Chief Branding Officer
With over thirty years of core marketing experience, Jeff Straughn worked for global advertising agencies before transitioning to sports, entertainment and music where he ran the partnership group at global powerhouse Octagon.
By the early 2000s, Straughn had leveraged his brand experience and was hired by and reported directly to Mr, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Mr. Antonio “LA” Reid. Straughn was quickly challenged to build a new strategic marketing department for Island Records and Def Jam Recordings (IDJ) that would help generate new income in support of their artists and new releases. Straughn was a senior member of the leadership team at IDJ where he quickly became a trendsetter in how brands and artists work together, creating disruptive and creative concepts supporting the artist and their new work.
In 2008, Straughn met his current partner and the founder of Primary Wave, Larry Mestel. Collectively, they built the blueprint for Primary Wave’s brand strategy. The goal was simple: build a team to support both artist management clients as well as the growing and diverse music publishing catalog. Additionally, Straughn and Mestel set up a branding agency known as Brand Synergy Group to serve as a consultant for third-party brands in the entertainment/music space.
Since joining Primary Wave, Straughn has developed and executed a multitude of brand partnerships through a combination of traditional endorsements, private performances, and a breakthrough of new intellectual properties that leverage Primary Wave’s copyrights and/or the artist brand ID. Each of these opportunities result in equity that is co-owned by Primary Wave and the other parties.
Straughn seeks innovative programs to deliver a win for the brand, the artist and Primary Wave. “We look at all sides of the equation as we develop each concept” says Straughn, “no two programs are ever the same.” Primary Wave believes that any and all partnerships must be results driven and are measured against a set of KPIs that are mutually beneficial for all parties. As a result, Straughn has established a long-standing list of brand partners that continues to expand and evolve as the company grows.
Additionally, for over 12 years, Straughn has leveraged his vast marketing and experiential skills to raise the Primary Wave brand profile. Each year, Straughn has built a premium VIP Primary Wave branded hospitality event during the Grammy’s. In 2019, Straughn raised the bar again by producing a full week activation and rebranding an elite hotel in West Hollywood to One Love Hotel in an effort to celebrate 75 years of Bob Marley, a marquee catalog co-owned by Primary Wave and the Marley family.
Straughn currently resides in Austin, Texas, where he moved in 2018 after spending his entire career in the northeast.
Straughn is married to a lovely wife and has two children currently in college. When not at work, he finds his passion in the kitchen, cooking and exploring new varietals to build on his wine collection.
VP Brand Partnerships
Lisa Fruggiero is VP of the Brand Partnerships Team at Primary Wave. Her mission is to develop authentic, creative relationships between the Primary Wave catalog and global brands. Lisa is a seasoned leader with 13+ years of marketing and sales experience working closely with major global brands like Walmart, GoDaddy, JetBlue and Mt. Dew. In her previous role, Lisa was head of the eCommerce Team at Brand Networks where she was dedicated to helping brands thrive in the vast and competitive digital advertising world. Lisa launched her career in the sports industry working for ESPN and NBC Sports working within their action sports properties X Games and Dew Tour. Originally from Cape Cod, Lisa currently lives in Austin, TX.
Director, Marketing & Brand Partnerships
Always making sure people are listening to the classics, Sam is a veteran of many parts of the music business. He’s taken those skills to new heights at Primary Wave, garnering Primary Wave’s artists Clio Award wins, national television campaigns, official government holidays, board games, and much more. Connecting blue-chip brands with iconic artists is a passion, and you can find Sam doing “research” on nights and weekends at record stores and shows all over the country.
Partnership Marketing Manager
Josh interned with Primary Wave as a college student and has remained involved with the company ever since. He’s toured with country superstar Luke Bryan and platinum artist MAX, booked and promoted sold-out shows with artists such as Galantis, Charli XCX, and A$AP Ferg, and worked in some of the top venues in the country. He was most recently a member of the marketing team at Downtown Records and previously spent time at Knitting Factory Management and Atlantic Records. Josh brings a wide variety of music business experience to the company, and he is thrilled to be returning to the PWE team.
Partner, Executive Vice-President of Brand Synergy Group Events
Executive Vice-President and Partner of Brand Synergy Group Events, the event design and production company of Brand Synergy Group. Donna brings over 20 years of event design and production experience to the BSG team which is complemented by her extensive marketing experience. Designing events and brand activations for clients such as Michael Aram, Joseph Abboud, Fila, Baby Phat, Pastry and Esprit Footwear, connecting with consumers both domestic and international. Prior to joining BSG, Donna led the marketing and branding team for Vida Brands were she designed all brand strategies which included creating a celebrity brand ambassador program, producing all photo and video shoots and as well as producing all trade shows and retail marketing strategies. Donna’s creativity and extensive production experience, coupled with her expertise in retail branding is a natural complement to the strengths of the BSG team.