We have an awesome team. In fact, we LOVE our team. Here they are!
Featured Board Member:
Josh is the newest Board member and we’re proud to welcome him to the family.
Josh is the founder of Music Makes Me Happy. He could not speak between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. A severe stuttering disorder left him unable to communicate with anyone. He literally had to write things down to get his thoughts across. Joshua’s parents and teachers tried putting him in every speech therapy class they could find and nothing ever worked…yet. A non-social 12 year old with extreme low self-esteem, he figured this speech impediment was apart of who he was…until he was introduced to music and theater arts. Within one year of studying acting and music, Joshua’s speech was near perfect. Today, the Philadelphia born speaker and creative has been blessed to have spoken in front of hundreds of people across the world on topics such as personal branding and social impact.
“Music played a big part in helping me discover where the speech impediment came from. I realized that I didn’t have a speaking disorder but a thinking disorder. I learned that my communication issues stemmed from a lack of confidence, low self-esteem and how I saw myself. Music helped me to express myself, grow in self-esteem and played a huge part in my personal development. In the same way music help me discover and solve personal issues, I believe it can do the same in our communities and inspire change in others.”
STAFF AND BOARD
Spencer grew up in Atlanta, then went to UGA where he studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, graduating with honors. After working at a lab at Emory University for a year after college, he felt the call to go West, and moved to San Francisco. There, he hung out in the Mission district and wound up running a fundraising office for the 2004 election cycle. Following that, he was given a full scholarship to Michigan State University School of Law. After completing his first year, despite loving the people of Michigan, he returned home to the warm South and finished up his degree at Georgia State. He spent 5 years working at a prestigious Atlanta firm, Hall Booth Smith. A founding Board member, Spencer rolled off the Board in 2013 to become our first ever Executive Director. When not planning concerts and raising money, he enjoys playing guitar, fishing, and baking bread. He hopes to make the world’s most perfect sandwich by June of 2016 from entirely homemade ingredients.
Drew Robinson – Board President, Executive Committee Member
As a commercial real estate professional with CBRE, Inc., Drew’s been intimately involved in the valuation of regional shopping malls, high-rise office buildings, mixed-use developments, and historical properties. A few notable assignments include Underground Atlanta, 999 Peachtree, The Tabernacle, Riverchase Galleria, Buckhead Atlanta, and The Austin City Limits music venue and surrounding mixed use development.
When he’s not appraising commercial real estate, you can find him mentoring his three young daughters, treasuring at the Decatur Rotary Club, or doing great things that only elite husbands/fathers/role models/heroes do.
Mike’s founding vision for Amplify My Community was to leverage the universal love of music to combat poverty at the local level. He remains actively involved in the organization. Mike is an avid music fan and performing musician who usually listens to Bob Dylan, Nirvana, Uncle Tupelo, and Vic Chesnutt. His day job is VP of Marketing at Lenz, where he helps steer the Amplify brand. Mike earned a Journalism degree at the University of Georgia and an MBA from Georgia College. He lives in Decatur with his wife Jessica and children, Liam and Emily.
Bess Weyandt – Executive Committee Member, Development Committee Chair
A native Atlantan, Bess has spent the better part of the past decade working as a political operative in Georgia, most recently as the finance director for Jason Carter’s 2014 campaign for governor. Politics isn’t her only thing; she has also helped run an accelerator program for startups at Georgia Tech and was executive director of the nonprofit Startup Atlanta. Her first love, however, is the arts, having cultivated a passion for music at an early age with the piano, and can often be found painting in her spare time.
Charlie Bailey – Founding Board Member, Executive Committee Member
Charlie grew up in Harris County, Georgia. A Double Dawg, Charlie graudated from UGA twice, the second time with a law degree. He recently left his job as an associate at The Barnes Law Group with former Governor of Georgia, Roy Barnes, and now works for the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Atlanta.
Payton Bradford – Board Member, Show Committee Chair
Payton’s passion for music has been a part of his life since he started playing piano when he was 8 years old. While an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, he was a founding member of Futurebirds, with whom he recorded and toured as a drummer and singer until leaving the band in 2012. His music interest and background plays a major role in his work with Poverty Is Real and Amplify. He currently lives in Athens, Georgia, with his wife Emma where he is a second-year student at the University of Georgia School of Law.
Anna Keller – Founding Board Member, Marketing Committee
In addition to being a marketing guru at an ad agency called The Variable in Winston-Salem, NC, Anna is a freelance writer, runs an incredible blog (http://curiouser-and-
Joshua Dingle – Board Member
Josh was born in Philidelphia with a severe stutter that left him unable to speak between the ages of 3 and 12. Through music lessons he overcame his speech impediement and now speaks in front of hundreds of people on a regular basis. To spread his love of music and the transforming power it possesses, he started Music Makes Me Happy, and organization designed to illustrate to the world the power of music to change lives.
Pat O’Brien – Board Member, Show Committee
Originally from Miami, Pat currently is the marketing director for Bowery South Presents and the Shaky Knees Music Festival. When not helping put on some of the South’s best music concerts, Pat DJs and hangs out with his wife.
Growing up in Southwest Virginia, Micah Davidson was raised in a family that was heavily rooted in the community and involved in benefit events and corporations. It’s pretty much ingrained in who he is. In 1997, Micah went to College of Charleston, but after 2 years he realized that the road was where he belonged. After finally settling in Charlotte, NC in 2000 as his true home he then spent over 4 years touring in bands all over the United States. In 2007, he formed the Carolina Live Music Society to better serve the greater Carolina Music Scene as well as becoming the in-house talent buyer and head of marketing for The Double Door Inn. In 2009 Micah became a Booking Agent with Blue Mountain Artists, representing over 50 bands that tour internationally. He also produces festivals with his own company, Davidson Productions, for the past 3 years including the North Carolina Brewers & Music Festival.
“Atlanta Ben” has been a real estate professional with Keller Williams for over 10 years and is one of the top realtors in the Atlanta area. Ben was born and raised in Decatur and attended Decatur High School, where he has been very involved in the community: He has served as assistant girls varsity soccer coach at DHS for the past several years, has been a top sponsor for Amplify’s Decatur Concert Series for the past two years, and has contributed time and financial resources to various other local non-profit beneficiaries.
Eric Staton – Board Member, Marketing Committee
Residing in Nashville, Tennessee since 2007, Eric is a Commercial Real Estate Banker for PNC Bank. Growing up in Athens, Georgia, Eric always wanted to be a Bulldog and graduated with a finance degree from UGA in 2002. He also earned an advanced degree from the Graduate School of Banking at LSU in 2011. He serves on the Finance Committee at Calvary UMC, and is a member of the Nashville chapters of NAIOP, ICSC, and Urban Land Institute. Eric enjoys playing and watching all sports but during his free time he likes to run marathons. He especially loves to BBQ and spend time with his wife, Jessica, their daughter, Jemma, and their dog, Morton. “We probably have the best BBQ on the Trace”.