Music Managers Forum Elects New President

Neeta Ragoowansi
Courtesy of The Syndicate

Neeta Ragoowansi

Neeta Ragoowansi succeeds Barry Bergman, who had led the association since its founding in 1993.

The Music Managers Forum (MMF-US), which serves as a collective voice for artist managers and self-managed artists, has elected entertainment attorney Neeta Ragoowansi its new president -- making her the second leader in the trade association's 27-year-history.

Board members at the MMF-US also voted in vice president Andrew Zambrowski and secretary Justin Seidenberg as board officers, and approved two new appointments: Wesley T. A’Harrah to the role of vp membership & education and Jack Bookbinder to vp communication.

Ragoowansi succeeds founding president Barry Bergman, who has led the association since its founding in 1993, building it into the leading trade body for music managers. Bergman will continue at the MMF-US as a board officer in the roles of treasurer and chairman emeritus.

“Neeta possesses the rare combination of focused creativity, business acumen, and ethics,” Bergman said. “She is highly respected by managers and artists throughout the world. I cannot think of anyone more qualified to lead the MMF-US forward — especially in an era where the role of the manager is of paramount importance.”

Ragoowansi has more than 28 years of experience as an entertainment attorney, having worked in-house at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, for the National Symphony Orchestra Association and as part of the founding senior management team for digital performance rights organization SoundExchange, where she headed artist-label relations. She has also served on the board of the Recording Academy's Washington D.C. and New York chapters and is the former president of Women in Music. She currently holds roles at Women in Music, the American Bar Association's Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, the National Performing Rights Exchange and RoadNation.

With Ragoowansi at the helm, the MMF-US hopes to expand its relevance and support to managers and self-managed artists of all backgrounds as well as expand its programs for education, finances and advocacy. The MMF-US is also working on a suite of educational resources and organizational connections to help its members navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s crucial for industry organizations to take the lead and make a committed investment in sourcing its participants, members, and leaders from a diverse cross-section of our community, promoting plurality and creating inclusive initiatives to promote more diverse programming and a more diverse organization as a whole," Ragoowansi said. "It is only through this concerted effort and commitment that we can have a meaningful and transformative impact on our industry.”

Finally, the MMF-US added three artist managers to its board: Women in Music president Nicole Barsalona of Everyday Rebellion Entertainment (Prateek Kuhad and Mark Wilkinson), Adina Friedman of Friends At Work (Lindsey Stirling, John Legend) and Binta Niambi Brown, Esq. (Nice Work/Chance the Rapper).