The board of directors of SOCAN has appointed Jennifer Brown as its permanent chief executive officer, effective immediately. Brown had held an interim CEO role since April 2020 following the departure of Eric Baptiste, and she becomes the first woman to lead Canada's largest music and visual arts rights organization, as well as the first to be appointed to the role from within the company.
"Jennifer Brown's work at SOCAN is exemplary, her leadership abilities are remarkable, and her passion for the interests of our members and stakeholders is unsurpassed," says Marc Ouellette, president of SOCAN's board of directors. "It is a great pleasure to see her rise to a role that she earned through decades of constant commitment and persistent determination to do what is right for our more than 175,000 members and nearly 300 employees."
With more than two decades of strategic experience in rights management, licensing, advocacy and support for music creators and publishers, Brown started her career with SOCAN in in 1995 as a representative in the company's Membership department. She has held progressive leadership positions, including Vice President of SOCAN's Licensing department, before taking on the role of senior vice president of operations and reproduction rights in 2018.
Brown's accomplishments with SOCAN include establishing SOCAN Reproduction Rights presence, guiding the company's Licensing department to record-setting results, establishing SOCAN's cost-effective and strategic re-structuring, and the introduction of new customer-facing tools, all of which have resulted in improved licensing collection efforts and increased royalties distributed to SOCAN's songwriter, composer and music publisher members, according to the PRO.
Brown grew up in the music industry, as her family become one of the country's more successful recording and performing groups and her father as the principal songwriter achieved several songwriting awards.
"I know what it's like to rely on fair royalties through hard work and I've seen songwriting as a career first-hand," Brown said. "I will continue to work to make SOCAN the organization that our members and licensed organizations so richly deserve."
SOCAN also recently announced the appointment of Jean-Christian Céré as Chief Membership Officer, effective June 28th, and Vanessa Thomas to the role of Vice-President, Member & Industry Relations, which came into effect on June 14th.