Fender Play Foundation is welcoming inaugural members to its leadership board alongside CEO Andy Mooney and CFO Jim Broenen. Iz Avila, Winston Cox, Charmaine Jefferson, Terry Lewis, David Robinson and Rick Roskin will support Fender Musical Instruments Corporation’s (FMIC) 501(c)(3) public charitable organization in its mission to expand access to music education, put instruments into the hands of students and empower self-expression.
The centerpiece of the Fender Play Foundation is its middle school music program in partnership with Los Angeles Unified, the second largest school district in the U.S., which is on its way to reaching its goal of 10,000 by the end of 2021. The new members join as the Fender Play Foundation celebrates Los Angeles Unified’s music program’s first full year.
Last summer, the Fender Play Foundation launched in partnership with Los Angeles Unified to equip the next generation of artists with a unique, teacher-led model that provides synchronous and asynchronous learning. The program aims to provide educational opportunities for students to keep them playing for life by equipping them with Fender acoustic and electric guitars, basses and ukuleles delivered to their doorstep.
Since launching the program in June 2020, the Fender Play Foundation has placed instruments and Fender Play subscriptions in the hands of more than 5,000 students. Of these, 77 percent of students were first-time players, and, cumulatively, 87 percent plan to continue playing their instruments. To date, the program has donated over $1 million in resources and equipment, with a goal of giving more than 35,000 students the opportunity to learn a new instrument by the end of 2023 and 1 million students nationwide by 2030.
“When we started the Fender Play Foundation in 2019, our goal was to put instruments into the hands of as many students as possible who might not otherwise have access to musical education and the power of that experience,” said Evan Jones, Fender CMO and Fender Play Foundation co-president.
Meet the New Fender Play Foundation Board of Directors
- Iz Avila: Iz Avila is a five-time Grammy Award winner, musician, percussionist, bassist, turntable master, songwriter and producer who’s worked with the likes of Usher, Janet Jackson and Chaka Khan, among others. Avila is a champion of music education through his leadership with the Grammy in the Schools Program, Turnaround Arts and the 1500 Sound Academy.
- Jim Broenen: Jim Broenen oversees and directs all of the organization’s financial matters, in addition to managing the IT department. After over a decade with Fender, he’s fostered acquisitions, significantly reduced debt by $200 million and seamlessly streamlined operations. Prior to Fender, Broenen held executive roles with Arthur Anderson & Co, J.I. Case/CNH and Rockwell Automation.
- Winston Cox: Winston Cox is the implementation director for Turnaround Arts at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. After teaching in public schools, Cox became an arts champion as a Principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels in Boston and in Washington, D.C.
- Charmaine Jefferson: Charmaine Jefferson operates Kélan Resources, is a volunteer Commissioner for the City of LA Dept. of Cultural Affairs; Trustee of the California Institute of the Arts; Advisory Committee for the LA County Art Commission Cultural Equity & Inclusion Initiative; Advisory Board member of the LA Chamber Orchestra and President of The Museum Group. Jefferson spent nine years as a professional concert dancer, holds a BA from UCLA, an MA from NYU and JD from Georgetown University.
- Terry Lewis: Part of one of the most successful production teams, Terry Lewis, alongside Jimmy Jam, has penned hits for superstars including Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Sting. The five-time Grammy-winning duo has been recognized as ASCAP Songwriters of the Year and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP.
- Andy Mooney: A “guitar geek with big company experience,” Andy Mooney is a life-long guitarist focused on the brand’s digital transformation, serving new players and catalyzing exponential growth in the MI space. Before joining Fender in 2015, he spent 20 years with Nike in key C-suite roles and 11 years with Disney, becoming the Chairman of Disney Consumer Products in 2000.
- David Robinson: David Robinson is a NBA Hall of Fame inductee, two-time Olympic gold medalist and co-founder of Admiral Capital Group. Robinson has forged pathways in education by fundraising tens of millions of dollars for The Carver Academy and IDEA Public Schools, a network that has grown to reach 100 schools and 50,000 students.
- Rick Roskin: Rick Roskin is the co-head of contemporary music at Creative Arts Agency (CAA) in Los Angeles. Roskin develops innovative partnerships, oversees more than 100 agents and has booked more than 35,000 shows in North America. Over the years, his client roster has included Eric Clapton, Santana, Kelly Clarkson and Cheap Trick.
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