In our latest roundup, we present eight rising professionals from various parts of the biz whose dedication and effort make their superiors look good.

At the very least, we’re told copies of our mag make for decent sweat rags, which could come in handy during this heat wave.

Natalie Cervelli
VP of Sync, Virgin Music

Cervelli’s peak career moments include watching John Travolta dance with his daughter to Surface’s “Sunday Best” in a Super Bowl commercial—the exec spent her childhood approximating the dance moves in Grease, so this sync was pretty special. Among the other artists whose profile she’s raising with plum placements are Greentea Peng, Polo & Pan and mazie. Cervelli’s known for her keen sense of direction, attesting, “If I’ve traveled somewhere once, I can remember my way around, especially to restaurants and bars.” This should help her avoid our headquarters.

Salomon Palacios
SVP of Marketing & Artist Strategy, UMLE

Palacios lent key creative to the marketing campaign for J Balvin’s “Mi Gente” (which hit #1 across Latin America and landed in the Top 5 stateside thanks to a remix featuring Beyoncé), has worked on all of Latin Grammy winner KAROL G’s albums and helped develop up-and-comer Mariah Angeliq. Having finished law school while working full time for UMG in new-business analysis, business intelligence and label-management roles, he’s on the Latin sub-committee of its Taskforce for Meaningful Change. Oh, and Palacio’s a classically trained violinist of 20 years. Overachieve much?

Gabriella Ianni
VP, Commercial Strategy, Ingrooves

Ianni treasures the memories she made working with The Clash’s Mick Jones, including the time “he saw the massive Christmas tree all lit up at Rockefeller Center” (which he’d never seen IRL) “and made us stop the car so we could stand in front of it and take a photo.” These days she’s working on behalf of artists like beabadoobee, Felix Cartal, GRiZ, Twin Shadow, SEVENTEEN, Jelani Aryeh and Oscar Lang, overseeing the Ingrooves teams that interface with DSPs. An I Love Lucy aficionada, Ianni will have some splainin’ to do if she’s spotted here.

David Enriquez

SVP, Marketing, RECORDS

Enriquez was beyond stoked when RECORDS act 24kGoldn scored a global #1 quadruple-platinum smash with “Mood” f/iann dior. When the Queens native isn’t busy leading multitiered marketing efforts and promotional campaigns for the 20+ artists on the RECORDS roster—which includes Nelly, who just went platinum with “Lil Bit” featuring Florida Georgia Line, Grammy nominee Noah Cyrus and LSD (Labrinth, Sia and Diplo)—Enriquez enjoys spending time with turntables (as did his father before him). The tables were turned, however, when he agreed to be featured in this rag.

VP, A&R and Sync, APG

Sheppard is understandably chuffed to have signed PmBata, featured on Dream’s “Roadtrip,” source of 50m streams. This month saw the A&R’s contributions to the Space Jam: A New Legacy soundtrack, boasting APG artists 24kGoldn and P-Lo; last month it was the ST to F9: The Fast Saga (24kGoldn, Don Toliver, Devin Gates, Rico Nasty). He’s presently focused on songwriter Madison Love and producers Sermstyle and Mark Nilan Jr. Shepard is a gifted whistler, which could figure into signaling a good Samaritan should a HITS staffer stumble onto his path.

Lisa Ritchey
Associate Manager, Artist & Label Partnerships, Spotify

Ritchey sang Moulin Rouge every day on her way to school and grew up to interview Kylie Minogue —and ask her about playing the Green Fairy. Fast forward to June 2021, which found this partnership pro co-heading Spotify’s Pride campaign, including promotions with Kehlani, Claud, Dua Saleh and Lido Pimient. She’s also helped produce the platform’s livestreamed Stream On and delivered initiatives showcasing Megan Thee Stallion and Joji. But back to those school days: Ritchey was once slimed on Nickelodeon’s Double Dare 2000, an experience much like appearing here.

Adi Azran
Head of Marketing, Flighthouse Media

Among this branded-content marketing maven’s finest moments: Helping Surfaces amass 30m TikTok videos with their single “Sunday Best,” a trend that saw participation by the likes of Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber and Neymar. In no time, the duo was performing the song on Late Night With Seth Meyers, among other badges of honor. Azran’s not at liberty to discuss current clients, but he will wax rhapsodic about candles, the scented variety of which he’s even exploring with his new review show. Best to light a few when we show up.

Jake Markow
Owner/Operator, Markow, Inc.

Markow, Inc., client $NOT is making noise with his feature on Cochise’s “Tell Em,” which has Markow busy prepping North American and European headlining tours for the rising rapper, whose own album is upcoming. The artist-management and production company proprietor discovered $NOT on SoundCloud while the former was attending the University of Houston. It was also during college that Markow, then an A&R intern, participated in signing Megan Thee Stallion. Yet another result of his foray into higher education: learning how to roll the perfect joint.