Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

The ELVIS Act Conversation Continues: Experts Panel with Tom Clees, Senator Jack Johnson, & Denise Stevens – Moderated by Suzanne Kessler

February 29 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Tom Clees, Panelist

Tom Clees is Senior Vice President of Federal Public Policy for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).  As a lobbyist and political strategist for RIAA, Clees represents the major American record labels’ interests before members of Congress and their staffs. This work has included advocacy on issues including copyright and intellectual property protection, digital trade and content moderation, COVID-19 relief for the music community, and social justice reforms. Prior to RIAA Tom worked as an advisor to Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and then-Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and was a political law attorney in his home state of Arizona.

Senator Jack Johnson, Panelist

Senator Jack Johnson grew up in a small town in Texas, but has proudly called middle Tennessee “home” since graduating from Texas State University with a degree in Education.

Jack and his wife Deanna, the Circuit Court Judge for the 21st Judicial District, are raising their three children in Franklin.  Jack and Deanna met over 30 years ago at a Young Republican function, sharing the same conservative values and the same dream of a future filled with faith and family.

Senator Johnson was first elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 2006.  He was proud to cast his first vote in the Senate for the first Republican Lieutenant Governor in 140 years.  After only two years, he was appointed as Chairman of the Government Operations Committee.  A year later, he was named Chairman of the Commerce and Labor Committee.  He served as Commerce Committee Chairman for nine years until December of 2018, when he was elected by his Republican colleagues as the Senate Majority Leader.

Jack Johnson has over 20 years of hands-on experience in the financial industry, beginning his career with Third National Bank (now SunTrust).  Over the last few years, Jack worked as the Senior Vice President for Studio Bank in the Cool Springs area.  More recently, Jack owns and operates several businesses within Williamson and Davidson Counties.

Senator Johnson proudly represents the 27th District, which includes most of Williamson County.  When the day’s work is done, Jack enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and piloting private aircraft.


      Denise Stevens, Panelist

Denise Stevens is a Partner with Loeb and Loeb, where her transactional practice focuses on creative properties across multiple platforms, including music, publishing, touring, television and film.

With a depth of experience reflective of her top-tier high-profile clients, including superstar recording artists and multi-hyphenate film and television personalities, Stevens is well-seasoned in all aspects of talent representation and a broad variety of entertainment matters, including the negotiation and renegotiation of exclusive major label recording and entertainment services agreements, establishing an artist’s independent operation for recording and other creative endeavors with venture partners, capitalizing on an artist’s brand value with major retailers and brands through various multi-platform sponsorship, endorsement agreements, philanthropy and other campaigns, creating artist-branded beverage, clothing and merchandise lines, literary agreements, film and television production and appearances, production of major concert tours and residencies, intellectual property protection, and numerous other performing, licensing, publishing, appearance, production and other agreements.

Her talent clients include Carrie Underwood, Loretta Lynn and her legacy, Chris Tomlin, Anthony Hamilton, Teyana Taylor, Saving Abel, Sixpence None The Richer, and Shaylen.  In addition, she represents music publishers, film and TV producers and talent, financial institutions, and cutting edge entertainment tech companies such as Musicnotes, Single Music, and Labelcoin and a to-be-announced user-centric music streaming platform under development.  As general counsel to NSAI, she authored the bill that ultimately became the Songwriter’s Capital Gains Tax Equity Act, which has benefitted preeminent songwriters and countless other American songwriters in receiving fair tax treatment upon the ultimate sale of their works.

Suzanne Kessler, Moderator

Suzanne Kessler provides counsel and consulting services to entertainment industry creatives and companies. She previously served as Vice President of Business Development at Universal Music Group Nashville, and Director of Business and Legal Affairs at UMG corporate and A&M Records in Los Angeles. Suzanne began her legal career at an entertainment law firm in Beverly Hills where she represented major studios, music companies, talent, and estates of deceased celebrities.

Suzanne is a long-term Adjunct Professor at Vanderbilt Law School, teaching entertainment law and licensing. She is a past Board member of the Nashville Symphony, a current Council member of the W.O. Smith Music School, an alumna of Leadership Music, a member of the Copyright Society of the South, and a Nashville Bar Foundation Fellow. Suzanne graduated from Brown University and Stanford Law School and has a M.A. in Communication/Documentary Film Production from Stanford.

Recent documentary projects on which Suzanne served as a producer include two PBS American Masters films—on Patsy Cline and Charley Pride—and a documentary on the origins of Curious George.

Society members must be in good standing and registered prior to the meeting in order to attend.  Contact  [email protected] if you have not received your invitation via email.


February 29
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *