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SPARS Appoints Kirk Imamura, Tony van Veen to Board of Directors

Avatar Studios President Kirk Imamura

SPARS President Leslie Ann Jones, Director of Music and Scoring at Skywalker Sound, announces the appointment of two new members to the Board of Directors of the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS): Kirk Imamura (Avatar Studios) and Tony van Veen (Disc Makers).

Kirk Imamura is the owner and president of Avatar Studios in New York City, an award winning, highly respected four-room, world-class facility. Avatar has hosted sessions for Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Donald Fagen and Norah Jones. Under Imamura’s leadership, the studio has received numerous awards, including five TEC Awards for Outstanding Creative Achievement, and is recognized as one of the premier recording destinations in the world.

Imamura has more than 18 years experience in the consumer electronics industry, having worked for Sony Corporation. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from San Diego State University. He has engineering and management experience in equipment design, software development, large scale manufacturing operations, product development and strategic and business planning, all which have contributed to Avatar’s success.

Audio and Video Labs Inc. CEO and President Tony van Veen

Tony van Veen is CEO and president of Audio and Video Labs Inc., the parent company of Disc Makers and CD Baby. Having performed and toured with several bands and run a small independent label, van Veen joined Disc Makers in 1987. As president of Disc Makers, van Veen has been at the forefront of empowering independent artists to release, distribute and promote their own music. In the process, he oversaw the company’s growth from a small regional vinyl pressing plant with fewer than 40 employees, to a leader in CD and DVD manufacturing for independent artists in the U.S., with more than 400 employees, producing more than 20,000 new independent titles a year.

In August 2008, the company acquired CD Baby, the largest independent music store in the world with 250,000 independent album titles and more than 2.2 million songs in its catalog, which it sells on its own store and distributes to dozens of the largest download stores in the world, including iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, and eMusic. van Veen continues to be actively engaged with independent artists while splitting his duties between Disc Makers and CD Baby.

“I am very pleased to welcome Kirk and Tony to the Board of Directors,” states Paul Christensen, SPARS’ new Executive Director. “I look forward to their contribution and support with regard to SPARS new education initiatives as well as our new outreach to independent engineers and producers.”

SPARS is the 30-year-old nonprofit association representing professionals in the recording industry. The organization is dedicated to providing networking, education and community to its members and the industry as a whole. For more information, visit