RCA Records executive VP Mika El-Baz leads one of the strongest publicity departments in the industry. It's a hand-picked team with expertise in TV, radio, print and the Web, deployed this year for acts including Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, Britney Spears, Ke$ha, Kings of Leon, Usher and P!nk. El-Baz's group also helped break newer hitmakers Pitbull and Hot Chelle Rae. "We've all been in the trenches with each other for a while now, and we all have each other's backs," says El-Baz, who's known as much for her decisiveness and strategic thinking as for her mentoring. A personal high point of 2011? Ray LaMontagne's win at the Grammy Awards. "To work with someone who has such incredible artistry, whose music affects people so deeply, is incredible," she says. El-Baz also finds time to give back-through work with UJA, the City of Hope, Young Women's Leadership Network and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.