Former AFTRA Chief Tapped to Lead Musicians Union Residuals Fund

Kim Roberts Hedgpeth will lead the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund, which processes film and TV residuals for AFM members; however, her tenure at AFTRA was marred by a lack of financial controls.

The Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund on Monday named Kim Roberts Hedgpeth as the new administrator of the Fund, which collects and distributes residuals to musicians in the motion picture and television industry. The announcement was made jointly by the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

As administrator, Roberts Hedgpeth will be responsible for determining Fund policy, overseeing operations and ensuring that the Fund meets its obligations under the collective bargaining agreement. Roberts Hedgpeth starts her new job May 1, 2014, replacing Dennis Dreith, who is leaving after 14 years of service but will continue to head the AFM-SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, which distributes certain music royalties.

"I am delighted that Kim has agreed to lead the Fund, which provides a critical service to both the Companies it represents and the musicians who receive their residuals through the Fund," said AMPTP president Carol Lombardini. "Kim is an industry veteran who comes to the job with an appreciation for balance in labor management relations and knowledge of various royalty and residual issues in industry collective bargaining agreements."

Roberts Hedgpeth served as national executive director of AFTRA from May 2005 to April 2012 and briefly as co-national executive director of SAG-AFTRA after the two actors unions merged. Audits conducted during her tenure at AFTRA disclosed a lack of financial controls, including thousands of non-paying members on the books, accounting errors and omissions and "boxes and boxes" of expired studio residuals checks. The AFM and AMPTP declined to comment on the matter, and Roberts Hedgpeth did not respond to a request for comment.

Unlike the DGA, SAG-AFTRA and WGA, the AFM does not process residuals. Instead, this task is handled for musicians residuals by the Fund. The Studio City-based organization, which acts as an agent of the Producers, was established in 1972 through the collective bargaining agreement between the AFM and AMPTP and was originally called the AFM Motion Picture TV Film Special Payments Fund. In addition to collecting and distributing residuals on behalf of musicians, the Secondary Markets Fund performs regular compliance reviews, pursues undiscovered revenue sources owed to participants and works with the industry on piracy issues. UPDATED: The Fund distributed more than $72 million in residuals to musicians in fiscal year 2012-13, a 6.5 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.

"There is no one better suited or more capable than Kim Roberts Hedgpeth to follow Dennis Dreith and head up the Fund," said AFM international president Ray Hair. "Kim is the perfect person for the job."

Roberts Hedgpeth most recently served as national executive director of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). Prior to that, during her tenure at AFTRA, she served on the Board of Trustees of the AFTRA Health and Retirement Fund, on the Board of Directors of the AFM-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund and on the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies. Roberts Hedgpeth is a graduate of Harvard University and Georgetown University Law Center.

"I look forward to working collaboratively with the motion picture producers and the members of the AFM in furthering the efficient and innovative service that the Secondary Markets Fund delivers to the film industry’s music community," said Roberts Hedgpeth. "I'm honored, and humbled, by the opportunity to succeed Dennis Dreith in the leadership and dedication he has given to the entertainment industry during the past 14 years."