveraging today’s educational media trends, social media strategy and fresh content offerings.
Josh Young | Founder & CEO, Atrium Music
Josh Young, founder and CEO of Atrium Music, is a three-time Emmy nominated supervising television and film editor whose vision for a better media brand of music library birthed Atrium Music. Atrium Music is a publishing and music library that licenses and places music in television, film, and commercial productions.
Josh is driven in his passion to separate himself and Atrium from other companies and has built Atrium as a company rooted in brand integrity and passion. By bridging the gap between creative and business, Atrium allows “artists to be artists” while allowing the business structure of Atrium to handle their business needs. Over 600 Artists and Composers have found a home with Atrium and the vast pool of composers and content producers signed to Atrium surrounds the globe. Atriums goal is to place its fingerprint on the world with its music and business ethics, and has done so in 87 countries.
When not producing, editing, or music supervising nationally syndicated television shows, Josh is relentless in growing and sharing his personal industry experiences. Josh actively attends and speaks at conferences and educational institutions across the US. He is an active participant on panels of industry discussions throughout the United States: Summer and Winter NAMM, Durango, Sync Summit, Musicians Institute, Citrus College, West Coast Songwriters, Far-West, Sync Summit, The CCC, MusExpo, NAB, Six Figure Songwriting, Sync Keepers, AVID and many more. Josh has sat on the boar for West Coast Songwriters and is currently an active board member for the California Copyright Conference.
Kristina Benson | Founder, Sweet On Top
Kristina Benson is a lifelong music professional who began her career with a music degree in classical vocal performance from UCI and piano lessons in her spare time under Miles Davis sideman Kei Akagi. After graduating, she spent time in various stints as a promoter, DJ, and publisher for the local music magazine L.A. RECORD; her first job in sync licensing was for Lip Sync, where she managed all day to day operations. After many successful placements, she started her own agency and publishing company, Sweet On Top, and in the three short years since Sweet On Top was founded, her writers and artists have landed placements with major ad campaigns such as Grey Goose and St. Regis, and placements on television shows like Gray’s Anatomy, Station 19, All Rise, Outer Banks, Snowfall, Shameless, and more. Kristina is also an active volunteer with the Guild of Music Supervisors, and a member of the AIMP.
Sherry Orson | Chief Creative Officer, Star Vibe Group
Sherry Orson is a successful, established music publisher and licensor, having secured music on television shows on every major network, and with major label recording artists, advertising brands, in motion pictures and more.
Orson began her career in the music industry as a Creative Manager during the Richard Branson years with Virgin Music Publishing in Los Angeles. From there, she moved to Universal Music Group as Director of Creative Services for almost a decade, expanding her extensive experience in the fields of music publishing and licensing. While at Universal, she placed songs with major record labels on Platinum artists such as Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton, Selena, Babyface, Jessica Simpson, Bette Midler, Chaka Khan and many others. In 2007, she joined musician and actor, Steven Van Zandt representing his music publishing company and rock record label, where she was responsible for placement of his roster of artists with major advertising brands: KFC, McDonalds and Fox Sports. Ms. Orson currently represents emerging artists and music catalogs for licensing in all areas of media through her own licensing and music catalog representation company, Star Vibe Group. Through Star Vibe Group, she recently placed and licensed songs from the roster to Amazon, CBS, HBO, Showtime, MTV, NBC, Fox, E! and many more.
Taylor Lenz | Singer-Songwriter
If you haven’t heard of singer/songwriter Taylor Lenz yet, don’t worry—you soon will. The born-and-bred Kansas Citian is finding newfound success with the release of her debut singles, ‘Tease’, and ‘Perfect’, which are slowly but surely getting picked up across the country. She graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Music Composition with an emphasis in Songwriting from the Los Angeles College of Music in October 2020. Taylor has been a part of the California Copyright Conference for almost 3 years now. Her position started off as the event photographer, but blossomed into a Social Media Manager position, sparking a shift and welcomed change in the way that the CCC approaches social media. As a young woman in the music industry, Taylor is passionate about herself, and her peers not only releasing and creating music – but having the education to sustain and protect their art. She believes that the CCC is a vital part in promoting, and protecting that part of being an artist.
Taylor’s debut single ‘Tease’ debuted on the radio at Planet 102.3, KCRS News Talk radio, and KISS 103.3, an impressive feat for a new artist. Her follow up single, ‘Perfect’ released February 2021, was no different. Also getting its debut on the radio, ‘Perfect’ has been written up in publications like The Pitch, In Kansas City Magazine, among others. Each song brings something different to the table. Where ‘Tease’ is sassy and flirty, ‘Perfect’ leans more towards dark pop. The songs show off not only Taylor’s versatility, but her songwriting range as well. You can find her music on all streaming platforms right now.