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.

Laura S. Clark
Acting Executive Director + 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.

Inspire
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. I enjoy music and sporting events, community fairs, and cooking with my family.

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!

Motivate
Nazanin Fatemian
Director of National Marketing & Partnerships

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.

Bo Nicholson
National Development & Institutional Relations Manager

I am a deeply committed nonprofit “lifer.” I enthusiastically champion the sector’s growth, diversification, and sustainability so that people from all walks of life, who are in need of many different forms of support, can be served in the best and most holistic ways possible. Service to talented young people who are learning, growing, and discovering the world around them has been an especially treasured part of my career, and I am grateful to be able to continue this work through grants fundraising at Music Forward. I grew up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. When I’m not busy writing proposals you can probably find me hanging out by the nearest breathtaking body of water, testing out an unfamiliar recipe, learning new steps at a salsa or kizomba class, or gabbing with loved ones over brunch.

Hayley Bowyer
Donor Relations 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.

Energize
Andi Kenzer
Program Manager

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.

DeMarco White
Program Manager

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”.

Charlie Gleeson
National Volunteer Coordinator

I love meeting new people, exchanging ideas, and sharing many healthy doses of laughter!  I am driven by a desire to connect the dots between people, places, cultures, and communities.  As a recently returned-home Angeleno, I look forward to working with the city that nurtured me, in a role that will foster long-lasting relationships between music industry professionals and the Music Forward community.  In my spare time, I enjoy sticking my nose in a great novel, dancing away to live music, hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains with my family, and hopping on planes, trains, and automobiles onto the next adventure!

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.

Chinyere Achebe
Program Coordinator - Chicago

I am an “ILLUMINATOR”, who’s passionate about spreading light in the lives of those I come in contact with. I thrive on developing systems, marketing strategies and motivating people along the way. Being a Program Coordinator in the greatest city in the world (Chicago) allows me to impact, illuminate and inspire our future leaders. I have the privilege of offering programming that maps out career pathways, provides instruments and brings down houses!

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.

Shay Champ
Development & Communications Assistant

Born and raised in Little Rock AR. I have been enjoying the California sun for the past 5 years. I enjoy a challenge and good piece of avocado toast, with over 10 years experience in International fashion and Development I am eager to see how much I can learn from this great opportunity I love to make things and people beautiful with a go with the flow attitude. So I live by this motto: Love Life I do. Say. Feel. What inspires me. Enjoying whatever comes next

Nesha Price
Executive Assistant

Hello I’m Nesha; born and raised in Southern California. I am an ambitious, resilient, and fun-loving person with a passion to give back to the community. I spend a lot of time with my  beautiful daughter who is the light of my life and the reason for who I am today. I live for comedy along with the ability to make people laugh and bringing a smile to their face. I love art, dance, and music because they give meaning and inspiration to life, and being part of a nonprofit organization like House of Blues Music Forward Foundation brings purpose to my life.

Mariah Graves
Development & Communications Assistant

Music is literally my life! I wake up and go to sleep to it daily. There is something about finding a good song to fit your mood and just jamming out to it, literally just tuning the whole world out for a minute! Born and Raised in Los Angeles I love being from such a diverse and amazing city. I am most grateful for my daughter she turns the everyday mundane into joy. When I came in for my interview and learned what Music Forward did for the community I knew that this would be one of the most ideal opportunities to utilize my skills that I have already acquired and also learn new skills that I can use in the future. Being a part of such a substantial thing is such an exhilarating experience. I have a passion for helping people. I am so pleased that I finally have the opportunity to work in the non-profit sector. My hope is that I can finish school soon and be the best example to my daughter.