London/Madrid, 14th February 2023
The Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), which represents the global independent music sector, has appointed its board of directors for 2023, with Zena White, chief operating officer of Partisan Records (New York, USA) as its new chair.
White will work closely with Noemí Planas, who has been newly promoted to CEO after previously serving as general manager, to deliver on the organization’s goal of growing and connecting the community worldwide.
Since joining Partisan Records in 2017, White’s team has achieved breakthrough global success with artists such as IDLES, Fontaines DC and Cigarettes After Sex. She received the Music Week International Woman of The Year award in 2019 and served on the A2IM board, latterly as chair, between 2019 and 2022.
Joining White on the board are three new directors with diverse professional backgrounds and skillsets:
Gee Davy (AIM, UK): With a background in technology, Davy joined AIM in 2017 and, as COO, has been instrumental in the development of its Digital Distribution Switch Code. Over the course of her career she has worked with Cooking Vinyl, Essential Music, and FatCat Records, among others.
Geert De Blaere (N.E.W.S, Belgium): De Blaere was appointed managing director of N.E.W.S. in 2006. He sits on the board of SIMIM (the collective management organisation), is a director of the Belgian Independent Music Association (BIMA), Treasurer at IMPALA.
Tony Kiewel (Sub Pop, USA): Kiewel is the president of Sub Pop Records/Hardly Art/Sub Pop Publishing. He joined Sub Pop 22 years ago, having previously worked for Geffen Records and Dreamworks Records. Kiewel has been a member of Seattle’s Music Commission, and sat on the A2IM board from 2018-2021.
Stepping up from his previous role as board observer is experienced entrepreneur, attorney and producer Jason Peterson (GoDigital Media Group, USA). Peterson is chair of GoDigital, Cinq Music and VidaPrimo, and has served as a director for both Merlin and A2IM.
Davy, De Blaere, Kiewel and Peterson replace outgoing directors Lisa Levy (Robbins Entertainment, USA), Michel Lambot ([PIAS], Belgium) and Paul Pacifico (AIM, UK).
Former chair Maria Amato (AIR, Australia) becomes the new treasurer. She will continue to sit with Mark Kitcatt (Everlasting Records, Spain), Richard Burgess (A2IM, USA), Oliver Knust (IMICHILE, Chile) and White on the executive committee, which oversees practical aspects of WIN’s governance.
Alongside the promotion of Noemí Planas to CEO, Nerea Serrano has been appointed as community and projects manager. Serrano joined WIN as communications officer in 2021, and has previous experience as a coordinator of the Spanish independent music awards, Premios MIN, as well as working in record labels and event production.
Said White: “I am excited to become the Chair of WIN’s next chapter in uniting the world’s independent record industry. In our times it is immaterial whether an artist’s fans reside in their home town or in the opposite hemisphere, as long as we nurture communities which will sustain their business in such a global landscape.”
Noemí Planas commented: “It is a privilege to have such an extraordinary group of professionals from all corners of the world on our board of directors. Together, we will work with our members and other industry bodies to promote best practices and advocate for transparency, fairness and a level playing field to ensure equal access and opportunity for all independents.”
Maria Amato added: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being the first female board chair of WIN and look forward to continuing to serve as its treasurer. We welcome our new chairperson Zena White, who will continue to elevate the awareness of WIN, globally.”
As the global coordination and support body for the independent music sector, WIN fosters a vibrant ecosystem of equal access and opportunity for all independents. Among its plans for 2023, a delegation will travel to Mexico in March to promote the creation of a new trade association in the country — a growing digital music market, which has recently seen its capital, Mexico City, dubbed the “World’s Music-Streaming Mecca” by Spotify.
This will build on WIN’s ongoing work supporting the Latin American independent music ecosystem, including the creation of Latin American music data analysis platform OLMI, and the first instalment of the new Southern Cone’s Independents Forum (FICS) last year.
Other planned activity for 2023 includes a new OLMI study on the Latin American digital value chain, as well as a face-to-face WINHUB event at A2IM Indie Week in June, and a meeting of the APAC Alliance, WIN’s working group for the Asia-Pacific region, in the second half of the year. These will help serve WIN’s priorities of opening the organisation to new partnerships and promoting digital revenue growth so that more value is returned to independent music companies.
Renewed annually, the WIN board is made up of independent music company and trade association representatives from thirteen countries across Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, and South America. Directors are appointed by WIN member associations in each geographical bloc (North America, Europe, and Rest of the World).
The 18 members of the WIN Board of Directors for 2023 are:
Francesca Trainini (PMI, Italy)
Gee Davy (AIM, UK)
Geert De Blaere (N.E.W.S., Belgium)
Jörg Heidemann (VUT, Germany)
Mark Kitcatt (Everlasting Records, Spain)
Observer: Helen Smith (IMPALA, Europe)
Garry West (Compass Records, USA)
Gord Dimitrieff (Aporia Records, Canada)
Jason Peterson (GoDigital Media Group, USA)
Richard Burgess (A2IM, USA)
Zena White (Partisan Records, USA)
Observer: Tony Kiewel (Sub Pop, USA)
Rest of World
Jeffrey Chiang (LIAK, South Korea)
Maria Amato (AIR, Australia)
Oliver Knust (IMICHILE, Chile)
Sandra Rodrigues (ABMI, Brazil)
Takuya Yamazaki (IMCJ, Japan)
Observer: Dylan Pellett (IMNZ, New Zealand)