Meet the Team
After spending years supporting Fortune 100 companies in finding the perfect music for advertising campaigns, at age 25, Sheinkop co-created Music Dealers - a global music technology solution that bridges the gap between bands and brands, enabling brands to create meaningful and authentic touch points with their target audiences and opening up a new route for emerging artists to gain the exposure, funding and distribution necessary to take their careers to the next level.
In 2011, under Sheinkop’s leadership, Music Dealers cemented a groundbreaking partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, securing Music Dealers’ position as the organization's global music partner and earning Coca-Cola a minority stake in the company. Sheinkop's impact on the industry was recognized when he was included on Billboard Magazine’s "30 Under 30" rising young executives who are driving the music industry forward, followed by being named "Music Man of the 21st Century” and included in “Crain’s Tech 50” list alongside Chicago’s tech leaders by Crain’s Business in 2012.
Sheinkop is credited for his recent development of Social Empowerment - an industry-leading marketing approach that advises brands on how to leverage music most effectively, thereby enabling the brand to become useful to its consumers beyond product experience. His expertise on this topic landed him the opportunity to co-author the book Hit Brands: How Music Builds Value for the World’s Smartest Brands, published by MacMillan and expected to hit bookstore shelves in April 2013.
John Williamson is Co-Founder and C.O.O. of Music Dealers. Through quiet leadership and intelligent design, Williamson has helped guide the company from early concept to continued daily growth and innovation.
Williamson’s passion for connecting music and audiences runs deep, beginning with his DJ career in high school. While attending Columbia College student in 1999, Williamson founded record label/studio/artist collective Frontline Entertainment, where he released dozens of projects, toured the country many times over and spent five years living the hand–to-mouth grind of the working artist. In 2004, Williamson closed up shop at Frontline and focused solely on artist management where he built up major industry contacts and a better overall "know-how" of the business. During this time he successfully raised funds from investors and labels for new projects, rather than dipping into his own pockets a la previous experiences.
In early 2007, while managing Chicago hip-hop legend, Juice, Williamson met Eric Sheinkop. The two joined forces under the name Bandit and combined Williamson’s artist management expertise with Sheinkop’s branding skills and connections within the advertising world. Bandit managed artists such as; Ben One, Hey Champ, GLC (of Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music) and consulted on branding and marketing for clients such as Big Ten Network, McDonald’s, Phillip Morris, Going.com and more.
Recognizing a huge opportunity in sync licensing, Williamson and Sheinkop began collaborating on the Music Dealers’ business model. They recruited Sheinkop’s brother Jonathan to round out their team and launched Music Dealers in 2008.
Musicians who meet Williamson recognize a peer, whose passion is to make music and help like-minded artists generate revenue so they can continue pursuing their passion.
Music Dealers Co-Founder, Executive Vice President of New Business & Corporate Strategy, Jonathan Sheinkop successfully led the company's multi-million dollar financing rounds, is responsible for corporate governance, as well as identifying and negotiating strategic partnerships, new growth opportunities and implementing business development strategies in key markets.
Twice ranked by Pensions & Investments Magazine as a Top 10 Portfolio Manager, Jonathan spent 14 years managing portfolios and providing investment services at companies such as Paine Webber, Dain Rauscher & Wedbush Morgan before starting his own company which he successfully sold and joined Music Dealers full time. He has screened thousands of companies prior to initiating seed, venture and later stage investments for institutional and high net worth individuals across diverse industries from technology, emerging energy, real estate as well as entertainment and media companies.
Josh Kaplan is the Senior VP of Business and Legal Affairs, General Counsel for Music Dealers. Josh has been a practicing attorney focusing on music, intellectual property and corporate law for the past 10+ years. Josh carved out a unique niche by working with a unique mix of musicians and start up tech companies. He served as Music Dealers outside counsel shortly after the company's formation and came on board in his current capacity in early 2012. Josh focuses on the rights behind the music and the structures of Music Dealers many brand partnerships.
Josh has acted as manager, business manager, promoter and attorney for musicians. That experience has enabled Josh to easily relate to working musicians. Surrounded by creatives his entire life, Josh follows the Music Dealers' mantra of looking out for the artist community first and foremost.
A proud native of Minnesota, Josh graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to graduate with a focus on Intellectual Property from Chicago Kent College of Law. He is a terrible banjo player.
Josh is a jack of all trades hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Josh has been a musician since an early age. After receiving a degree in Jazz Performance from Roosevelt University, Josh did a brief stint as a professional jazz musician and promoter, organizing fashion and music events around Chicago. Shortly thereafter, he joined Music Dealers at it's early stages, working with the review and rights management departments until being promoted up the ranks to Director of Operations (USA) in 2011.
In August 2011, when Music Dealers forged a partnership with Coca-Cola, Josh moved to Atlanta to work out of Coca-Cola's HQ full time as Music Specialist in Coke's Worldwide Sports and Entertainment Marketing team. Josh is a self-proclaimed professional small talker, aspiring chef and all around music aficionado.
As Senior Creative Director, Music Supervisor and Cobra Commander of the Music Dealers Creative Department, Dan is a seasoned expert in most music and licensing related things. Dan works with clients to understand exactly what they're looking for - sometimes better than they understand it themselves - and gives them exactly what they need every time. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the job, having spent over a decade running EV Productions, a highly respected Chicago indie label, distributor and studio with nearly 50 releases to date. Dan is a true Chicagoan, a diehard White Sox fan and a huge pickle enthusiast.
After 5 years working in TV production as a writer, host and producer, Paul moved from London to NY in January 2005 to take up a position in marketing for Extreme Music. Later that year, Extreme was acquired by Famous Music (Viacom) and in 2006/7 was sold by Famous to Sony ATV. At that time, Paul became Director of US Sales and Marketing for Extreme, a position he held for 3 years working out of Extreme's headquarters in Los Angeles.
In January 2010, Paul made the move back to London to start a brand and music partnerships agency, Eskimo Live. In its first 2 years, Eskimo Live worked with international brands like Ugg Australia, Remington and St.Tropez as well as some of the biggest brands in the UK.
In 2011, Music Dealers and Eskimo Live created a unique partnership agreement and Paul assumed the position of VP Business Development, UK and Europe.