The Women’s International Music Network (WiMN) hosted a panel at the 2022 NAMM Show focusing on how to foster diversity, equity and inclusion in the music industry. Moderated by WiMN founder, Laura B. Whitmore the fifty minute discussion welcomed panelists:

  • Crystal Morris, Founder, CEO/President of Gator Cases and third founder of Women of NAMM (WON)
  • Leslie Gaston-Bird CAS, AMPS, MPSE, author of Women in Audio (part of the AES Presents series), owner of Mix Messiah Productions, voting member of the Recording Academy and 2022 She Rocks Awards Honoree
  • Dr. Kristal Walker, Vice President of Wellbeing at Sweetwater, CPTM Thought Leader, Training Expert, DEI Champion

The discussion closed out with an educational and insightful audience participation Q&A. 

Related Article: SWIM And NAMM Become WON: Women Of NAMM.

Leslie Gaston-Bird, Dr. Kristal Walker, Laura B. Whitmore, Crystal Morris at NAMM 2022 in Anaheim, California (US)

Laura B. Whitmore is a graduate of Hofstra University with a B.S. in Music Merchandising and an M.B.A. in Marketing. As the marketing manager for Korg USA for 20 years, she was instrumental in marketing, PR and artist relations for the Korg, Marshall, and VOX brands. She was also editor of Korg’s ProView Magazine. Prior to that, she worked in the Direct Marketing department of CBS Records.

In 2008 Whitmore left Korg USA and founded Mad Sun Marketing, a boutique agency that specializes in marketing, PR, artist relations, event production, graphic design, and more for music and audio companies. Past and current clients of Mad Sun include Positive Grid, ArtistWorks, 108 Rock Star Guitars, Academic Superstore, Acoustic Amplification, Agile Partners, Breedlove Guitars, Colby Amplifiers, Dean Markley USA, Korg, KVRaudio, MusicFirst, Muse Research, NewBay Media, Notion Music, Peavey, SIR Entertainment Services, SIR Stage37, SoundTree, Sterling Audio, Take Me To The River, and more.

A singer-songwriter herself, Whitmore was the editor of Guitar World’s and the creator of the featured blog series, Guitar Girl’d. She writes regularly for industry media outlets including Parade.comGuitar World, Acoustic Guitar, MI Professional, In Tune and more. Whitmore has hosted and moderated many workshops and panels at events such as NAMM, Digital Hollywood, and SXSW on the topics of women in music, marketing, PR, apps and music making, songwriting, and more.