LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — The Recording Academy announced the appointment of Valeisha Butterfield Jones and Panos A. Panay as Co-Presidents of the trade group, effective Aug. 16, 2021.
As Co-President, Butterfield Jones will continue to oversee the Recording Academy’s efforts to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as lead the organization’s people and culture, membership, awards, advocacy, and related initiatives.
Panay will serve as Co-President and Chief Revenue Officer and will focus on growing the Recording Academy’s business as well as developing new services for members and the industry at large.
“The successful evolution of the Recording Academy is dependent on strong and innovative leaders, and I’m thrilled to elevate Valeisha and welcome Panos as Co-Presidents to help drive the Recording Academy’s continued transformation,” Mason said. “Both Valeisha and Panos are incredible leaders who have a proven record of progress, and together with the rest of the team, will continue to push the envelope at the Recording Academy and shape the organization to better serve, protect and celebrate the music community.”
Before her promotion, Butterfield Jones served as the Academy’s Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer but her resume includes senior roles in a similar capacity at Google, where she developed programs such as TechExchange, Code Next, the State of Black Women at Google, Decoding Race, and the Digital Coaches program.
She also served as the national youth vote director for the Obama for America campaign, helping to deliver one of the highest youth voter turnouts in American history, and in the Obama Administration as the deputy director of public affairs for International Trade. She also served as the national executive director and senior vice president of Rush Communications / the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and as the national director of diversity and inclusion for the Alzheimer’s Association.
She began her career at premium television service HBO.
Panay brings years of experience in the tech and entertainment worlds to his new role and is the founder of the gig booking platform Sonicbids, leading the company for more than a decade before it was acquired by Backstage in 2013.
More recently, he served as senior vice president for global strategy and innovation at Berklee College of Music and is a fellow at MIT Connection Science.
As well, he is a noted public speaker and published author and his first book, Two Beats Ahead: What Musical Minds Teach Us About Innovation, co-authored with Michael Hendrix of IDEO, was released earlier this year.
Panay and Butterfield Jones will join the recently promoted Chief Operating Officer Branden Chapman and Chief Industry Officer Ruby Marchand as part of a reorganized leadership suite, reporting to Harvey Mason Jr., who will shift his title to Chief Executive Officer of the Academy.
The Recording Academy also announced its newly elected slate of national officers of the Board of Trustees. Tammy Hurt was elected as the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Rico Love will serve as Vice Chair. Om’Mas Keith was elected Secretary/Treasurer, and Christine Albert continues her role as Chair Emeritus.