Aaron Benward Joins Company as Director of National Promotions in L.A.Additional Moves Announced
Long-time industry veteran, Dennis Disney, has joined Maxximum Artist Group as Vice President. The announcement was made by Mitchell Solarek, President of the Nashville-based artist management and development company. In this newly-created position, Disney will oversee daily operations for the firm that manages award-winning artists and producers, including Natalie Grant, Danny Gokey, Bernie Herms, Donald Lawrence, and others.
“Dennis and I have known each other for over 18 years, having first met and worked together when he was head of marketing at Benson Music for Natalie Grant’s debut album,” states Solarek. “We reconnected this fall when he worked with us on the launch of Natalie’s new album.” Grant’s Be One project (Curb Records) released November 13, 2015 and debuted No. 1 on Billboard Magazine’s Top Christian Albums chart.
“We have ambitious plans to grow the impact of our artists and expand the footprint of our business,” Solarek continues. “Over these past few months, it became clear that Dennis was suited to take an executive role with our firm. With his three decades of experience as an artist manager, record label executive, publishing executive, business owner, and university adjunct instructor, he brings an abundance of insight and expertise uniquely qualifying him to lead the operations of Maxximum.”
First beginning in marketing at Word Records in 1985, moving into the manager role for Steven Curtis Chapman (1987-1990), and then back to the corporate side of the business, Disney has held leadership and executive positions at major companies in addition to operating his own agency. Notably, as Vice President of Marketing at Benson Music (Provident/Sony), he oversaw the faith-based team for Bob Carlisle’s Double-Platinum Butterfly Kisses (2.5 million units sold), Fred Hammond’s Platinum-selling double-album Pages of Life, and 4HIM’s Gold album, The Basics of Life. Most recently at Worthy Publishing, as Vice President of Marketing he led the book publisher’s marketing team on John Hagee’s ECPA Gold Medal book, Four Blood Moons (over 700,000+ in print), and The Jeremiah Study Bible (over 250,000+ in print), the top-selling Study Bible in 2014. Since 2009, Disney has been an adjunct instructor at Belmont University in Nashville, teaching a course on “Entertainment Distribution and Promotion.”
Says Disney, “I’m thrilled to formally reconnect with Mitchell and to join the talented team at Maxximum Artist Group as we passionately serve the artists, writers, and producers who work hard to create life-affirming content.” In other Maxximum moves:
Aaron Benward is joining the company as Director of National Promotions and Development and will helm a Los Angeles office for Maxximum. Benward is a former solo artist, founding member of Curb Records’ three-time ACM-nominated “Duo of the Year ,“Blue Country,” and creator of the Las Vegas-based live show, “Nashville Unplugged: The Story Behind the Song.” He will facilitate national promotion across broadcast, streaming, and event platforms on behalf of Maxximum artists.
MarQuis Hardin has been hired as Management Assistant/Social Media Coordinator. A former intern at Maxximum, Hardin recently graduated from Belmont University’s Music Business program.
Rounding out the Maxximum staff are artist managers Kristi Brazell (who oversees the day-to-day management for Natalie Grant), Penny Railey (responsible manager for Danny Gokey), and project coordinator, Ben Pogue. “I’m thankful to have such wonderful talent on our team,” Solarek says. “Each brings a level of creativity, expertise, and network that strengthens our ability to fulfill our mission to influence those who influence hearts and minds.” About Maxximum Artist Management:
Maximum Artist Management is a Nashville-based artist management and devel-opment firm founded in 1998 by Mitchell Solarek. Currently, the firm’s roster includes four-time Gospel Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year and Grammy® nominee, Natalie Grant; Grammy® nominated producer Bernie Herms (Josh Groban; Barbra Streisand; Natalie Grant); Grammy® and Stellar® award-winning artist/producer Donald Lawrence; American Idol alumnus, Danny Gokey; singer/songwriter Kolby Koloff; new artist 3for3; and Koryn Hawthorne.