(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — WEA Corp., Warner Music Group's U.S. sales and retail marketing company, has named Jeff Willett vice president, Christian & Country Music. Based in Nashville, Willett will report to Rick Froio, senior vice president of Sales for WEA Corp., and will oversee all of WEA's efforts in the Christian and country music genres.
"We are fortunate to have Jeff on our team," said Froio, "He brings with him not only a strong understanding of marketing and selling Christian and country music but also experience in implementing innovative programs and promotions at retail and beyond."
Willett returns to the music industry after a six-year hiatus. Prior to joining WEA Corp., Willett served as executive vice president of Faith & Values Entertainment, a multi-media music and video e-commerce organization. During his absence from the music industry, he enjoyed a successful career in the mortgage industry where he served more than four years as an Account executive for AIG United Guaranty and two years as a retail mortgage lender with Pioneer Mortgage and Countrywide Home Loans.
From 1996-1998, Willett worked at Questar, Inc. where he held the positions of vice president and general manager at Questar/Mission Records — a Christian record label distributed by WEA. In this capacity, he was responsible for the label's worldwide management and operations as well as the fiscal management and operations of Questar Video into the Christian marketplace.
Willett began his career in the music industry in 1989 when he joined Sparrow Distribution, now EMI CMG Distribution, as regional sales representative in Dallas, TX. After three years in this role, Willett became director, sales & marketing — national accounts with Star Song Distribution. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the growth of Christian music in the mainstream market while the company enjoyed unprecedented growth. After the merger of Sparrow and Star Song's distribution companies in 1995, Willett oversaw the daily sales and retail promotions of Star Song Records and its three subsidiary labels in both the Christian and general marketplaces. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen