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Chip Hooper Nominees Revealed: See Candidates for the 2019 Honors Here

Billboard is proud to announce the five nominees for the 2019 Chip Hooper award, honoring the memory of the beloved talent agent who helped build Paradigm's music department and served as a mentor to…

Billboard is proud to announce the five nominees for the 2019 Chip Hooper award, honoring the memory of the beloved talent agent who helped build Paradigm’s music department and served as a mentor to countless young executives in the music industry.

This year’s nominees are (in alphabetical order), Paradigm agent Sara Bollwinkel, AEG Live director of club & theater touring Brittanie Delava, Masquerade talent buyer Elena de Soto, Ryman Auditorium director of concerts Chrissy Hall and UTA agent Chris Jordan.

“We have a great group of young executives selected for this year’s nominees slate and it has been an honor to meet each nominee and hear their incredible stories,” says Dave Brooks, Billboard’s senior director for live and touring. “Chip was an incredible agent, artist, father and friend and I want to thank the team at Paradigm for their partnership and commitment to preserving Chip’s legacy. I would also like to thank Chip’s daughter Valerie and son Max for their continued support of this important award.”

More than 50 nominations were submitted for the award. The Chip Hooper award’s jury of industry executives, Billboard staffers and Hooper’s friends and associates will begin voting Monday (Oct. 21). The Chip Hooper award finalist will be announced Nov. 5 at the Billboard Live Music Awards at the Montage in Beverly Hills. Click here for more information.

You can learn more about this year’s nominees below:

Sara Bollwinkel, Paradigm


Sara Bollwinkel
Sara Bollwinkel Courtesy of Paradigm

Sara has been at Paradigm since 2007 under the tutelage of Chip Hooper and Lynn Cingari in the Monterey office of Paradigm. In 2014 she joined Corrie Christopher Martin’s team and became an agent in 2015. A year later Sara signed 14-year-old Billie Eilish with Tom Windish, working closely with Eilish and helping her develop into one of the biggest artists in the world. Besides being laser-focused on her clients, Bollwinkel takes a customized path to development for each of her artists and works closely to help them grow from small clubs to arenas and amphitheaters. 
Brittanie Delava, AEG Presents

Director of Club & Theater Touring

Brittanie Delava
Brittanie Delava Courtesy of AEG Presents

As a member of the AEG Presents touring team, Brittanie has had an exciting 12 months with electronic act Illenium growing from small clubs to arenas and Underoath touring in support of their first album in 8 years culminating in a huge arena show in their hometown of Tampa, Florida.  She also played an important role in helping Streetlight Manifesto — who she has worked with since before joining AEG — achieve a lifelong dream of playing Radio City Music Hall as “Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution,” with a 40-piece orchestra.  This year Brittanie grew AEG’s clubs & theaters team from four to eight people, booked 40 tours and promoted 600 shows including Summer Walker’s first headline tour.

Elena de Soto, Masquerade

Talent Buyer

Elena de Soto
Elena de Soto Courtesy Photo

Elena is about to celebrate her fifth year as talent buyer for The Masquerade in Atlanta, one of the largest indie promotion companies in the Southeast. At age 26, she has already booked over 1,000 shows and competes daily with Live Nation and AEG in the market. Besides booking The Masquerade’s 1500-cap Heaven room, 550-cap Hell, and 300-cap Purgatory, she has booked shows at nearly a dozen area venues including The Tabernacle and The 40 Watt. Additionally, Elena serves on the board of Girls Rock Camp Atlanta, which provides young women experience in live music. A program Elena created designates $.50 of each ticket sold to certain shows at The Masquerade to Girls Rock Camp Atlanta. She’s also a founding partner in The Wrecking Ball ATL music festival, an owner and partner in Deep Rest Records, and a concert photographer.

Chrissy Hall, Ryman Auditorium

Director of Concerts

Chrissy Hall
Chrissy Hall Courtesy of Ryman Archives/Steve Lowry

As director of concerts for the iconic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Chrissy leads strategic planning and booking, including recent shows from artists like Lizzo, Maggie Rogers and a three-night stand by Brothers Osborne, followed by a November Old Crow Medicine Show concert, both of which will become Live at the Ryman albums. With a four-night run for Tyler Childers and six nights of Brandi Carlile booked through the end of the year, Hall is on track to host 282 events and concerts at the iconic Nashville theater in 2019, which currently holds the title for CMA Venue of the Year, Pollstar Theatre of the Year and ACM Small Venue of the Year — the Triple Crown in live music.

Chris Jordan, UTA


Chris Jordan
Chris Jordan Courtesy of UTA

As a music agent on the hip-hop team at UTA, Chris was instrumental in some of the agency’s biggest deals and tours. He secured a spot for Tierra Whack on Ms. Lauryn Hill’s and 6lack’s 2018 tours and booked her at 10 festivals includings Lollapalooza, Osheaga and Afropunk NYC. He helped land DJ Khaled his debut set at Rolling Loud in Miami, and added Young Thug to several Score More Festivals, including Jmblya and Mala Luna. Additionally, he negotiated Las Vegas residency show deals for Desiigner, who is entering his second year at 1Oak. Besides his music clients he represents hip-hop streaming app My Mixtapez and is helping the founders plan their content and is working on curating a music festival to raise the app’s profile.

2019 Billboard Live Music Summit and Awards