Board of Directors

We are pleased to present the CMAO board of Directors, and as always wish to acknowledge the Founding President Rob MacArthur and Founding Patron Linda Wright for their definitive roles in the Country Music Association of Ontario. As well we would like to thank Past Presidents Heather Ostertag, Barry Haugen, Sam Arraj and Bruce Good for their dedicated contributions towards building this organization, and all of our past directors.


Steve Kassay


Steve is VP Programming for Durham Radio. Following a few years on the road chasing the rock star dream, Steve moved from playing music to playing records. His radio career has taken him through stations and various broadcasting companies in Toronto, Central and Southern Ontario, and nationally syndicated live shows – in production, programming, on-air, Music Director and Program Director capacities. Now Vice-President, Programming for Durham Radio Inc., Steve manages operations for KX-96, KX-947, 94.9 The Rock, CKDO and From Country to Rock to AC formats, the common denominators for Steve are a passion for radio, music and the performers whose style make it all happen.

Catherine Faint

1st Vice President

Catherine Faint owns and operates CFE Inc. (Catherine Faint Entertainment). She started her 35 year music career as an agent back in the ‘70’s. As head of the country division for ‘The Agency’, she worked with many of Canada’s top country artists. She was very humbled to receive Booking Agent of the Year from 1994 through 1998 for her work ensuring Canadian artists were being showcased both nationally and internationally.

Soon thereafter, Catherine created CFE Inc. expanding her entertainment services to include production services for many corporate and live events. It was not long before Casino Rama and Fallsview Casino became clients and special events and labour requests allowed the company to grow, now employing more than 100 people Catherine has continued to stay connected in the Canadian Country music business, serving on the Awards and Balloting committee, attending Country Music Week annually and, has been the CMAO Awards Chair for the last two years.

Michelle Carpenter

2nd Vice President

Michelle Carpenter has always been a fan of country music from a very young age. After graduating from Ryerson University in 2005, she immediately began an internship at CMT. In 2009 she was promoted to Music Director, where she oversaw all Music Programming on the network. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry over the course of her time with CMT. 
 She has also been actively involved with both the CCMA and the Junos by participating in many panels and committees. Currently, Michelle works within the marketing department of CBC as a Communications Officer, supporting some of the biggest scripted and non-scripted programs in Canada.

Sam Arraj


Sam Arraj is a CPA, CA and the owner of “Seeds & Company”, an accounting practice that serves a broad range of sectors, with a specific focus on music and entertainment through their “Rock N Revenue” brand. Sam’s financial expertise specific to the music and entertainment industry is an asset to the CMAO.

The former President of the Country Music Association of Ontario and an on-going music fan believes in giving back to the community, which is why he has served on the CMAO board since 2011. In addition, Sam publishes a blog focused on the music industry called Music Biz Finance (

Brian Allen


A veteran of the business, Brian’s first venture was a member and principal songwriter for the band Toronto in the ‘80s, logging 4 platinum albums. Following the band’s breakup, Brian saw success as a co-writer of “What About Love” which propelled Heart to a 10 million seller. Attic Records recruited Brian as head of A&R, a post he held for 15 years. He doubled as a producer for a number of artists on the label, which yielded 2 double platinum sellers each for Lee Aaron and Haywire. Following Attic, Brian moved to SOCAN as Manager of the International Department. In 2002 Brian founded AMPLUS Productions, a production company.

Brian has earned 25 gold, platinum and special achievement awards as an artist, producer and songwriter. He is a member of CCMA, CMAO, SOCAN, CMRRA, SAC, and CFM. He has served on committees for CIRPA (now CIMA), CCMA, CARAS and chaired the Music Advisory Committee at Humber College.

Brian taught music business courses at Metalworks Institute, and is frequently a guest lecturer and panelist. Brian currently heads Amplus Productions and is actively writing, recording and consulting. Recent productions include Marshall Dane’s “Running Stop Signs” (Country Music News # 11 album of 2011), Mike Lynch’s “Road Map” (Country Music News # 5 album of 2011), Darrelle London (via EMI) and Roveena’s EP “Perfect World.”

The Directors

Michel Benac

Born in Ottawa, Michel Bénac is a franco-ontarian singer-songwriter, known as the frontman of LGS. In 1991, Michel founded Purple Hive Music Group / LaFab Music. Since 1999, LGS has released 5 albums and Michel has made a name for himself on the franco-canadian music scene. He was nominated for at the 2009 JUNO’s and received 15 Trille Or Awards. Before LGS, Michel was the frontman of Michael B and the Power, where he worked with Gilles Godard in Nashville. In addition to music production, Michel has hosted the TV show RadArt for 3 seasons, Vendredi tout est permis on Radio-Canada and the drive home radio show on Unique FM. He sat as vice-president on the board of the APCM for 4 out of 8 years, on the ANIM board for 2 years and has been président of the Festival de la St-Jean in Ottawa since 2014.

Ken Boyer

Ken Boyer – Marketing Manager – Warner Music Canada - Biography Ken is 20 plus year veteran of the Canadian music industry. In his current role as a marketing manager at Warner Music Canada he oversees the marketing for artists such as Blue Rodeo, Blake Shelton, Ron Sexsmith, Meghan Patrick, High Valley & Cole Swindell to name a few. Prior to joining Warner Music Canada, Ken started his music career at A&A Records as a store manager after taking Business Administration with a marketing major at Niagara College. Prior to joining Warner’s marketing department, Ken worked in Warner’s sales and promotions departments.

Patrick Duffy

Patrick Duffy is the Creative Director for Attention Design, a firm he established twenty years ago to service the music industry. His awards as a designer – nine CCMA awards for Album Design and more than two dozen nominations - suggest that he might be a better designer than drummer, his original career choice. A past Consulting Art Director to EMI Music Canada, and in the same role for almost ten years with the CCMA, he is currently a principal designer for Canadian Music Week, and a member of the faculty at both The Harris Institute (Toronto) and Durham College (Oshawa) teaching graphic design.

Jennifer Goheen

Jennifer has over 20 years of Marketing & Brand Management Experience. Having contributed to both sides of the music industry by beginning her career working with young artists on the development side of the business to her current position on the venue/booking side. She has spent the past 8 Years, as the Producer/Director of Marketing at one of Canada's largest country music festivals The Havelock Country Jamboree. One of her key responsibilities is Talent Buyer for the events they hold on the grounds.

Amanda Kingsland

Amanda has spent close to 12 years working with Rogers Radio Ottawa, in various positions from remote tech to promo coordinator, to MD & PD. Last year Amanda lead the charge in making the Country brand the first Rogers Radio brand to operate as a music network (that’s 7 stations across 3 time zones on 1 music network) & she won the CCMA MD of the Year (Large Market). Amanda is now the National MD for the Rogers Country Brand while remaining the PD Country 101.1.

Kim Stoneburg

Kim has a background in policing but her passion is music, especially Country. Ten years ago she met a Canadian Country Artist and a friendship evolved and then became his merch girl for a couple of years. In 2010 an opportunity opened. He needed a tour manager. With a head for business and extraordinary organizational skills, they both agreed to try it out temporarily. Six years later she is still working for him and several others in the business. She has helped new artists and established artists in this industry. Kim has been a member of the CMAO for the last four years.