Mark E. Avsec is a partner and Vice-Chair of the Innovations, Information Technology & Intellectual Property (3iP) Practice Group of Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP. Mr. Avsec has also practiced extensively with the Corporate and Securities Practice Group. A copyright, trademark, and media lawyer by trade, and a litigator and business attorney, he focuses his practice on consumer products, music, and other entertainment-related licensing matters, as well as mobile commerce and “old” and “new” media issues. Mr. Avsec provides general legal support to various types of museums, technology, consumer products, media, music, film, software, creative content, and content distribution companies. His practice includes copyright, trademark, and trade dress litigation, copyright and trademark prosecution, fair use and rights of publicity/privacy counseling, celebrity endorsements, and an expertise in privacy and data security compliance. Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Avsec earned a living as a studio musician, producer and songwriter, writing over 500 songs and producing or performing on more than 35 albums for, among other artists, Carlos Santana (“Angel Love”), Bon Jovi (“She Don’t Know Me”), Donnie Iris (“Ah! Leah!” and “Love Is Like A Rock”), Mason Ruffner (“Gypsy Blood”) and Wild Cherry (“Play That Funky Music, White Boy”).
Avsec is an American Music Award winner and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards. He was a member of Wild Cherry and is the founding member of Donnie Iris and the Cruisers. As keyboardist for Wild Cherry, Donnie Iris, Breathless, and Mason Ruffner, Mr. Avsec performed in concert with, among others, Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Average White Band, Loverboy, Bon Jovi, Nazareth, Ted Nugent, Joan Jett, Cheap Trick, The Commodores, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Isley Brothers, George Benson, Chuck Mangione, Journey, Brothers Johnson, Chaka Kahn and Rufus, Natalie Cole, Graham Central Station, The Ohio Players, Tower Of Power, ABBA, George Clinton and the Funkadelics, Bootsy Collins, The O’Jays, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Dr. John, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Foreigner, UFO, The Romantics, Hall & Oates, KISS, The Iron City Houserockers, Foghat, Triumph, Huey Lewis and The News, and Eddie Money. He has performed on many television shows, including The Grammy Awards, Midnight Special, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, The Merv Griffin Show, and The Dinah Shore Show.
Avsec regularly teaches and is a frequent speaker on entertainment, intellectual property, and media topics. He serves as an Adjunct Law Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he has taught “Law of the Music Industry” since 2003. He is also a faculty member at the Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Academy, a joint program of Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University, where he has taught music and entertainment law since 2012. He has participated as a faculty member for the Federal Judicial Center and the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology where he has presented on copyright law basics and infringement analysis to federal judges with Professors David Nimmer and Peter Menell at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt School of Law.
Avsec is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, a nonprofit youth orchestra based in Cleveland, Ohio and in residence at Cleveland State University. He is a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers and is a former chairperson of The Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts section of The Cleveland Bar Association. He serves as a member of the Cleveland Foundation’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation Scholarship Fund Selection Committee and in 2008, 2012, and 2013 was named an Ohio “Super Lawyer” for Intellectual Property.
Avsec is a member of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2014. He earned his B.A. summa cum laude in 1992 and his J.D. magna cum laude in 1994 from Cleveland State University.
Avsec remains active in the entertainment industry as a writer and a performer, regularly performing as keyboard player with Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, Michael Stanley, and occasionally with The James Gang, featuring Joe Walsh, Jimmy Fox, and Dale Peters. He produced a documentary film about Cleveland, Ohio’s 11th Annual High School Rock-Off and continues to compose and produce new music. In February 2010, Carlos Santana released “Angel Love (Come For Me),” a song co-written by Mr. Avsec, on Mr. Santana’s album “Supernatural – Legacy Edition.” In November 2010, Donnie Iris and the Cruisers released “Ah! Leluiah! (the Christmas Album),” a critically-acclaimed concept album of Christmas music entirely composed, arranged, and produced by Mr. Avsec.
Ken Antonelli. Over the course of the last sixteen years, Ken has been President / CEO of three different music industry companies, overseeing the daily operations of all aspects of each company, with full P&L responsibility. Most recently with “indy” company ICON MES.
Antonelli’s reputation as a skilled innovator, a highly motivated and focused executive, strong marketing planner, communicator and team builder is widely known throughout the industry.
His tenure at the Sony-owned RED Distribution produced the highest yearly billing and profit in the company’s history as well as pioneered the “up-streaming / down-streaming” mechanism which played a pivotal role in the sale of more than 20 million units worldwide, on a variety of multi-formatted artists who have maintained viable, enduring careers.
Prior to the last sixteen years, during the 20 career years preceding,Antonelli held a number of key positions including in A&R, sales, distribution, marketing, finance, artist development, strategic planning, and acquisition. He has built extensive expertise and keen insight and combined them with forward thinking ideas and strategies to meet the challenges and demands of today’s fast changing marketplace, while at the same time never keeping his love for music and the role it plays in people’s lives in the background.
Glenn Gamboa is Newsday's chief pop music critic and has been writing about music for more than 25 years.
A winner of several national awards, he headed the paper's team chronicling the impact of hip-hop in America, a project that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005.
He has appeared as a music industry expert on the BBC, NPR, MSG Network and several other radio and TV stations, as well as numerous newspapers and magazines.
A native of Cleveland, Gamboa currently lives in Brooklyn.
Patricia Motta is Assistant General Counsel, Intellectual Property at the American Greetings Corporation. Ms. Motta manages for American Greeting all aspects of its intellectual property counseling, transactions, and procurement, with an emphasis on patent portfolio strategy and management, trademark clearance searching, international and domestic trademark prosecution, protection of trade dress, U.S. and foreign customs protection and enforcement, trademark and copyright enforcement, structuring and negotiating intellectual property licenses, unfair competition, marketing review (including all forms of and policies for social media and social networking), promotions, and false advertising, and a wide variety of Internet issues, including privacy, domain name, and key word disputes. Prior to joining American Greetings, Ms. Motta was an associate attorney with the intellectual property practice group at Michael Best & Friedrich in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she represented numerous Fortune 500 companies and small entities based in jurisdictions around the world in a wide variety of intellectual property related matters.
Bruce Winges has been editor and vice president of the Akron Beacon Journal since May 2007.
Winges has held a variety of editing and management positions since he joined the Beacon Journal in 1982. He has worked on the news and metro desks and has been an assistant managing editor, night managing editor and deputy managing editor. He led a building-wide transition team when the Beacon Journal changed ownership in 2006.
He serves on the Ohio Newspaper Association Board of Trustees, the Ohio Associated Press Managing Editors Board of Directors and Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication Professional Advisory Board. He is past president of the Akron Press Club. Winges serves on the board of the Cuyahoga Valley Photographic Society.
Born in Louisville, Ky., Winges holds a degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky. He lives in Cuyahoga Falls with his wife, Bonnie Bolden.
Erica Lazzaro is OverDrive’s General Counsel and Director of Publisher Services. She leads OverDrive's legal, licensing, content acquisition and business development efforts, helping publishers worldwide find success with multichannel digital distribution to libraries, schools and booksellers. Erica also works closely with OverDrive’s executive team on strategic relationships and has negotiated agreements with leading publishers and content providers across digital media types including movie studios and record labels, Amazon, and Pottermore.
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