Music Industry Pros Appearing at the Durango Songwriters Expo in Boulder/Broomfield CO 2013


  • Al Anderson, Santa Fe/Nashville - Al is a very important part of the Expo and one of our greatest songwriters, guitarists, and artist/ performers. He was a founding member of the legendary rock group, NRBQ, and has had numerous big country hits, including “Another Trip Around The Sun”,  “The Cowboy In Me,” “Unbelievable,” #1s for George Strait, etc. We appreciate his loyalty and commitment to the Expo.
  • Ross Asher, Nashville – Ross Asher is Creative Director at Razor & Tie in Nashville, TN. His accomplishments include various placements on television networks CBS, ABC, ESPN, NBC and has worked with multi-platinum artists such as Jars of Clay and Third Day. Currently Ross Asher is on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Chapter of the Association of Independent Music Publishers.
  • Kate Bergman, LA – Bergman is Director of Film and Television Music at Nettwerk Music Group. Nettwerk Film and TV is is well-known in the industry for using an innovative approach to placing its artists’ music in all forms of media. Bergman works specifically in film, TV, video game and trailer placements.
  • Mark Bliesener, Denver – Mark Bliesener is a Music Business Consultant with BANDGURU. Bliesener has been in the business for over 30 years as a performer (1966-1976), rock critic (1976-1978), publicist (1978-1988) and personal manager since 1988. Artists Bliesener has managed include Lyle Lovett, Big Head Todd & The Monsters and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
  • Alyssa Bonagura, Nashville - Alyssa is an up and coming artist/writer who writes for Rondor Music and has had a plethora of film/TV placements. She has written with Big Al and Jeffrey Steele extensively. 
  • Gary Bowen, LA - Director of Creative Affairs, SQE Publishing.  Formerly A&R at Artist Publishing Group that is a joint venture with Atlantic Records.
  • Bart Butler, Texas/Nashville - Bart is a Song Factory songwriter and producer from Hondo, TX.  His beginnings in the music industry were in publishing, where he secured placement for over 15 #1 songs.  As a songwriter, Bart received a BMI award for his Bobby Pinson single "Don't Ask Me How I Know."  Other artists who have recorded Bart's songs include Jon Pardi, Thomas Rhett, Dierks Bentley, and Mark Wills.  Most recently Bart has co-produced and co-written Jon Pardi's first two country radio singles "Missin' You Crazy" and "Up All Night."
  • Chuck Cannon, Nashville – Chuck Cannon is a Nashville based artist/hit songwriter and Expo regular. He wrote the #1 smash, "I Love The Way You Love Me" (Song Of The Year), and has had multiple hits with Toby Keith, including, "Me, Too," "How Do You Like Me Now," and "American Soldier."  He co-wrote the Shawn Mullins hit, "Light You Up."
  • Chris Cole, Dallas -  Chris Cole has publishing offices in both Nashville and Dallas and is the President of Main Gate Music Group with 4 different labels.  He’s produced records for MCA, Starsongs Records, Inside Records, and has written for BMG Music Publishing.  He’s the head of the Dallas based sound/p.a. company, Soundbridge, which so graciously provides the wonderful p.a. system for the Expo. Thanks, Chris!
  • Linda Lorence Critelli, NY – Linda is VP of Writer/Publisher Relations at SESAC, NY.
  • Jon Ernst, LA – Jon Ernst is currently the Music Supervisor for the hit show, Duck Dynasty. He is Owner / Executive Producer at Show Runner Music LLC, Owner of Beat This! Music and Music Supervisor / Composer at MTV Networks. His long list of credits includes The Hills and Laguna Beach for MTV, The World According to Paris Hilton for Oxygen and L.A. Ink for TLC.
  • Michelle Morales Finn, LA - Michelle is an A&R Coordinator at Warner Brothers Records.  She previously worked in A&R at Atlantic Records and Paramount Records. 
  • Keith Follese, Nashville - Keith has completed over 200 cuts with major recording artists such as Faith Hill ("The Way You Love Me"), Tim McGraw ("Something Like That"), Martina McBride ("I Love You"), Randy Travis and Little Texas. He was named both ASCAP and Billboard magazine's Songwriter of the Year in 2002. He is currently the CEO of Midas Music, and is the lead writer for the production team The Center. He continues to write with top producers and artists, producing crowd-pleasing hits that travel the world over.
  • Nick Forster, Boulder - Nick is a stellar all-around musician, but is most known for being the founder, co-executive prodcer, and host of the syndicated radio program “eTown.” Nick’s roots as a musician are in in bluegrass and the show “eTown” presents a wide-range of roots music, conversation and examples of environmental and community activism to listeners around the world.
  • Heather Adamo Gardner – Heather Adamo Gardner is the head of Music Supervision and Licensing at Vapor Music Group. Heather is heavily involved in the world of advertising and has worked on campaigns for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, ING, Visa, Tim Hortons, RBC, Walmart and MasterCard, just to name a few. Her experience is not limited to advertising and she has credits in film, TV, and video games such as Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Shaun White Skateboarding and The Whistleblower.
  • Steve Garvan, Sand Point, ID -  Steve Garvan is the CEO / Expediter of Garvan Media, Management and Marketing INC, Director of Communications for International Music Managers Forum (IMMF) and Music Managers Forum - US (MMF-US) Board-International Rep. He manages Beth Wood and Chris Daniels among others.  Steve has been an integral part of the Expo.
  • Jon Granat, LA - pitches for Film & TV at BMG Chrysalis as well as does A & R and signs both writers and bands.
  • Richard Harris, LA - Originally from England, Richard is certainly an Expo success story.  As a result of winning our pop song contest he hooked up with Steven Melrose and signed as a writer with peermusic!  Richard also has numerous Film/TV placements and charting successes abroad.  
  • Jack Hayford, Nashville - is co-founder of Durangosong.com, and is a songwriter, promoter, and marketing guru. Jack has been here from the beginning and very instrumental in the Expo’s success. He hosts the Durango Songwriters Night in Nashville. Thanks, Mr. Jack!  
  • Chris Jackson, LA -   As Director of Music for The Comcast Entertainment Group, Chris is responsible for the “Sound” of The E!, Style, G4, and Fearnet Networks.  He oversees all aspects of music acquisition, placement, and production for the major cable network group.
  • Les Kahn, Boulder -  Les is a multi-Grammy winning sound engineer/producer who’s traveled worldwide  doing sound for many well known acts including, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Ornette Coleman, The Guitar Trio and co-produced Jimi Hendrix’s Crash Landing.  Les has done sound at the TAXI Road Rally for 9 years and our own Durango Songwriters Expo for the past 7 years. Thank you, Les!
  • Steve King, LA – Steve is Director of Film/TV Synch and Licensing at Imagem Music. 
  • Mike Lembo, Tucson – Mike heads up Mike's Management, a Tucson based management company managing artists and producers.
  • Elizabeth Miller – Liz Miller is a Music Supervisor at MTV. She has supervised music for Punk’d, Gone Country, Spread, and Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous, etc.
  • Mollie Moore, LA -  Mollie is Sr. Director of A & R at Capital Records and also works at Lip Sync Music as a licensing agent.
  • Loretta Munoz, New York - Loretta is VP at ASCAP ‘s Membership Group and Special Projects.  An integral part of the membership team Loretta oversees artist relations and artist development and is a dear friend of the Expo.
  • Benom Plumb, Denver - Benom is Assistant Professor of Music Industry Studies at University of Colorado, Denver campus.
  • Lisa Ramsey-Perkins, Nashville -  Lisa currently runs her own publishing company, Little Extra Music.  She also has been the senior director of A&R at Sony and was previously in publishing at Disney Music, Nashville. 
  • Shari Reich, LA -  Shari returns to the Expo as director of A & R at Imagem Music, LA.  She has extensive experience in A & R from her time at both Warner Brothers and Jive Records.
  • Tim Riley, LA – Tim is currently VP of Music Affairs at Activision Blizzard (video games).
  • Bobby Rymer, Nashville – Rymer has started his own new publishing company. Bobby was formerly VP of Publishing at Writer’s Den Music Group. Previously, he owned his own company, Rymer Music Group.  Prior to that he was VP/GM of Almo/Irving/Rondor.
  • Warren Sellers, Orange County - Warren has been coming to the Expo for years and through that procured a publishing deal at Windswept Pacific.  He’s been a great ally and is a great critiquer!
  • Jeff Silbar, LA - Jeff Silbar is a Grammy winning songwriter with cuts from artists such as Kenny Rogers, John Cougar Mellencamp, Fleetwood Mac, Dolly Parton, Alabama and many more. He is perhaps best know for the song "Wind Beneath My Wings" from the film Beaches. To this date "Wind" has received 7 ASCAP pop awards, including a Song of the Century award, and was recognized as one of the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest Movie Songs.
  • Anthony Smith, Nashville – Smith is a hit songwriter who has penned songs for artists including George Strait, Montgomery Gentry, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Lonestar, Trisha Yearwood, Van Zant, Lori Morgan, Sammy Kershaw, Josh Gracin, Trick Pony, Kenny Rogers, Shooter Jennings, and others. Some of his hits include: George Strait's huge hit, "Run" and crowd favorite, "Cowboys Like Us," Trace Adkins' two out-of-the-gate smashes, "Chrome" and "I'm Tryin'," Tim McGraw's "Kill Myself" and recent release "Kristofferson," Rascal Flatts' "My Worst Fear" and Montgomery Gentry's recent top five hit "Whattaya Think About That?"
  • Morgan Thoryk, Chicago – Morgan is the Sr. Music Producer at McGarryBowen, an ad agency based out of Chicago.
  • Jason VanAuken, Nashville - Jason is the General Manager at The Song Factory in Nashville and has been working with songs and songwriters professionally since 2005.  He currently manages the company's catalog which contains songs written and recorded by country music radio artists Dustin Lynch and Jon Pardi, songs written by hit-makers Tim Johnson and Rob Crosby, and songs that have been recorded by Lady Antebellum, Scotty McCreery, Joe Nichols, Steele Magnolia, Trisha Yearwood, Don Williams and others.  
  • Tracie Verlinde – Tracie is the Executive Director, Writer-Publisher Relations at BMI.  Prior to joining BMI, Verlinde worked at Avalon Attractions in Los Angeles where she held the positions of Talent Buyer, Media Director and Media Coordinator. She is a member of the City of Hope Music and Entertainment Industry Executive Committee.
  • Marty Wheeler, Nashville - Marty is the Vice President of Publishing at LBK Entertainment (AMP, Be Music and 41 Entertainment) and is also an adjunct professor at Belmont University School of Music Business in Nashville.
  • Amanda Williams, Nashville – Amanda is considered one of the top “undiscovered singer/songwriters" in Nashville. She is also owner and founder of Hillbilly Culture Music Publishing, SongwritingandMusicBusiness.com and hosts workshops to educate musicians about the music business.
  • Brandon Young, LA – Brandon is the Director of Music Affairs at Activision Blizzard (video games).
  • Adam Zelkind, Santa Monica - Adam is an LA based songwriter/composer who has won eight ASCAP Film/TV Music Awards for most performed themes and underscores. His credits include Rock Of Love 3, Flavor Of Love, Surreal Life and I Love Money, among many others.