THE BANDMATES

Music Forward is an eclectic group of passionate professionals, with a diverse array of skills, talents, and interests. Each of us works to harness the power of music in creative ways that energize, inspire, and motivate young people and help them create pathways to productive, sustainable, and fulfilling lives.

Marjorie Gilberg
Executive Director

I’m a dedicated changemaker and passionate activist. I don’t believe in the old adage, “Teach a man to fish…” because knowing how to fish is only useful if there are lakes nearby. So my drive is to make sure everybody has equal access to the lakes. When I’m not busy trying to save the world I love to dance until my feet hurt, cook creative dishes, rock out at concerts, and play outdoors.

Laura S. Clark
Director of Programs

Laura is an experienced nonprofit professional with an extensive background in providing outcomes driven youth service programming. She began her career in Western New York where she developed and delivered educational access programs for at risk youth. Laura has presented best practices workshops at national youth at risk conferences and continues to lead dynamic teams in the delivery of engaging programs. She is an advocate for arts access and serves locally to recommend public art projects in the Las Vegas Valley.

Elisa Morimoto
Director of Operations

I love bringing people together, big ideas and implementing a bit of process, sprinkled with a sense of urgency. When traveling, I split my time 45/55 between the city and the country, conversations with strangers and quiet moments. My daughter and partner bring me so much joy, turning the mundane into funny episodes and little adventures.

Christibelle Villena
Director of Development

I’m a utility player committed to collaboration and making things happen to build up the nonprofit sector, impact communities and cultivate change – all with friendly energy and a smile. Event-planning and designing systems bring me joy. Born and raised in San Diego, I moved to LA in 2001, mainly for the food but also for a nonprofit arts fellowship and easy access to diverse culture and music. While at play, I enjoy the outdoors, dancing, sports, yoga and adventuring with my two young boys. I’m very excited to bring more than 14 years of experience in philanthropy and fundraising to move Music Forward!

Nazanin Fatemian
National Program Manager

Naz is a nonprofit professional with a passion for program development and implementation. Her background is rooted in education and her work is driven by a spirited momentum in positive youth development. Naz is a Texas native managing Music Forward programs from her hometown of Dallas.

Hayley Bowyer
Development Project Manager

I am a native Angeleno and recent UCLA alumnus. I previously interned here at House of Blues Music Forward and am very excited to be joining the team in this new role.  Music has played a huge role in my life. As a singer and performer, I learned the value of hard work, dedication, and creativity. These values overflowed into many aspects of my life, from relationships to the workplace. Music acted as a vehicle that taught me many of life’s lessons and made me the person I am today. I hope that through my time at Music Forward that I can bring young people together to experience music in a way that helps them build confidence and learn valuable life skills that will propel them towards success in any career.

Karen Duve
Marketing Project Manager

I’m enthusiastic about all things arts related from graphic design to music. Having worked in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors, I like to bring the best of both worlds together by combining what I know to improve or solve any challenges that come my way. I am currently enjoying everything that California has to offer with my new dog.

Ali I. Fadlallah
Program Advisor

Hailing from the Arab-American Mecca of Dearborn, MI, Ali is a talented musician, audio engineer, producer, teacher and writer. Ali’s vision is to merge Middle Eastern & Western music by bringing catchy, “hip-pop” lyrics and tunes from the West to his beautiful 11-string Oud of the East, and using his platform to advance civil and human rights in America and abroad.  Based out of Music Forward’s Hollywood HQ, Ali is a Harvard Doctoral Resident who is leading the charge on creating pathways for our youth into successful careers within entertainment; in short, translating our young people’s passions into paychecks and professions! Prior to joining the MFF team, Ali was the CEO of Era of the Engineer where he helped promote “cultural engineering” across music, technology, and education, as well as manage the international platform of legendary DJ and mix-engineer Gimel “Young Guru” Keaton.

Robin Martin
Program Coordinator - New Orleans

I’m a New Orleans native, born into a family of musicians. Music has been and always will be my source of peace.
Other than that, I’m a rabid Saints fan (WHO DAT!), Michael Jackson fanatic, seafood addict, total bandhead, and world changer.

Shenee King
Program Coordinator - Cleveland

Shenee is an African dancer who is passionate about professional development for young artists.  Being a lifelong Cleveland, Ohio resident, she has worked as a teaching artist for over 15 years all over Northeast Ohio.  Shenee has choreographed productions for The Ohio Theater, Cleveland Public Theater and many colleges and school districts.  This wife and mother of 5, is an Old School Hip Hop head but, music from any genre that makes the body move from country to New Age is cool too.

Andi Kenzer
Program Coordinator - Las Vegas

A research geek with a passion for enhancing developmental outcomes for our youth, Andi has been working in youth programming for over a decade. She is a Midwesterner at heart and received her M.S. in Human and Community Development from the University of Illinois in 2014. In her spare time she enjoys travelling the world and seeing live music – preferably at the same time.

Curtis Peterson
Program Coordinator - Orlando

Curtis has devoted his life to music and education.  Growing up in Miami, FL, Curtis started playing in music bands as a teenager and later taught music at various youth programs for the arts. Since then, his passion for all things music has earned him degrees in Music Business and Entertainment Business. With the strong belief that music changes lives, Curtis strives to help the youth of Central Florida follow their dreams of becoming future music industry professionals.

Inspire
DeMarco White
Program Coordinator - Los Angeles

I am DeMarco; a Chicago native. I join the organization with the hopes to bring my four years of experience in non-profit program development and implementation. I am an adventurous type of person who loves to explore. I have only been in Los Angeles for two years and since then my life has been a cross between “Broad City” and “The Real World”. Put simply, I am a dream chaser with an inhaler and I am more than ecstatic to create opportunities for our youth and communities as the Los Angeles Program Coordinator.  I live my life by these words “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday”.

Raymond Auzenne
Program Coordinator - Houston

I’m a Houston based record label executive and performer who started writing music at 9 years old. I recorded and sold records independently from middle school through high school before enrolling in an audio engineering program at Houston Community College. While attending school I got involved in performing for my churches youth group. My passion for mentoring with music grew when I saw the positive impact it had on the kids and their families. My mission is to inspire the youth to work hard, stay focused, and be realistic about turning their dreams into a profession.

Genesis McCoo
Program Assistant - Dallas

I am currently a Foundation Room Sales Manager AND a Program Assistant for the Music Forward Foundation AND I couldn’t be more proud of what I do.

Energize
Motivate
Luis Ortega
Operations Intern

I’m a senior at Cal Poly Pomona majoring in marketing. I Just moved to Los Angeles from Ventura County and I’m loving everything but the traffic. On my spare time I enjoy hiking, camping, and going to concerts. You’ll always see me with earbuds jamming out because music gets me going.

Haley Kornychuk
UForward Facilitator - Las Vegas

Haley is a senior studying Business Management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Upon graduation, she will be departing for her service in the Peace Corps.  On her spare time, she enjoys attending concerts, taking daytrips, and volunteering.  With her desire to continuously learn and passion for motivating others, Haley plans to join a career in Human Resource Management or Compensation Management.

Lara Lafferty
UForward Facilitator - Los Angeles

Lara is a Theatre Arts Performance major in her last semester at California State University, Long Beach, and is thrilled to be a part of the Music Forward team. Lara is a director, actor, and instructor of music and theatre and is very thankful to be able to apply her experience and passion for music to the UForward program. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, songwriting, spending time with her pets, and working on theatrical productions. She believes that doing what you want to do is the best way to live, and that music and positivity are the two keys to happiness.

Darneil White
UForward Facilitator - Dallas

Darneil is a Senior at the University of North Texas at Dallas majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in General Business. After 10 years in choir and band, his love for music broke through the seams and brought about a renewed appreciation and determination to excel in the music industry. He fills his spare time enjoying life with friends, writing songs, playing guitar, and embracing live music in any form. Once completing his degree, he plans to pursue a career in Criminal Justice while participating as a touring musician or applying general business in marketing at a record label.

Alexander T. Frazier
UForward Facilitator - Cleveland

Alexander T. Frazier is a music student at Cleveland State University where his primary instrument is voice. He aspires to combine his extensive skills in performance and arts administration to uplift youth within his community. Alex is joyous to take on the role as program facilitator for the HOB UForward Program in Cleveland.

Greg Dunn
Programs Intern

The first instrument Greg played was his parents’ kitchenware, but he has since moved on to pick up cello, bass, guitar, and most recently, piano. He has found community in music – whether a scrappy garage band or a complete orchestra, and he wants to help other musicians create these community bonds. In his free time, he enjoys landscape photography, cooking in his cast iron skillet, and skippering sailboats of any size. Greg is a senior at Emerson College, where he studies Marketing Communication.

Christina Martin
Bringing Down the House Production Assistant

I am a third year student at UCLA studying Communications and Public Affairs. I was born and raised in Plano, Texas, so I am enjoying the gradual transition from “tourist” to “Californian”. My passion for music started when I joined band in 6th grade. Today, I play the mellophone in the UCLA Bruin Marching Band, and I am an avid concert-goer in the LA area. Simply put, I like being a part of things that bring people together and make people happy. I have strong interests in the arts and nonprofit world, and I am excited to work for an organization that supports and gives back to the music community.

Kayla Perez
Development & Communications Intern

I am a third year undergraduate student at UCLA studying Sociology and Communications. I have always had a passion for non-profit organizations, for I believe they foster an environment of creativity that simultaneously gives back to our community. I am excited to be combining both my passion for music and non-profits as a Development and Communications intern. I look forward to learning more about the behind of the scenes of this industry and being a part of making musical dreams come true. When I am not studying or working, you can find me at concerts with my friends, attempting to cook Tasty video recipes, or probably drinking too much caffeine at overly expensive coffee shops.

John Romero
Operations Intern

I am an aspiring Operations Manager at California State University, Northridge. I grew up listening to musicians such as The Doors. I believe music brings out creativity in people and helps people come together making the world a more interesting place. On my leisure time I love to sit down in my studio at home and make beats for hours. It is a great honor to work with Music Forward helping young musicians achieve their dreams and aspirations.

Caroline Kamerschen, Development Intern

I am a fourth year student at the University of Southern California studying Public Relations at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA until moving to Los Angeles in 2013. My love for music was born the first time I heard the complex rhyme patterns and clever word play of Nas’s Illmatic.  I have been hooked ever since, resulting in my self-proclaimed title of part-time hip hop aficionado.

When I’m not at work, you can find me spending time with my puppy or planning my next travel adventure. I spent my last summer working in Barcelona and backpacking to fifteen countries.

My travels have only deepened my passion for learning about and connecting with people of all backgrounds. I believe that music is the most powerful tool in helping connect others, and am excited to contribute to this growing community through my work at Music Forward.