The Blue Élan Records team has vast and varied experience in the music industry.
Acclaimed attorney Kirk Pasich, the label’s co-founder and president, is a former music critic and personal manager who has been named by Variety as one of the Top 50 Entertainment Lawyers in the U.S., by Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California and by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the city’s Top 10 Litigators. Kirk has over 30 years of experience advising clients in the entertainment industry, representing major motion picture studios and record companies, actors, musicians, from Woody Herman to Chris Cornell, as well as directors, producers, authors, professional sports franchises and book publishers. A trained classical organist and one-time personal manager, Kirk has served on the boards of the National Academy of Jazz, the Woody Herman Foundation and the Alliance for Children’s Rights.
Vice President, and Director of A&R
Connor Pasich is a musician and producer with recording credits on guitar, creative credits on a hip-hop video production, and production experience in rock, hip-hop, and electronic music. Connor has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rice University, where he also taught a specialized course on the music business and its digital formats. He has also participated in the MEMES music business institute at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer
Kim Umanoff is the former managing associate from the law firm Liner LLP, and has an entertainment law background with extensive experience in contracts and transactional law. She received her doctor of law from USC Gould School of Law and her B.A. from Cornell, where she focused on music history. Kim also completed coursework in music business and music law at UCLA. In addition to overseeing all legal aspects of the label, Kim ensures that the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, human resource procedures, and financial strategy are implemented.
Marketing and Artist Development Advisor
Niels Schroeter is a music executive with over 20 years in artist management and independent label operations. Niels previously served as General Manager of Warner-distributed label, Surfdog Records, as well as its affiliated management, publishing, and lifestyle marketing divisions. In this position, Niels was an integral part of the company’s evolution from unfunded start-up to generating millions of dollars in annual revenue, propelling the careers of such revered artists as Brian Setzer, Dave Stewart, Jason Newsted, Slightly Stoopid, and others. He also managed Surfdog’s involvement in action sports and lifestyle marketing initiatives for companies including Pepsi, Best Buy, Warner Bros., and BMG.
Senior Director of Sales and Project Management
Eddie Eastabrooks is an accomplished music industry professional with over 15 years of experience working with labels, publishers, managers, artists, music supervisors, physical and digital retail accounts, and distributors. Before joining the label, Eddie oversaw all domestic physical and digital sales, sync licensing and royalties at Side One Dummy Records. In that position Eddie promoted artists including Flogging Molly, The Gaslight Anthem, Gogol Bordello, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Chuck Ragan, Bedouin Soundclash, Audra Mae, as well as the annual Warped Tour Compilation series.
Manager of Retail and Consumer Relations
Connie Cham joined the Blue Élan team after her graduation from UC Irvine in 2017 as a business economics major. Connie has over 4 years of customer service experience with a focus on E-commerce. As retail coordinator Connie manages and develops Blue Élan’s online direct to consumer store. Connie also provides assistance to Blue Élan artists, producers, and others with projects as well as the day-to-day operations of Blue Élan’s business.
Chief Business Officer
With over 20 years in the music business in a variety of roles, Mary comes to Blue Élan from Triple 8 Management, where she was the Director of Finance. Prior to that, she had long stints at independent labels New West Records and Playing In Traffic Records as Director of A&R Coordination/Production and General Manager respectively. In addition, she also managed several bands as part of Loophole Management, including Grammy winning artist Los Lonely Boys. Mary honed her A&R chops under the direction of the legendary John D. Kalodner as a part of the west coast A&R team at Columbia Records, after beginning her career in the music industry assisting 5 time Grammy winner Mary Chapin Carpenter. She also served as Project Coordinator for the multi platinum series Live From Austin, TX based on the TV show Austin City Limits.
Paul Milbury is an accomplished musician based in San Diego. Prior to transitioning to the business side of music, Paul was a member of the band HI Roots. In addition to his duties on bass, Paul was the acting manager of the group, overseeing all aspects of their day-to-day affairs including booking, budgeting, tour management, sponsorships, overall band strategy and more. Having experience as both a player and a manager, Paul brings a unique perspective to the label as someone who understands first-hand what it’s like to be a working musician.
Special Events Coordinator and Project Manager
Kacy Swain is a former forward for the UCLA women’s basketball team who began as an intern for Blue Élan. Her dedication and passion landed her a full-time role after her graduation from UCLA in 2016 with a major in political science. I addition to being the project manager for several artists on the label, Kacy is responsible for all of the private concerts, special appearances, showcases, and other special events put on by Blue Élan.
Director of Business Affairs
Mikaela Whitman is an attorney with a background in the entertainment field, who spent time at Grand Army Entertainment in New York City, where she focused on maximizing state tax incentives for artists and production studios during contract negotiations. Based in New York City, Mikaela is the point person for Blue Élan’s east coast artists.
Colin Devlin is a critically acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter and member of the band The Devlins, whose songs have been featured everywhere from HBO promotional campaigns, to the soundtrack for Batman Forever. Colin brings an artist’s perspective to the Blue Élan team. He helps guide and advise artists in navigating and implementing their own creative visions, as well as co-writing and producing.
Social Media Management
D’Andrée “Dee” Galipeau joined the Blue Élan family in September 2017 after graduating from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco with a degree in Communications and Digital Technology. She has a multi-faceted role flowing between social media strategizing consultant, being the in-house content creator/graphic designer, and event videographer and editor.
Nicole Kornet comes from a background of music and sports. Nicole, graduating as a student-athlete from UCLA in 2017, dedicated her first year out of school to broadcasting. By performing interviews, giving live radio broadcasts, writing stories, and emceeing special events, Nicole has culminated experience that directly crosses over to the music business. Through social media management, blogs, and coordination on music and social media campaigns at Blue Élan, Nicole assists artists and artist managers with tour support, recording projects, album artwork, and various aspects of record label operation and management.
Artist and Media Coordinator
Kelli Hayes started with Blue Élan as an intern her junior year at UCLA, while simultaneously playing on the women’s basketball team. After two years of balancing school, athletics, and internship she graduated with a degree in Gender Studies and achieved a full-time position as Artist & Media Coordinator. Kelli focuses on the intersection between into the needs of BER artists, community involvement, and the social compass of the label.
Melissa Dragich-Cordero – Mad Ink PR
Melissa Dragich-Cordero, head of the renowned publicity firm, Mad Ink PR, has 25 years of experience in publicity, promotion and imaging for many high profile and indie musical acts. She continues to work with longtime clients Jeff Beck, John Fogerty, X, Joe Satriani & Phil Collen (Def Leppard) in addition to consulting on a plethora of Blue Élan initiatives. Prior to launching MAD Ink, PR, Melissa spent six years at Epic Records in charge of national press campaigns for such acts as Incubus, Oasis, Jeff Beck & Tenacious D. She began her career at Relativity Records, followed by a four-year stint at Rick Rubin’s, Def American Recordings, where she helped guide the PR campaigns of artists like the Black Crowes, Johnny Cash, Slayer and Sir Mix-A-Lot.