Serona Elton, Esq., an Associate Professor, Chair of the Music Media & Industry Department, and Program Director of the Music Business & Entertainment Industries Program at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, has over twenty years of experience in the music industry. She is also the Managing Director of The Selena Brand, President of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educator Association (MEIEA), a member of The Recording Academy, Florida Chapter, Board of Governors, consults for several major music companies, has recently directed several music industry conferences, and has published numerous articles about the music industry.
Her career began while still in college, where she was involved in a number of activities including reporting music news on-air for a local music video program, and music video and radio promotion. In 1993, while at the University of Miami, she helped found the student-run record label, 'Cane Records.
In 1995, she went to work for EMI Recorded Music, North America where she held a number of positions over eight years. From 1995 to 1999, she worked on the design, and took over the implementation of, a custom built artist royalty system, a repertoire management (label copy) system, and a contract management system. From 1999 to 2000 she was an Associate Director within the royalty department, where she oversaw the processing of sales information and licensing income, as well as royalty system administration.
From 2000 to 2003, as Senior Director, Business Analysis, she directed several phases of multiple global projects, including a contractual rights tracking system and a product database. She also developed data and system specifications for numerous systems with respect to new digital delivery methods in North America, acted as information/data liaison with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and SoundExchange, and represented EMI on RIAA committees for the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC), Sound Recording Database (SRDB) and Music Industry Integrated Identifier Project (MI3P).
During 2003, as Vice President, Mechanical Licensing and Repertoire Data Services, she oversaw the mechanical licensing of both physical and digital products, and the capture and communication of product information. She continued to liaise with the RIAA on multiple projects, including serving as Chairperson on two committees relating to industry issues. Elton left EMI in 2003 to return to Miami and pursue other endeavors.
While at EMI, Elton earned a law degree at Brooklyn Law School by taking evening classes from 1996 to 2000. She graduated magna cum laude in 2000 and is a member of both the New York Bar and Florida Bar.
Since early 2006, she has been consulting for music industry clients such as Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group, working on projects involving rights management, business affairs, licensing, and royalties. In August 2006, she also began teaching as an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, in the Music Business and Entertainment Industries Program. During her time at UM she has overseen six 'Cane Records projects, and spearheaded a new J.D./M.M. joint degree between the Frost School of Music and the School of Law. In 2011, she became the Director of the Music Business and Entertainment Industries Program, in 2012 she earned tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 2013 she was appointed as Chair of the Music Media & Industry Department.
In the Spring of 2012, she became the Managing Director of the newly launched The Selena Brand. The Selena Brand oversees all licensing of the name, images, and trademarks associated with the late Latin music icon, Selena.
She is involved in a number of additional activities, including serving President of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA); serving as a member of The Recording Academy, Florida Chapter, Board of Governors; and the Florida Bar Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Section Executive Council Treasurer. She has also served as the Conference Chairperson for the 2010 International MEIEA Conference, and the Conference Director for the Miami Music Festival Emerging Artists Conference in 2009 and 2010.
Elton holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida (1993), an M.M. in Music Media and Industry from the University of Miami (1995) and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School (2000) magna cum laude.