Meet the Team

Favorite book—now and when you were a kid?
I just called my mom to ask her what my favorite book was when I was a kid and she said it was a book called Tidy Lady. I can’t stop laughing because, first of all, I have no memory of such book and second, I am a very tidy lady myself so I am now wondering if that’s where it started… Today my favorite book is Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
When I was about 11, I was introduced to Alison Krauss by my friend Natalie Ernst. I remember buying the album Now That I Found You and it changed my whole life. Alison Krauss is my forever idol. I really should thank Natalie…

Favorite place in the world and why?
My childhood home in Marin County. I love Marin and I love my family; their house is such a sanctuary filled with wonderful memories and delicious food.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Singing. Nothing brings me more joy and I have felt that way my entire life.

What are your vices?
All I am going to say here is that I just Googled “vices.”

What is your most unappealing habit?
I am not gonna say I have OCD because I don’t, I don’t… BUT I suppose can be just a teeny tiny bit uptight about things being organized and clean. I am working on being more relaxed but, um, it’s not going very well…

Jessica
Garen

Digital Project Coordinator

Favorite book—now and when you were a kid?
They tried to get me to read proper novels as a kid but Calvin and Hobbes and Nintendo Power ruled my world. These days I enjoy the likes of Bret Easton Ellis and Philip K. Dick.

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
When I was 6 my aunt gave me my very own copy of David Lee Roth’s Crazy From the Heat on cassette because every weekend I would religiously watch her VHS tape of Dave TV.

Your most treasured possession?
Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.

Who would you invite—dead or alive—to your fantasy dinner party?
Lizzie Borden, Benedict Arnold, Blackbeard, Jonathan Dillinger, John Wilkes Booth, the starting line of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers and Richard Nixon.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Jean Claude Van Damme.

If you could learn anything instantly by downloading it into your brain Matrix-style, what would it be?
How to build a Terminator.

Garen
Jennifer

Senior Illustrator/Graphic Designer

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I play drums.

Favorite place in the world and why?
The Chelsea Hotel—I love the history and stories behind it. Plus, it just feels strangely comfortable and warm, like home.

Biggest guilty pleasure?
Love Songs on the KOST.

What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
The only movie I can think of that’s ever made me bawl my eyes out is Dancer in the Dark. I think I had a really good cry for at least half an hour after it was over.

What are your vices?
Carbs in any and every form (bread, dark beers, pasta, etc…).

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
A Socially Awkward Penguin Meme

Jennifer

Jennifer

For the lulz

James

A&R / Project Coordinator

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I was, and still am in a way, a musical theater kid. My grandfather put me onto movie musicals and I started performing pretty early on.

Favorite place in the world and why?
Any movie theater, any time of day. It’s my school, my church, my pub, my home.

Your most treasured possession?
I like my body. It gets me where I need to be.

What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
Look, I cry at the drop of hat. I think the first time I cried was when I saw E.T. at age 3 and I’ve been a bawler ever since. Books, movies, music, tv shows; keeping up with all the things I’ve cried over would be a monumental task. There is a really great podcast called Crybabies, where people discuss the ephemera that’s made them weepy. It’s my kind of show.

What would your superpower be?
The ability to turn my brain on and off at will. I really need that.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Worrying about being right all the time is an unhealthy one when it comes to relationships with others. The one that I tend to feel badly about, yet others are dismissive of lately, is road rage. I live in L.A., so of course I have road rage.

James

Information Technology

Favorite book—now and when you were a kid?
Now: I’d have to say House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. That book reminds me there ultimately are no rules to art.
As a kid: I had a version of “Puss in Boots” that came with an “at the tone, turn the page!” tape; I recall loving that chime sound and the artwork—I didn’t even know how to read yet.

Your most treasured possession?
If my house caught on fire, the only thing I would grab is my acoustic guitar.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
The band Thrice.

If you could learn anything instantly by downloading it into your brain Matrix-style, what would it be?
How to speak Spanish!!! 4 years in school did me no good.

What would your superpower be?
Psychic telepathy sounds about right. I’m already pretty good at reading people and having solid foresight, so….

George
Leo

A&R / Project Manager

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I am, at my core, one of the least serious people you could ever meet.

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
U2’s Achtung Baby. Age 11. As a Catholic school kid hitting puberty, I was mesmerized by it. It felt so deeply spiritual and at the same time really, really naughty.

Favorite place in the world and why?
Any library. I get ecstatic in that deep quiet, surrounded by endless volumes of thought and creativity and binding glue.

Who would you invite—dead or alive—to your fantasy dinner party?
Thomas Jefferson sounds like a riot. He and I could compare notes on what are the best things to compulsively make lists out of.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Watching sketch comedy.

What would your superpower be?
With the wave of my hand, to bring gently to a stop and disable any car that is being driven in a way that I do not like.

Leo
David

President

Favorite book—now and when you were a kid?
When I was a kid: Island Of The Blue Dolphins (Scott O’Dell)—it was assigned reading in 5th or 6th grade and the ending made me cry. It was the first experience I can recall about how moving a book can be.
Now: Several, but here’s one: To Dance on Sands: The Life and Art of Death Valley’s Marta Becket (Marta Becket).

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
When I was around 9 years old, I was brought on stage at the Grand Ole’ Opry by Roy Acuff and he introduced me to the audience.

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
I want to answer a different question since my earliest single and album purchases blend together in my memories: The earliest clear memories I have of hearing a song was hearing Johnny Cash’s “Boy Named Sue” (not sure my exact age) and Tanya Tucker’s “San Antonio Stroll” (possibly around age 9). In the case of “Boy Named Sue,” the funny story and Johnny’s great performance/delivery really grabbed me. With “San Antonio Stroll,” I loved the song’s melody including the mandolin (and fiddle) hook, and of course Tanya’s very unique voice. Years later, Johnny Cash would make a guest appearance on a CMH album and the fiddle player on “San Antonio Stroll,” Johnny Gimble, would become a CMH recording artist.

Favorite place in the world and why?
A tie between Griffith Park and Death Valley. Griffith Park because I grew up near it, spent time there as a young boy with my father and family, and it was my first experience out in nature. It also represents the natural Southern California landscape which I greatly love. I now live near its border, so I get to live near one of my favorite places in the world. Death Valley (National Park) is my other favorite place in the world. I have made many trips there during my lifetime with my loved ones.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Frank Zappa’s “Rat Tomago” (although I might have been just a little older when I first heard it).

David
Bill

Sales Representative

Favorite book—now and when you were a kid?
When I was a kid I loved Hatchet by Gary Paulson—a story of a young man stranded in the middle of the wilderness with nothing but a hatchet and his wits. As an adult it has to be the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin—better known as Game of Thrones. Not only are they fantastic epic fantasy, but they also teach the reader patience. Come on, book six!!!

Biggest guilty pleasure?
One time I made tempura shrimp. We had leftover batter and cookie dough, so deep fried cookie dough just made sense at the time. Don’t judge me.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Playing the drums. “What do you mean I get to bash things with sticks and make a ruckus?”

If you could learn anything instantly by downloading it into your brain Matrix-style, what would it be?
The language of squirrels.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
Gregarious Giant Ginger Guy

What would your superpower be?
All my life I’ve always imagined what it would be like to go out into the sun.

Bill
Favorite book—now and when you were a kid?
I’m not sure I can declare a favorite, but a more recent book that comes to mind is Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom. I read through this novel pretty quickly, which given my attention span these days, is typically the sign of a good read. As a kid I think the classic that comes to mind would have to be If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, a classic tale of boy and mouse, eating cookies and drinking milk.

Favorite place in the world?
Some of my favorite memories are traveling the country with friends; doesn’t really matter where I am, as long as I’m in good company.

Who would you invite dead or alive to your fantasy dinner party?
A lot of my friends are spread out across the country, so I think if I could bring them all to one place, that would make for a pretty great dinner party.

One thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Ice cream—can’t get enough of that stuff.

If you could learn anything instantly by downloading it into your brain Matrix-style, what would it be?
I’ve always wanted to speak multiple languages. I would love to have that ability instantly.

matt
Kristin

Staff Accountant, AP

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I really love shooting guns.

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
My dad gave me his Madonna Like a Virgin cassette as my first album. 80s Madonna was great in every way.

Your most treasured possession?
My Tarot cards.

List five items currently in your refrigerator.
Coquito, sofrito, tuna casserole, hummus, and carrots.

What are your vices?
They are too incriminating to list here…

What is your most unappealing habit?
I think all of my habits are pretty appealing.

Kristin
Hannah

Art & Production Director

Favorite book—now and when you were a kid?
That’s a tough one so many, loved The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, The Corrections, anything by Haruki Murakami, on and on. I loved a book called Tisi and the Yabby when I was a child—basically a photo book about a little girl who befriends a lobster. I think I related as I was always attached to rather odd, mostly inanimate objects that I felt needed taking care of.

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I can speak Japanese (ish now), I was ½ a belt away from getting my black belt in Karate, oh and my mum lives in a cave in France.

Favorite place in the world and why?
I have to say London, it will always be home and I get to eat all the things I miss when I go back with the people I love.

List five items currently in your refrigerator.
My fridge is definitely his N’ hers—his being pickles, A1 sauce, steak, something in the cake family and lemonade; mine are soaked almonds, bananas, peanut butter and marmalade.

If you could learn anything instantly by downloading it into your brain Matrix-style, what would it be?
Master shoemaker. I’m with Daniel Day Lewis– that would be a great skill to have.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
Intuitive, organized, dog-lover, toast aficionado—is that 6 words?

Hannah

Senior Web/UX Designer

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
The first album I remember purchasing on my own is Rhythm Nation by Janet Jackson on cassette tape. I was about 7 years old, I think. I saw the music video for the title track and that was it.

Favorite place in the world and why?
My apartment. My favorite human and animals reside there.

Your most treasured possession?
A photograph of my mother from her high school years in Korea.

Who would you invite dead or alive to your fantasy dinner party?
My mother, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Wassily Kandinsky, Artemisia Gentileschi, Hayao Miyazaki, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Tig Notaro, Bianca Del Rio.

Biggest guilty pleasure?
Watching pro wrestling.

If you could learn anything instantly by downloading it into your brain Matrix-style, what would it be?
How to build and operate a TARDIS.

christine1
Cecilia

Royalty Manager

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I used to be the mascot in high school (BullDog).

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
Like a Virgin – Madonna, I was a 13-year-old, sexually-liberated woman.

Your most treasured possession?
My memories.

Biggest guilty pleasure?
See’s marshallow and caramel candies, Stella Rosa, chicken mole.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
The 80s.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Selective hearing.

Cecilia

Cecilia

Lisa

Vice President & Creative Director

Favorite book—now and when you were a kid?
One of my earliest memories involves Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat. I was three or four. I loved all of Dr. Seuss’s books as a kid, and love all of them now. When I was twelve, I discovered Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint in my parent’s library. The shared last name of the author caught my attention, and the content of the book kept it. And though it may not be my all-time favorite book, sneak-reading such illicit content made for a most memorable and educational reading experience. I reread it as an adult and loved the book for a hundred other reasons.

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I’m a six foot tall supermodel genius.

Favorite place in the world and why?
Around any table, anywhere in the world, enjoying a great meal and great conversation with a small group of great people. And then my second favorite place would be at home alone, recuperating from the above socializing… a typical introvert characteristic.

Who would you invite—dead or alive—to your fantasy dinner party?
Well, I’d need a very large dinner table and comfy chairs: Jimi Hendrix, Fran Lebowitz, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Gordon Parks, Howard and Beth Stern, Cornel West, Abraham Lincoln, Bill and Hillary, Coach John Wooden, Mark Twain, Chris Rock, Barack and Michelle, my dad.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
It’s a tie between 60s and 70s R&B/soul music, and peanut butter. Everyone who knows me, knows this to be true. I’ve always said that if I had to tattoo something permanently on my body, it would have to be a peanut butter jar, but play some great Motown or early 70s Philly Soul, and peanut butter becomes a memory.

What is your most unappealing habit?
The compulsion to get to the bottom-line truth of everything and everyone, and calling a spade a spade—a worthwhile habit (and skill) when the timing and intention are right, and everyone’s on board. Otherwise…

Lisa

General Factotum

Who would you invite—dead or alive—to your fantasy dinner party?
Hector Berlioz.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Bluegrass.

If you could learn anything instantly by downloading it into your brain Matrix-style, what would it be?
Yiddish.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
INFP(or J) Myers-Briggs

What would your superpower be?
To speak every language in the world.

Jim
Jim
Cameron

Sales & Customer Service Representative / Product Photographer

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I’m bilingual in English and German. Living in Los Angeles, this skill only comes in handy sometimes at delis, Central European bakeries, or if I feel like yelling at someone.

Favorite place in the world and why?
New Orleans is my favorite place in the world, because it’s unlike anywhere else. The food, bars, and music is amazing and comes from an array of cultures. What’s not to like about a town that gave us Jazz, the Sazerac cocktail, and Creole cooking?

Your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possession is my Fender Stratocaster that I got signed by Willie Nelson and Jerry Lee Lewis on the same night. It was one of the last things I did with my dad. That guitar holds a lot of sentimental value for me.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
That would probably be photography. The power that this medium has is mind-blowing to me. I am fascinated by the ability that photography has to shape and guide the emotions and, hopefully, the intellect of the viewer.

Biggest guilty pleasure?
I have a vinyl addiction. Every weekend I go to a few of my favorite record stores to flip through bins of albums for hours, hoping to find a rarity or a steal. This pastime is real exercise in self-control; if I bought every album that caught my eye I would be broke in a day.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
Semi-introverted culture critic.

Cameron
Jeremy

Digital Assets Manager

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
“Stay” by Lisa Loeb is one of my go-to karaoke songs.

Your most treasured possession?
My sense of humor.

Who would you invite—dead or alive—to your fantasy dinner party?
I would not invite any dead people to my dinner party. That’s a little creepy. Plus dead people never bring anything.

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Donuts.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
That’s unpossible.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Probably, my sarcasm.

Jeremy

Director of Sales

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I was a placard-bearer for Yugoslavia in the opening/closing ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics—once in a lifetime experience!

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
Cheap Trick at Budokan

Favorite place in the world and why?
Home with my husband, kiddos, and Old English Sheepers because that’s where the LOVE is!

Biggest guilty pleasure?
Movie theater popcorn with butter (yum).

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Quad roller skates.

What would your superpower be?
The ability to time travel.

Toni
Maribel

Senior Accountant, AR

Favorite book—now and when you were a kid?
My favorite book as a kid was Superfudge by Judy Blume. It was so funny to me, I think that was the book that showed me reading was actually fun. I’m currently reading it with my 9 year son. The last good book I’ve read recently is True Haunting by Edwin Becker. Super creepy… Couldn’t put it down.

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I have beaten everybody I know at Just Dance on the Wii.

Who would you invite—dead or alive—to your fantasy dinner party?
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I’ve always had a crush on him and now he’s all about motivating people and helping them be a better them. <3

Biggest guilty pleasure?
Chocolate milk. Anytime, all the time.

If you could learn anything instantly by downloading it into your brain Matrix-style, what would it be?
I would learn to speak Portuguese! All the good novelas (soap operas) are in Portuguese!

What is your most unappealing habit?
Always late—even thought of changing my license plate to “ALWZL8.”

Maribel
Kyle

Distribution & Logistics

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I couldn’t whistle, snap, or roll my tongue until I was 14.

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
I think it was the soundtrack to Batman Forever. I was 7, and I was obsessed with Batman. I was really into “Bad Days” by The Flaming Lips, and of course “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal.

Your most treasured possession?
When I graduated from high school in Texas, my best friend made me a scrapbook chronicling our 5 year friendship and all of our ridiculous hijinks. My parents moved to Minnesota when I left for college so I never went back to Texas, and I’ve only seen my best friend a few times since then. We both knew our friendship would never be the same, but this book was a way to make sure we would never forget how incredible it was while it lasted.

Biggest guilty pleasure?
Well, I don’t believe you should feel ashamed for liking something, but to answer the question—Nikki Minaj. Her stuff is really the only new music that doesn’t sound like something you’ve heard 100 times before. Mostly because it’s so insanely erratic. It’s fascinating.

List five items currently in your refrigerator.
Buffalo sauce (ALWAYS), cheese (at least 3 kinds at any given moment), spinach, pickles, tofu

What’s the one thing you love now as much as you did when you were 14?
Zoolander.

Kyle
Debbie

Production & Accounting Coordinator

First album or single you ever owned, how old were you and what was the appeal?
Oh wow, pretty sure it was a cassette tape in middle school from this Mexican boy band called Magneto. I was such a fan I was even part of the fan club and my best friend at the time and I would watch endless hours of their videos to learn the choreography to all their hits.

Your most treasured possession?
My bear collection. I’m obsessed with all things bears and I have different types of bears from chocolate scented to a 4-foot-tall one and everything in between. “Bear” is even my nickname.

Biggest guilty pleasure?
Nutella!

List five items currently in your refrigerator.
Medjool dates for when my sweet tooth kicks in, green chiles roasted by me, almond milk, bananas and avocados-– what else do I need really?

What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
I recently watched a restored version of the Italian classic Cinema Paradiso during the AFI film fest. I hadn’t seen it before. My friend sitting next to me was crying hysterically, but I definitely got a knot in my throat.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
Resourceful, honest (sometimes a little too much), reliable, sporty and clumsy

Debbie

On the Devil’s Backbone trail at Mount Baldy

Receptionist

Favorite place in the world and why?
Los Angeles. I love my city. I was born and raised here. To the nay-sayers, I say if you can’t find something you love about this grand, sprawling eclectic metropolis, then you just don’t know Los Angeles. It’s completely different then how it’s portrayed in movies or TV, and the people that act like they’re “So LA” are usually from somewhere else and think that’s what they’re supposed to do. I get very defensive about my city, because I love her so.

Your most treasured possession?
Photos. I can look back and remember so many things that I haven’t thought about in a while. I have a piece of my pets and family who have passed. I can see how much I, and everyone close to me, has grown, and re-live happy moments with them.

List five items currently in your refrigerator.
Edam, Muenster, Gouda, Sharp Cheddar, and Stilton

What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
Creed. I love the Rocky movies.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less?
Hungry, Humorous, Hugger

What would your superpower be?
Flight, like, I could also carry any amount of weight in flight. Maybe a travel buddy and our suitcases. Although, I might get nagged all the time to help people move their furniture into their new place.

Carly
Hilda

Interesting fact about yourself that people wouldn’t expect?
I like Opera Music. I want to see Placido Domingo someday.

Your most treasured possession?
It’s not a possession. I treasure my family.

Who would you invite—dead or alive—to your fantasy dinner party?
Doesn’t matter as long as they’re cooking. 😉 (Enrique Iglesias =-))

Biggest guilty pleasure?
Chocolate

List five items currently in your refrigerator.
I haven’t checked. Basic things like milk and eggs. Milk and eggs are all you really need.

If you could learn anything instantly by downloading it into your brain Matrix-style, what would it be?
How to be a culinary master (master chef), but then I couldn’t really do much with milk and eggs…

Hilda