BJ Olin

BJ Olin has been managing bands since 1999 in college before he knew that was what he was doing, sparking his passion for working with musicians. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing and Public Relations. He then spent several years working in concert promotions and booking, taking a break in 2003 buying a small restaurant in Lubbock, TX called “Cilantro’s Burrito Grill” and within 9 months turned the restaurant into a small chain, seeing a significant rise in sales.

In February 2005 BJ returned to the music world by tour managing for Matt Wertz, the Fray, and Paramore. At this point he started managing Jon McLaughlin, getting him signed to Island/Def Jam Records in June 2005. Shortly after he began managing Barcelona as well, who were then signed to Universal Motown in December 2008 until 2009.Working primarily out of Los Angeles, BJ also taught courses on Artist Management at UCLA between 2008-2009.

His current roster of artists includes up and coming soul sensation Allen Stone, Jinx, Jackie Tohn (American Idol Season 8 finalist/Bravo’s Platinum Hit), and Australian Nikki Kummerow.

Other Panelists
Meli Darby is the founder of Obese Productions / - the leading northwest urban event promotion company for over a decade. Also former Talent Buyer for Nectar Lounge (2009-2011). She is currently the Talent Buyer for The Crocodile.

Chris Porter has been a music industry professional for over 25 years. After booking various nightclubs in Boston in the 1990's, he continued his career in Seattle as the music talent buyer for One Reel, the producers of the long running Bumbershoot Festival as well as other events and concerts. He currently oversees all talent booking and artist relations as Programming Director for One Reel.

Austin Santiago is the founder of BuildStrong Productions which has developed from a clothing company into an artist management company, record label and promotion engine for Northwest musicians and artists. He is currently a talent buyer alongside Craig Jewell at the Wild Buffalo House of Music.

Hunter Motto: Hunter Motto currently holds it down as one of the talent buyers for The Crocodile in Seattle and The Shakedown in Bellingham. He is also the co-owner of Conquest Presents--a concert promotion company that books shows at Wild Buffalo, The Green Frog, and other Bellingham venues. In the recent past, he has worked for the Historic Mount Baker Theatre, The Nightlight, and volunteered as a board member for WhAAM, an all ages music nonprofit. He got his start booking shows WWU and served as the ASP Pop Music Coordinator for three years. In those days, he lived, breathed, and lost sleep over campus concerts. He does the same thing now, but without the 8am classes the next day.


Ian Imhof currently works for Seattle based Onto Entertainment doing A&R, Product Management and Day to Day Management for The Lumineers & Hey Marseilles. He also owns Northern Alliance Management and manages Idiot Pilot, The Mission Orange, and Pan Pan. In the past he has worked for The Crocodile, El Corazon & Nectar in Seattle, was as a project manager for Clickpop Records and Co-Owned and Managed former Bellingham label Murder Mountain Records.

Nikko Van Wyke "I grew up in the middle of no where where I could play my guitar as loudly and frequently as I wanted, some might call this a start. Participating in the Sound Off! program down in Seattle a couple years ago was definitely one of the more memorable moments that I've shared with my band mates. It also opened up a world of opportunities for us as musicians. My favorite live performing artist is definitely Portugal. The Man; they have a way of captivating all of my senses and making the concert experience much more than just music."

Jonah Stinson is the talent buyer and co-producer of The Roost Venue, the 'greenest' music project in the U.S. He has been active in the Northwest music scene for the last 10 years.

Craig Jewell is Part Owner and Talent Buyer of the Wild Buffalo House of Music in downtown Bellingham which brings a variety of musical styles to the stage and works closely with local musicians; he is largely responsible for the Wild Buffalo’s success as one of the area’s premier 21+ venues. Craig was just recently named lead talent buyer for the Summer Meltdown Festival—the largest independent camping and music festival in the Pacific Northwest.

Jordan Rain a.k.a. Yogoman, has played and booked all-ages, club and festival shows locally and nationally for punk, hardcore, noise, indie rock bands and currently for his Bellingham soul/ska/punk/brass dance group Yogoman Burning Band (YBB). Rain has hands on experience in nearly every step of the music industry such as performing, recording, producing records/merchandise, booking, management, publicity, promotion and academically through his Music Performance and Production degree through Fairhaven College at WWU. Yogoman makes a living from music and being a local DJ for the past 13 years, with the aspiration to bring YBB's vibrant and interactive live show to audiences internationally, while remaining a resident of Bellingham, WA.

Jennifer Petersen is Vice President of Artist and Business development for Sportn’ Life Records. She is also the co-founder of Café Society, a monthly event at rotating venues that showcases female artists in the Seattle music community.

Sarah and Preston Hall have been working with the Summer Meltdown Festival for over six years.Sarah Hall is the Festival Director and Logistic Coordinator. Preston Hall is the Media and Art Director. The Summer Meltdown is hosted by Terra Roots, a 501©3 non-profit organization “cultivating social connections and a sustainable future by supporting northwest arts”, in collaboration with Seattle band True Spokes. The festival runs from August 10-12th in the Cascade foothills of Darrington, Washington at the Whitehorse Mountain Amphitheater.

Kris Orlowski Born and raised in Bellingham and a WWU alumni, Kris Orlowski went to the big city to pursue love and rediscovered my passion for music. Touring up and down the west coast and overseas solo or with a backing band, he played 100s of shows. 2011 was a great year in the Northwest with debut performances at Bumbershoot, City Arts and a string of sold out shows with two new EPs released. Kris manages the day-to-day and overall career of both himself and his band.

Amalia Martino Since 2005, Ms. Martino has used her creative energy, corporate work ethic, optimal public relations practices, and experiences to build BlueShoes Media into a well-respected PR firm, dedicated to generating opportunities for its clients. She received her International Relations degree from the University of Washington. Ms. Martino has helped music clients achieve a Billboard Top Ten placement and over 200,000 single sales, gained exposure for those touring with major artists and on the music festival circuit.

Andy Harms While getting his business degree at the University of Washington Andy Harms started working on 1077 The End's street team. Less than a year later, he was working weekends/overnights on the air and soon after that took a position in the programming department. He's been there ever since. He is currently the station's Assistant Program Director and hosts the mid-day show (M-F, 10a-2p), the "What's Next" new music show and The End Unplugged. He has 2-3 legged cats and tries to avoid dub-step.

Chris Burlingame got started in the music industry about ten years ago. As a writer, he started with ROCKRGRL and after that publication ended, he began with SXSW. After attending SXSW, he realized his true passion as a music writer. His most memorable moment was interviewing Janet Weiss and “she was also the drummer of Sleater-Kinney, my very, very favorite band, meant I spent most of that morning hallucinating.” His favorite shows to attend include The White Stripes in 2002 and Portishead last year at the WaMu Theater. Chris is excited to hear the new album from Sleigh Bells
Devin Floyd originally hails from Puyallup, WA, a cultural backwater not usually associated with the music world. Schooled by his old man on classic rock, Devin always had a keen interest in a wide variety of musical forms that quickly outgrew his humble roots. After spending time studying at the University of Washington, Devin chose to follow his heart and pursue a career in the business side of the music industry, securing an internship at Chop Suey in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Recognizing his enthusiasm and knowledge of the local music scene, Chop recently made Devin their chief talent buyer.
Matt Vaughn got started in the music industry at ten years old when he alphabetized a record collection of 12,000. Following that experience, he worked for various record stores. In 1987, Easy Street was born as Matt took ownership at the age of 19. After two years, in 1989, Matt moved it down the street to where it is today in West Seattle. In 2002, he opened another store near downtown Seattle. His most memorable moment was hosting the Coalition of Independent Music Stores Conference in 2005 which featured a secret Pearl Jam show. His favorite show was Iggy Pop at the Starry Night club in 1987.

Nick Gorfkle is the owner of Mossy Bottom Records and is a veteran employee of record stores in Seattle like Golden Oldies and Neptune. His attitude about selling vinyl is stated as, "I really wanted to have [a store] where it was really revolving around quality music," he said, "and not just treating records like units to make money." The shop’s manifesto is "This is all about the love of music and the need for it in our community." Nick opened a record store from a deep love of vinyl and a desire to spread music of all genres from around the world to people.

Nikki Benson is the founder and editor in chief of SSG Music. She began in the industry when a friend created a post-rock zeen. Inspired, she thought, "They don't have any post-rock concert reviews. I could review shows that come through Seattle and include video compliments." Consequently, SSG Music was created in 2008. A memorable moment was her first ever interview with Gary Jules. Nikki’s favorite shows include Godspeed You! Black Emperor in a cathedral in NYC and tUnE-yArDs at Sasquatch! 2009. For 2012, Nikki is excited about the musician Zebra Kants, the newest member of the Mad Decent collective.

Austen Holmann is the Associate Manager at Departure Artist Management where she helps artists to find an audience. Her clients include Brite Futures, Craft Spells, My Goodness, and Beat Connection.

Jason Tate is the founder of AbsolutePunk, an alternative music website that focuses on industry news, album reviews, interviews, articles, journals and encourages an overall community space. AbsolutePunk is a member of Buzzmedia. The site was founded in 2000 and allows user interaction with a vBulletin Internet Forum system, which features various sections and categories that are meant to encourage users to connect with one another. AbsolutePunk’s overall reach includes over 500,000 music fans across the internet sphere.

Travis Hay is the founder of Guerilla Candy, an award-winning Seattle music blog that was established in 2009. He is the founder and former editor of the music site Ear Candy, which was a Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog. It features news, interviews, album and concert reviews and more. As a journalist, his work has been published in many organizations including the Seattle Weekly, Seattle P-I, Sound Magazine and A graduate of the University of Washington, Travis has been involved in the music and entertainment industry as a writer since 2002.

Tristan Carosino is the talent buyer of The Vera Project and is also the talent buyer for the Capitol Hill Block Party Vera Stage. Tristan books about 80 national shows per year and includes an art gallery, silkscreen studio and a recording studio. The Vera is Seattle’s premier all-ages venue. Tristan states, ““In the past three or four years, the sort of acts that we book have really grown. Last year we had Iron & Wine play up here; this year we had Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, and next year we’ve got a number of really big things, including Blake Schwarzenbach and Starfucker.”

DeVon Manier is the President, Co-founder, and Senior Consultant of Sportn’ Life Records. He currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Vera Project and Music Commissioner for the Seattle Music Commission. Manier has also previously served on the advisory board for Bumbershoot.
Katie Brogan is the talent buyer at the Showbox. The Showbos is a part of AEG, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) is one of the leading sports and entertainment companies in the United States. Her work as talent buyer involves working with both The Showbox SoDo and The Showbox At The Market. The Market venue was founded in 1939 while the SoDo was established in 2007.

Scribes is a Hip Hop and R&B artist from Seattle, WA. Though independently established, he has built a large following and gained the respect of listeners for his abilities as an unparalleled vocal talent (rapper/singer/lyricist) and also for being one of the hardest working talents in the region. He has collaborated/worked with artists such as Stone Gossard & Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Macklemore, SOL and Zion I.