Network 9 - Music, Art, and Design

Thursday, January 24, 2013, 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Colt Hall Forum

What is Network 9?  Watch this 1 minute video and find out.

Interact with nine or more professionals from your field of interest.  Learn more about what they do, where they work, and how they got started - all at an event that's small enough to promote real conversations.

Register here today!

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Colt Hall Forum

5:00 p.m. Check-In and Pre-Networking
5:30 p.m. Panel Presentation
6:30 p.m. Networking Reception


Network with professionals from the following companies:

Leonard J. Thompson III, M.A.N.D.A.T.E. Records, Inc.
President & CEO

 Leonard J. Thompson III holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, a Master’s Degree in Education, and an Ordination as an Elder in the Church of God In Christ.  Mr. Thompson is a successful businessman, educator and preacher.  He has been in the music ministry for over 25 years, first as a musician and later as a promoter and manager.  Mr. Thompson’s love for music was birthed while growing up in the church.  His passion for music with lyrics that had a positive and life-changing message fueled his vision to think outside the box of the music industry’s norm for Christian artists and their unique style of music.

In 1995, Mr. Thompson took a step of faith in founding M.A.N.D.A.T.E. Records, a Christian-owned and operated recording company. Since that time, M.A.N.D.A.T.E. Records Inc. has grown from a small home-based business to one of southern California’s premiere record labels.
While under his direction, M.A.N.D.A.T.E. Records is recognized for successfully producing, managing and promoting The San Diego Praise Fest, San Diego County Fair Gospel Fest, Street Scene Gospel Slamm, The Fishhook, The G.R.I.D.I.R.O.N. Tour, The Genesis Tour, The Sisters For Souls Tour, Rock the Block Tour and many other concert style events that were designed to mobilize to neighboring communities, cities and states. The record label is also instrumental in bringing 24-hour gospel radio programming to the city of San Diego.

Chris Chase, Chase Design

Chris Chase graduated from San Diego State University-California State University in 2003.  Mr. Chase founded Chase Design in 2000.  The firm specializes in graphic design services for business throughout the United States.  Mr. Chase is the creative director and principal of the company with over 15 years of graphic design and industrial experience.
Since its founding in 2000, Chase Design has built an impressive reputation for producing effective design in the market place. This includes an award winning magazine for Palomar Pomerado Health called The HealthSource and The BabySource.

Lauren Widney, San Diego Youth Symphony
Education and Community Program Manager

Lauren Widney graduated from the University of California Riverside with a Bachelor’s in English in 2003.  Ms. Widney received her Teaching Credential from San Diego State University-California State University in 2006, and graduated from San Diego State University-California State University with a Master’s in Music, Ethnomusicology in 2010.
Ms. Widney is the Music Director of the Girl Scout Glee Chorus of the Girl Scouts San Diego-Imperial Council and the Education and Community Program Manager of the San Diego Youth Symphony.

Activities and Societies include:  Member of Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society at San Diego State University-California State University, Member of Chamber Choir, Member of Gluck Fellows, and member of Delta Gamma Fraternity at University of California Riverside.

Rebecca Smith, City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture

A Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology combined with a graduate degree in counseling are elements that prepared Rebecca Smith to take on the office of Vice President for the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Along with her educational background, Ms. Smith’s work engaging employers on the behalf of high school students gave her the opportunity to “learn, hone and teach effective communication skills.” Holding a certificate from the National Board of Certified Counselors, she has been a career coach at Qualcomm, and has been involved in other jobs oriented around helping people build careers. Ms. Smith affirms that “every professional is a communications professional,” regardless of the specifics of one’s position. She finds that truthful mentors have been an integral part of supporting her career journey. Her current job responsibilities include organizational leadership, board relations, media outreach, community engagement, and communications strategy. When not occupied with her job, Ms. Smith is involved with the Board of Directors for United Way of San Diego, Nonprofit Management Solutions, and Downtown Charter High. Ms. Smith even finds time to study flamenco dance! Rebecca is the new Commissioner for the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

Erin Roberts-Hall, Prodigy School of Arts
Owner/Creative Director

Erin Roberts-Hall completed a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Minnesota, with concentrations in theory and vocal performance.  Ms. Roberts-Hall’s teaching career began in 2002 at Coon Rapids High School and Saint John’s University, with her roles as Vice President of the Concert Choir, Director of the Freshman Choral Ensemble, Musical Assistant to the Saint John’s Boys Choir, class theory instructor, and private voice and recorder instructor.  Ms. Roberts-Hall’s performing career has been diverse, including classical piano and voice competitions, opera roles at Saint John’s University, musical theatre roles at the University of Minnesota, and jazz lounge performances at such venues as Rick’s Cabaret, Rarig Center, and the Kitty Kat Club.  She is the founder and creative director of Prodigy School of Arts.  She is a member of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers and the Music Teachers National Association.

Honors and Awards include: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Grant used for theatre department historical research purposes, 2005-2006; and Business and Promotions Scholarship Award, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, Spring 2006.

Micah Whitley, The Rock Church
Music Director

Micah was born into a godly, loving, and musical family. Since music was a way of life for him, he began singing with the family’s vocal group (The Whitleys) when he was only five years old. After developing as a vocalist, he decided to try his hand at musical instruments; this experiment definitely paid off. After many prayers, private lessons, college courses and countless hours of practice, Micah emerged as a highly regarded multi-instrumentalist. Being gifted as a songwriter, arranger and producer, Micah has had the pleasure of working with various national and international recording artists: Brandy, Jamie Foxx, TQ, Tonex, Richard Smallwood, and Daryl Coely to name a few. In addition to working with recording artists, Micah also works as a composer for video game developers and the multi-media giant Paramount Pictures.

Over the past few years, Micah has emerged on the Jazz scene as a keyboardist and band leader. He is currently recording a series of Jazz/Soul projects entitled “Micah Whitley Presents.” These projects will feature Micah’s original music/arrangements as well as an array of extremely talented colleagues.

Micah is indeed thankful for the aforementioned accomplishments in the music industry. However, he is most thankful for being called by God into the music ministry. Micah is The Music Director at The Rock Church (San Diego) and believes that playing for The Lord is the biggest honor and privilege any musician can have. Micah is passionate about worshiping God, leading others in worship, and equipping as many worshipers as God places under his tutelage.

Along with his lovely wife of 12 years (Desdemona), Micah enjoys raising his four children in the same type of environment he was raised in: godly, loving and musical. Micah thoroughly enjoys spending time with his family, physical fitness and financing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tomoko Kuta, The New Children’s Museum
Director of Education and Exhibitions 

 Tomoko Kuta holds a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University.  Most recently serving as Director of Education for the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, Ms. Kuta successfully built a diverse portfolio of arts education programs centered on the visual and performing arts. Prior to that, she served as Curator of Education at the Museum of Photographic Arts where she pioneered a wide range of education programs for students, teachers, and the general public, including multi-session school outreach programs and curriculum guides. Additionally, she developed a certificate program in photography for the University of California, San Diego Extension, and has curated numerous exhibitions.  Ms. Kuta is the Director, Education and Exhibitions at The New Children’s Museum bringing with her over fifteen years of experience in the local non-profit arts community.  Ms. Kuta leads the growth of the museum’s education, curatorial, and visitor experience departments.

Ron Miriello, Miriello Grafico
Director and Brand Strategist

Ron Miriello has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from Colorado State University.  Miriello Grafico was founded 30 years ago. Today Miriello Grafico is focused on providing the thinking and brand strategy that helps under-performing brands realize their fuller potential.   Mr. Miriello directs brand strategy and the translation of strategy into coordinated design and marketing communications.  He is a member of various organizations including: San Diego Italian Film Festival, Design Innovation Institute, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and ATHENA.  Mr. Miriello  is an AIGA National Fellow and the recipient of the 2012 lifetime achievement award in recognition of his professional creative achievements and community contributions over his career. He is also an accomplished sculptor.

Miriello Grafico specialties include: Brand strategic planning and consultation, and the application of those strategies into marketing communications that effect positive change.

 Dawn Redo, Young Audiences of San Diego Arts for Learning
Development Manager

Dawn Redo graduated from Western Washington University.  She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Voices for Children and the Development Manager for Young Audiences of San Diego.  The vision of Young Audiences of San Diego is to create arts to inspire, motivate, and challenge children to achieve their full potential.  She provides professional development for teachers and artists.  Ms. Redo advocates for more arts education in schools.

Tara Graviss, Young Audiences of San Diego Arts for Learning
Board Member

Tara Graviss graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.  Ms. Graviss is a professional with outstanding international experience to lead and contribute to the development and growth of a company’s organizational performance.  She has a proven background at assessing needs, planning for the future, and providing critical and on-going input towards organizational goals. Ms. Graviss is a growth leader and strong motivator with outstanding analytical and evaluation skills.  She is able to employ “high performance teams” as a strategic tool to establish and maintain customer/client relationships.

Ms. Graviss has worked as the Regional Director of Resort Operations for ResortCom International and La Tour Hotels and Resort and Tapestry Resorts.  She is currently the Community Association Manager for Walters Management and a Member Trustee for Young Audiences of San Diego.  She is a Member of the Marketing Committee, Co-Chair of the Summer Sol Annual Fundraiser & Chair for the Sponsorship Sub-Committee. Ms. Graviss received the 2011 Volunteer of the Year award.