The Recording Academy today announced key promotions for some of its longtime executives. Most recently, Bill Freimuth has been named Senior Vice President, Awards, and Gaetano Frizzi becomes Chief Human Resources Officer. Previous promotions include Branden Chapman, who was named Executive In Charge of Production & Chief Business Development Officer; Rick Engdahl, who was named Chief Information Officer; and Daryl Friedman, who was named Chief Advocacy & Industry Relations Officer. All have many years of experience and tenure at The Recording Academy within their respective departments and these titles more accurately reflect what have become their current roles within The Academy and within their respective business communities. All five will continue to report directly to Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy.
“Thanks to The Academy’s Board of Trustees’ vote of confidence through their extension of my contract, it’s a great pleasure to thank and recognize some of my extraordinary team who have helped to create the success that we’ve achieved over the years” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “Much of this growth can be attributed to the efforts of these five exceptional executives.”
“Bill Freimuth’s insight, thorough knowledge, and innovative approach to managing our Awards process have helped us to successfully stay relevant and current in a rapidly changing and complex music environment. And as our company and operations have grown in size and complexity, Gaetano Frizzi has effectively led our HR efforts with efficiency, developing a diverse and inclusive workplace with great care and compassion for our extraordinary staff alongside our elected leaders across the country.
“Branden Chapman has excelled in taking our events and related processes to higher levels, coupled with his work on developing the international reach and profile of The Academy. Rick Engdahl has developed and fine-tuned our technical proficiency, capabilities, and infrastructure, helping to make us a leader in our field. Daryl Friedman has helped to shape policy, initiatives, and relationships both in Washington, D.C., and industry–wide, making The Academy a thought leader and one of the most highly respected organizations with respect to issues of critical importance to the creative music community.
“All do exemplary work in their respective fields, and each has been integral in raising the bar and moving the grammy brand forward in their respective areas. Their numerous contributions and solid industry and board relationships are an invaluable asset to our organization, and I look forward to continuing collaborating with these trusted individuals.”
Previously, Freimuth was Vice President, Awards; Frizzi was Vice President, Human Resources & Development; Chapman was Vice President, Production & Process Management; Engdahl was Vice President, Information Technology; and Friedman was Vice President, Advocacy & Government Relations.
With 17 years of experience in live entertainment management, Bill Freimuth joined The Academy in 2004 and for the last nine years has led voting members and the music industry through the constantly evolving nominations and awards process. He has helped revise and simplify many of The Academy’s Awards department processes, and he has been instrumental in communicating the voting procedure to the membership, the media, and the public. Additionally, Freimuth has successfully helped raise the profile of the grammy Awards®’ annual Pre-Telecast Ceremony, with increased production value and attendance. As a theater industry creative executive, Freimuth led producing companies in Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Mo., and California. He also headed a consortium of more than 150 Los Angeles-area theaters and producers, through which he launched and directed the Ovation Awards program.
Gaetano Frizzi oversees all nationwide HR-related activities, employee relations, benefits, programs, and services for The Recording Academy, The Latin Recording Academy®, the grammy Foundation®, and MusiCares®. He also is a key strategic partner to The Academy’s senior management team, Chapter executives, and elected leaders. Since joining The Academy in 2002, he has implemented new employee benefit programs and services, while at the same time controlling all related costs, and he has ensured that The Academy continues to be a desirable and competitive employer. His more than 20 years of diverse entertainment industry HR experience includes strategic planning, employee relations, recruitment and retention, training and development, compliance, and standards, and more. He has held senior HR positions with Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and MTV Networks/Nickelodeon Animation Studios. As a direct result of Frizzi’s efforts, Sony Pictures Entertainment received an Employer of the Year Award for the placement of physically challenged employees.
Branden Chapman joined The Academy in 2001 and currently oversees the development and execution of approximately 20 live music events annually and serves as the executive in charge of production for the grammy Awards and other GRAMMY-related specials. In addition, he oversees many of The Academy’s business development projects, including international licensees of the annual grammy telecast and the recently announced Norwegian Cruise Line partnership. He also was instrumental in the planning and development of the grammy Museum® and currently serves on its Board of Directors.
For more than 20 years, Rick Engdahl has been involved in various facets of the entertainment industry, including six years as director of information services for the Walt Disney Company’s film and television divisions. In this role, he was responsible for the implementation and operation of all production and financial computer systems for the live-action feature film divisions, including Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Miramax. Engdahl joined The Recording Academy in 2008 and has since helped streamline the digital workflows, processes and Web properties for The Academy, The Latin Recording Academy, the grammy Foundation and MusiCares. He also helped establish the listening function for voting members and he oversees the ongoing modernization of all internal computer systems.
Daryl Friedman serves as the advocacy representative in Washington, D.C., for The Recording Academy’s 20,000-plus members, as well as the liaison to relevant music industry organizations. Joining The Academy in 1997, he helped establish its D.C. Chapter and has since initiated and oversees The Academy’s GRAMMYs on the Hill® Initiative—which includes a number of programs to advance the rights of the music community through advocacy, education and dialogue. He previously directed external affairs for the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and currently serves on the boards of the Copyright Alliance and the National Music Council; he also is a member of the Music Education Policy Roundtable.