Rep Sheet Roundup: UTA Signs Singer-Turned-Chef Kelis

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THR’s at-a-glance look at the week in representation news

Who got signed, promoted, hired or fired? The Hollywood Reporter’s Rep Sheet rounds up the week in representation news. To submit announcements for consideration, contact

Bringing all the agents to the yard

“Milkshake” singer Kelis has signed with UTA. The Grammy-nominated artist, who released her sixth and most recent album, Food, in 2014, trained at Le Cordon Bleu and was the 2016 curator for Los Angeles’ Taste Talks festival. Her cookbook My Life on a Plate is a best-seller, and her sauce line Bounty & Full is available in 500 outlets nationwide so far. She has hosted two Food Network specials and appeared on The View, The Chew and Vice’s Munchies. Kelis continues to be represented by Red Light Management, Jon Leshay at Storefront Entertainment and the U.K.’s Coda Agency.

From one type of rep to another

Former Frankfurt Kurnit partner Maggie Pisacane has joined WME as a partner in nonscripted television. Based in New York, she will represent entertainment, fashion, culinary and other lifestyle clients in branding opportunities across all media. As an entertainment attorney, the Columbia Law and Harvard grad represented Warrior Poets, Morgan Spurlock, Stephen David Entertainment, Marcus Samuelsson, Meryl Poster and New York magazine.

Selling up

IMG has promoted EMEA head of sales and worldwide business development Adam Kelly to head of global sales. As senior vp worldwide sales, he will continue to report to WME-IMG co-president Ioris Francini. Kelly’s recent deals include acquiring UFC, consulting with the IOC, expanding broadcast rights for World Snooker and action sports (including IMG-owned channel EDGEsport) and partnering with Euroleague for a long-term joint venture, which he will continue to be involved in. Kelly joined IMG’s research division in 2001 and was promoted to senior vp global business development in 2012.

Doing Business As DBA

Talent management company Digital Brand Architects, which specializes in digital influencers, has promoted two to partner:

·      Reesa Lake, New York-based senior vp brand partnerships, became DBA’s first manager six years ago. She has worked with companies including Amazon, Tresemme, Q-Tip, ShopStyle and major publishing houses. She previously served as a producer on NBC’s Great American Health Challenge and began her career in public relations, working with brands including Yigal Azrouel, Donna Karan Hosiery, Fred Leighton and Gwen Stefani’s LAMB and Harajuku Lovers.

·      Vanessa Flaherty, who as senior vp talent management will oversee the Los Angeles office. Since joining DBA in 2011, her work has included Aimee Song (Song of Style’s) Laura Mercier brand ambassadorship, a plus-size capsule collection from Gabi Fresh and swimsuitsforall and a Volvo global ad campaign created by’s Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg. She previously worked in Coach’s global communications department for five years, focusing on digital and social media.

“We’re thrilled to name Reesa and Vanessa, two of DBA’s greatest talents, as partners,” DBA co-founders Raina Penchansky and Karen Robinovitz said in a joint statement. “As digital and social media influencers, particularly in the fashion and lifestyle space, have a growing impact on the way we interact with and see the world, we couldn’t be more grateful for the guidance, leadership and insight of these two trailblazers.”

This news isn’t awkward

Awkward’s Molly Tarlov has signed with Portrait PR. She played former mean girl Sadie on all five seasons of the MTV comedy.

Sharing the news

Agent-turned-entertainment attorney Kerry Smith has joined Greenspoon Marder as a shareholder. She will serve as team chair of the firm’s entertainment law practice group in New York. Smith’s clients have included Don Mischer Productions, Done+Dusted and Show Shop, and she has provided production legal services on the Primetime Emmys, Billboard’s Women in Music, the Kennedy Center Honors, Super Bowl halftime shows and the Tonys. Smith had her own entertainment law practice for nine years and then launched Shukat Arrow’s television and film practice group in 2010. Before becoming a lawyer, she was a television agent at New York-based Artists Agency and then became director of business affairs at ABC. “Kerry’s integration into the entertainment law practice group is a great synergistic complement to the firm’s existing clients,” group chair Leslie Jose Zigel said in a statement. “Kerry’s experience will be pivotal in guiding our creative and business clients into the new paradigm where traditional ways of doing business are quickly morphing into new and exciting opportunities.”

On their way

Abrams has promoted two to departmental coordinator:

·      New York native Rob Cassandro graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in motion pictures (entertainment business concentration). After working on various film, television and commercial productions, he joined Abrams as a New York-based assistant in the youth theatrical division before moving to Los Angeles to become an agent in training in adult talent.

·      Los Angeles native Shawn Naim double majored in biochemistry and statistics at UC Davis. He joined Abrams upon graduation, spending a few months as a talent assistant before entering the agent in training program. He has served as assistant to senior vp and L.A. talent head Marni Rosenzweig for the past year.

Said agency founder and CEO Harry Abrams in a statement, “I am so pleased to see Rob and Shawn continue to utilize their skills and professionalism for us in a more senior capacity.”

New year, new division

Marketing agency Haley Miranda Group has launched lifestyle communication division HMG-PLUS. The team will be led by vp communication Ashton Spatz and provide social media, public relations and digital services. HMG has worked with brands including Netflix, Target, Cost Plus World Market, Mana Products and Chateau St. Michelle. “As a promotional marketing agency, Haley Miranda Group has evolved to provide publicity and promotional support to our events and activation clients over the last twenty-three years,” president Jed West said in a statement. “The final step of launching the HMG-PLUS division will allow us to fully leverage and promote the PR, social and digital services we can offer to brands.”

Elsewhere in Rep World:

UTA Taps Seth Oster as Global Head of Corporate PR

Jesse Williams Signs With CAA

CAA Signs ‘Weiner’ Production Company Edgeline Films

CAA Signs R&B Star Brian McKnight

WME-IMG Launches Philanthropic Partnership With UNICEF

Paradigm Acquires AM Only and The Windish Agency

ICM Forms Strategic Partnership With Radio Talent Agency Workhouse Media