Senior Vice President, Global Strategy and Innovation
Panos A. Panay '94 is the founding managing director of Berklee's Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) as well as a passionate entrepreneur and active startup mentor in the creative media space. As founder of Sonicbids, Panay succesfully created a platform for musicians to promote themselves more effectively.
He is also cofounder of the Open Music Initiative, which aims to streamline rights management data ensuring proper compensation for rights owners and creators. In recognition of his ability to bring innovation to Berklee and promote the creative entrepreneurs mindset in students, Panay was recently promoted to vice president of Innovation and Strategy at Berklee.
Nicole d’Avis is the managing director of Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship and leads the Open Music Initiative, a 300+ music industry member consortium focused on streamlining metadata and payment tracking for artists. She designed Berklee College of Music’s minor in creative entrepreneurship, including teaching a course on Music + Blockchain, and directs its annual Silicon Valley Student Trip, the Berklee-Brown Summer Program, executive ed programs with ESADE Business School, and numerous Berklee artist residencies for Grammy Award–winning artists. She has led the formation of the Open Music Initiative into a member-supported, nonprofit organization and has stewarded the first stage of Open Music’s Berklee/Massachusetts Institute of Technology technical project. Her speaking engagements include the Beatvyne Music x Tech Conference in Dublin, Ace Hotel Artists Workshop in London, the Unclaimed Royalties Symposium at the U.S. Library of Congress, and the MIT Connection Science/Forbes Imagination in Action event at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos. For the last 15 years, her work has straddled the intersection of technology, creativity, value, and education, working with thousands of young creators and makers globally to use emerging technology and the arts as tools for social justice and sustainable careers.
Assistant Chair, Music Business/Management
Tonya Butler is the assistant chair of the Music Business/Management Department at Berklee, the first woman to hold a leadership position in that department. A seasoned veteran of the music business, Butler has more than 14 years of experience as an entertainment attorney and record label executive working for various major and independent record companies, music publishers, and film studios, including Rhino Records, Pioneer Entertainment, and MGM Music.
A native of Los Angeles, Butler is an award-winning motivational speaker, Toastmaster, and author of the self-published career guide, The Music Business Is Corrupt, or Maybe You Just Can’t Sing? She is a strong advocate for artists' rights and entrepreneurship education, having served two terms on the Recording Academy’s board of governors and three terms on the executive board of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association.
Her 15 years of undergraduate- and graduate-level teaching experience includes the Los Angeles Film School, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), the University of Memphis, and the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. She has a juris doctorate from California Western School of Law and a Master of Laws in entertainment and media from Southwestern University School of Law/Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, England.
In his role as partner and executive design director at the global design and innovation consultancy IDEO, Michael Hendrix has worked on everything from home goods to homeland security. A natural trailblazer and collaborator, he has founded several design programs and businesses. Most recently he cofounded the Open Music Initiative with the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) to simplify how music rights owners are identified and compensated.
Throughout his career as an award-winning graphic designer, he’s also nurtured his passion for music, producing records and recording as dream pop artist R.M.Hendrix. He now is able to bring his love for music and design together as a co-instructor with BerkleeICE's Startup Lab and Creative Entrepreneur's Mindset courses.
George Howard is an associate professor of music business/management at Berklee College of Music and Brown University, and the founder of GHS, a strategic consulting firm that advises a wide range of clients on how to integrate technology with strategy in order to increase brand awareness and revenue through innovation, social media, digital platforms, and strategic partnerships. A partial list of clients includes Intel, National Public Radio, CVS Pharmacy, and Alticor/Amway.
Additionally, Howard is the cofounder of Music Audience Exchange, which uses technology to redefine the fundamental structure of brand/artist relationships. He is the former president of Rykodisc, the world’s largest independent record label, and cofounder of TuneCore, the world’s largest independent digital music distributor. Howard is a columnist for Forbes, and a frequent contributor to the New York Times and numerous other publications.
Aithan Shapira speaks at global venues and advises senior executives and boards of Fortune 500 tech, financial, aviation, healthcare, and energy companies on creative leadership strategies in uncertain times and how to "lead by seeing and listening differently." His research on how the arts can transform organizations and leadership has guided initiatives, entertainment experiences, curricula, products, and corporate cultures.
Called a “one-woman dynamo” by the Boston Globe and named Boston’s Best Creative Catalyst in 2018 by the Improper Bostonian, Maria Finkelmeier is a percussionist, composer, educator, and arts entrepreneur. She is cofounder of MASARY Studios, an artist collective responsible for turning Fenway Park's Green Monster into an instrument and projection canvas, and Kadence Arts, a nonprofit creating an ecosystem of art-making and learning through innovative music programming and presenting.
Young Min Lee
Young Min Lee is a sixth-semester student majoring in music business/management. She is co-president of the K-Pop Initiative and an executive member of the Berklee Korean Culture and Student Association. Her goal is to innovate new and diverse ways for artists to connect with their fans.