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Annual H.R. Young Lecture Series Featured Carmine Coppola

The Leon Hess Business School (LHBS) and Monmouth’s Music Industry Program co-sponsored the annual H.R. Young Lecture Series last semester, hosting Carmine Coppola, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Sony Entertainment, as the keynote speaker. The Great Hall Auditorium housed the event, titled “Decoding the Music Industry,” which was attended by an audience of over 100 undergraduate and graduate students from both of the aforementioned schools.

Coppola’s presentation gave an overview of the global music industry while also providing an in-depth exploration into the role of artificial intelligence, streaming and commercial arrangements, the strategic considerations in the acquisition of music catalog rights, and the complexities of managing risks associated with foreign exchange rates. Coppola stayed after the presentation to answer questions and speak with students about the music industry.

The main goal of the lecture, according to Tjeerd Boonman, Ph.D., Specialist Professor of Economics, Finance, and Real Estate, was to help students understand the ever-changing dynamics of the music industry. Innovations throughout the past decade—such as the evolution from vinyl, to CD, to MP3, to streaming—have caused the industry to adapt at a rapid pace. “Students learn that an industry can reinvent itself, become resilient, and is even able to grow,” explained Boonman. “Carmine Coppola presented different scenarios, from worst to best case. Thanks to the multiple disruptions the music industry is much more agile and resilient and sees these challenges as opportunities. In the Q&A session, students asked questions about his career path, tips on finding a balance between professional success and personal life quality, and his vision on how business schools should prepare students to be ready for work in the corporate sector.”

Boonman originally planned to invite Coppola as a guest speaker for his International Finance MBA course. “When we were discussing the topics and saw the profile of Carmine Coppola, we quickly decided that this was such a unique opportunity that we should expand the guest lecture into a lecture for the entire University community, in particular for the Leon Hess Business School and the Department of Music,” he explained. This is how Joe Rapolla, Chair of the Department of Music and Theatre Arts and Specialist Professor, became involved.

“In addition to my role here at Monmouth, I am also a proud alum of the LHBS, where I earned my MBA in the class of 1990,” said Rapolla. “From there, I went on to have a career in the music business, eventually running marketing for Universal & Warner Music Groups. As Chair of the Music & Theatre Arts department, and specifically, Director of the Music Industry Program here at Monmouth—a Billboard Magazine recognized Top Music Business School, I might add—I am acutely aware that the music business is just that…a business.” He further explained that the Music Industry program curriculum has a partnership with the LHBS, emphasizing the need for his participation in the event.

The connection between Monmouth and Coppola was made through Sheldon Horowitz, one of the Executives-in-Residence at the LHBS. Boonman also highlighted that other connections between Sony and Monmouth are through students who completed internships at

Sony through the Bruce Springsteen Archives, as Sony recently acquired Springsteen’s entire portfolio.
Richard Veit, Ph.D., Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, attended the event and commented on the presentation’s importance for student learning. “I think that the lecture provided an incredible opportunity for our students to learn from an industry leader, Mr. Coppola, and hear about how his background in accounting provided him with a wealth of career opportunities,” he said. “I hope that [the students] were inspired by his presentation. I found him to be a compelling speaker and appreciate the efforts of the Business School, and especially Dean Devasagayam and Advisory Council Member Sheldon Horowitz to bring Mr. Coppola to our campus.”

Rapolla expressed a similar hope for the students who attended. “My goal is for all students to see various opportunities for them in the broad and growing music, media, and entertainment categories. And, I’m fairly certain that came across,” he said. “At the end of Mr. Coppola’s presentation a Business School senior approached me with questions about the field. They followed up and we met. I have since put them in touch with some folks in Nashville, where they met, and I am told this graduating senior has been offered a paid internship this summer at the Country Music Hall of Fame. These are the kind of outcomes we want to see at Monmouth.”

Jade Falvo-Fernandes, Graduate Assistant in the Leon Hess Business School’s Dean’s Office, helped organize the event and attended the lecture. “The H.R. Young Lecture Series event with Mr. Carmine Coppola greatly exceeded my expectations, as Mr. Coppola offered valuable insight to the Monmouth University community on the global music industry,” she said. “As a current business graduate student within the Leon Hess Business School, I found this event to be very interesting, as it provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge about different industries.”

Falvo-Fernandes also advised that students, regardless of their major, should plan to attend the upcoming lectures in future semesters. “These events allow you to establish rewarding connections with professionals and gain unique insight from experts within the business world,” she explained.

Richard Ricciardi, the Corporate Relations Officer for the LHBS, helped organize logistics for the event. He said, “The successful turnout and informative nature of this event was a direct result of meticulous planning and collaborative efforts on the part of Sheldon Horowitz, Richard Ricciardi, Professor Tjeerd Boonman, Professor Joseph Rapolla, Mary Kate Kane, and Kyle Bleiweis.”

He concluded, “This event was a profound demonstration of the Business School’s commitment to offer our students unparalleled educational experiences facilitated by industry titans. The insights and knowledge shared by Mr. Coppola will leave a lasting impression on those who attended.”