Friday, September 23, 2011

The Woman Behind the Music

Ask Stacey Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sound Empire Entertainment, LLC, who has been her biggest influence and she’ll say the many women that top the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Women that include Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks, Sue Naegle, President of HBO Entertainment and Oprah Winfrey. Also, the music industry’s top female executive Sylvia Rhone, CEO of Elektra Entertainment Group.

“These women work hard every day and stand in some of the most powerful positions in a male dominated business,” said Harrison. “I admire those women that are not just a pretty face in front of the camera but command a boardroom and make the behind the scenes decisions.”

Like these women, Harrison is standing in one of the most powerful positions in a male dominated business.

“I know it may seem strange because we are so used to men being the CEO of a label, but it’s time for me to take the reins and show them how it is done,” she said.

Those reins include being responsible for making sure the company is focused on and implementing their vision in everything that they do, which includes marketing and financials. Additionally, in these beginning stages, she is responsible for the day to day operations.

Taking up the reins doesn’t come without its challenges.

“There are legal challenges and just making sure that agreements are fair while also making a profit. Then, with new technologies comes new questions of how do you continue to make money when it is so easy to get music via the internet for free,” said Harrison. “This continues to remain a question in everyone’s mind as new copyright laws are explored. However, overcoming these challenges is what separates those that are successful and those that are not.”

Even though there are some challenges, there are also some easier aspects.

“The easiest part is waking up everyday and doing something that you love to do. That is what separates it from a regular job,” she said.

Her goals and vision for the label include becoming a major label based in Baltimore, but a key player in the music industry around the world.

“In the next five years we will also have a core group of artists that will have seen some success and have broken into the music scene. SEE will bring about a bold new feel to the industry. We will have made great strides but we will still have further to go. I know once we really get going we are going to take off running so everyone in our path better hold on to their hats. ” Harrison said.