Michigan Music Alliance is proud to announce that John Sinkevics, Chris Newburg, Nancy Phares, and Shane German have accepted positions on the board. They join the founding board members, Bill & Binnie Chrysler, Liz Pellegrom, and Sheridan Tongue. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome the dedication, passion, and experience that these qualified indivduals have curated over their careers.
John Sinkevics is a lifelong journalist who started the Local Spins website covering West Michigan's music scene in 2012. After serving as a lead music critic and entertainment writer for The Grand Rapids Press for 10 years, he now serves as editor and publisher of Local Spins, providing news updates on Grand Rapids-area musical happenings, band features, photo galleries, concert and album reviews, podcasts and guest columns, as well as hosting the weekly Local Spins on WYCE radio show at 11 a.m. Fridays on WYCE (88.1 FM) spotlighting local and regional music and interviews with Michigan artists. He holds an honors degree in journalism from the University of Michigan and is co-founder of The Honeytones, once described as “the deans of Grand Rapids’ pop-rock scene” and a band that stages an annual Feedback concert to benefit Access of West Michigan’s food pantries for the needy -- an event that's featured dozens of other West Michigan artists for the past two decades.
Detroit-based Nancy Schoenheide Phares is a lifelong music superfan whose toddler infatuation with the Beatles, and later all artists rooted in the 70’s west coast folk rock lexicon led to a career path which includes radio station management in both Michigan and California, and serving as Executive Director/Co-Producer of the Detroit Music Awards for nearly a decade. She also helped craft the communications strategy and signature music programs for the revived Michigan State Fair. Nancy currently mentors and provides strategic marketing and media support for a variety of Michigan artists, businesses and events. More about Nancy at www.RockSteady.Biz
Shane German moved to Grand Rapids in 2015 with over 20 years of professional music industry experience. He started as a volunteer programmer at WYCE in 2016, eventually moving into his full time role as WYCE Music Director in 2018. Between 1995 and 2004, Shane was a music buyer for Tower Records, Circuit City, and Plan 9 Music in Richmond, Va., working directly with label clients such as Warner Brothers, Sony Music, EMI, Universal Music, and numerous independent record labels. In 2004, he became Manager of Artist and Label Relations at SoundExchange, the only organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Office to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for recording artists and record labels from digital, satellite and streaming internet radio services. In 2012, Shane moved from Washington DC to New York City to be Head of U.S. Artist & Label Relations for the European digital distribution company Believe Digital. Shane is also a (retired) recording artist who has shared the stage with many artists such as Bright Eyes, Bob Mould, Ted Leo, Tegan and Sara, and Le Tigre to name a few. Over the years, Shane has been invited to speak and participate as an industry expert at many music conferences and was Guest Lecturer at Loyola University’s Music Business Program in New Orleans. Shane has been featured in American Songwriter, Billboard, Spin, and Washington Post publications. Shane also served as a Grammy voter and an elected official on the Board of Governors for the DC Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences from 2010-2012.
Chris Newberg is an attorney and partner at Rodenhouse Law Group. He helps individuals and businesses in civil litigation, business, cannabis, intellectual property, and entertainment matters. While much of his litigation experience comes from working on large-scale, complex lawsuits, there is no case too big or too small for Chris as he takes a great deal of pride in providing his services to individuals and businesses traditionally underserved by the legal community. Chris is one of Michigan’s few entertainment attorneys with actual, first-hand experience in the entertainment industry. Chris knows that to properly represent entertainers, you must not only know the law, but also the business. That’s where he starts to separate from the pack. For over the past decade, Chris has traveled the country as the lead guitarist for Gunnar & the Grizzly Boys, which has given him invaluable perspective and experience concerning the operations of all sides of the music industry. Whether it’s helping a new artist get started in business, working through complex intellectual property licensing issues, or negotiating publishing and record deals, Chris is more than qualified to help. Chris grew up in Rockford, Michigan, and is now raising a family with his wife on the west side of Grand Rapids. He is a graduate and devoted fan of Michigan State University. After attending MSU, he received his law degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. When he’s not working, Chris enjoys playing music, playing with his rambunctious little boys, traveling, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors.
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