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.

Executives

Steve Kassay

President


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 wave.fm. 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.

Jennifer Goheen

1st Vice President


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.

Ken Boyer

2nd Vice President


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.

Sam Arraj

Treasurer


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 (www.musicbizfinance.com).

Brian Allen

Secretary


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.

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.

Stacey Lee Guse


Stacey Lee began singing before she could speak. Ever since then, her life has been rooted in music. Stacey Lee has enjoyed a very diverse career on stage and in studio with numerous Canadian country artists, including Jason McCoy of The Road Hammers (featured on his single, "I Lie”), Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan and Michelle Wright, John Landry and Beverley Mahood to name but a few. As a former member of Junonominated country sensation, LACE, Stacey Lee had the opportunity to tour all across Canada, the U.S. and into Europe, under the tutelage of David Foster. Most recently, Stacey Lee can be found as the featured vocalist of the award winning- Canadian swing supergroup, The Western Swing Authority, along with husband Shane Guse. Together they sing an eclectic mix of Western swing, jazz and traditional country standards and original “new classics”. With the WSA, she has backed up numerous Canadian artists for the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA’s) and the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO). She has shared the stage with legends such as the late Merle Haggard and Vince Gill, and was thrilled to perform for Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and many other top industry professionals at a private party for Bob Doyle, longtime manager of Garth Brooks, for his 70th birthday party in Nashville. Stacey Lee is a 6-time nominee for Western Swing Female at the Ameripolitan Awards in Memphis TN. She is a past winner of The Academy of Western Artists award for Western Swing Female vocalist.

Jared Leon


Jared Leon is an entertainment and media lawyer. Between 2012 and 2015, Jared was the director of POP Montreal’s POP Symposium, each year bringing together a range of the most creative minds in music and art for five days of discussion. Since 2010, Jared has co-published and co-edited the independent art and music print periodical LAURA; LAURA is now distributed from select locations throughout NA and Europe, including ARTBOOK @ MoMA PS1, Printed Matter, Art Metropole, Ooga Booga, and BLESS. Jared holds both a B.A. and an M.A. in English (Concordia University) and a J.D. (Dalhousie University).