New Additions to the Board of Trustees
With the addition of six highly accomplished professionals from diverse backgrounds, the Berklee Board of Trustees grew in 2014. Joining the board in March 2014, were Dan Harple, Susan Solomont, and Len Baker. In June, Josh Gruss, Steve Holtzman, and Joel Katz were added.
Dan Harple is the managing director of Shamrock Ventures, B.V., based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Cambridge, MA. For more than two decades, he has been an entrepreneur building technologies and companies for billions of Internet users. He has founded and served as the CEO for such entities as Context Media (acquired by Oracle in 2005), GyPsii, a joint venture providing the location-based social media engine driving China’s fast-growing Twitter-like platform Sina Weibo. A graduate of MIT and the University of Rhode Island, Harple is currently an entrepreneur in residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Len Baker has been a partner at Sutter Hill Ventures, an established Silicon Valley venture capital firm, since 1973. He has been an active investor in entertainment media, semiconductors, biotechnology and medical equipment, and software. Baker has also served on the boards of private and public companies such as Line 6 (guitar amplifier manufacturers), Youku Tudou (Chinese Internet video company) and Yale University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a master’s from Stanford University.
Susan Lewis Solomont has served as a senior adviser at the Philanthropic Initiative, a Boston consulting firm, and as the director of corporate development for WGBH. Living in Madrid from 2009 to 2013 while her husband, Alan D. Solomont, was the United States ambassador to Spain and Andorra, she chaired the U.S. Embassy’s Volunteers in Action program and the Women’s Leadership Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce. She earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell and Tufts universities, respectively.
Josh Gruss is the current CEO and chair of Round Hill Music, a music publishing company. He began his career in the industry at Sony Music, Atlantic Records, and Clear Channel’s Live Music Division, before working in investment banking at Bear Stearns & Co. and as a partner at the New York investment firm Gruss & Co. Prior to working at Gruss & Co., Gruss earned his BA from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and an MBA from both Columbia University and London Business School. He also served six years in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Steven H. Holtzman has distinguished himself in the pharmaceutical industry serving in executive positions for Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc., Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. He is currently the executive vice president for corporate development at Biogen Idec. Holtzman has served as a board member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization and as an overseer of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, among others, and was a presidential appointee to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. He holds degrees from Michigan State University and Corpus Christi College and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Joel Katz is widely recognized as a leader in the field of entertainment law and his client roster includes some of the world’s top entertainers, music producers, record companies, concert promoters, and Fortune 500 companies. More than 30 years ago, he founded Katz, Smith & Cohen, which became one of the country’s largest music entertainment law firms. In 1998, he merged his practice with Greenberg Traurig. Katz is an active speaker and panelist at industry events, and he has authored and coauthored numerous articles and commentaries on a variety of topics concerning entertainment law.
For more on members of the Berklee Board of Trustees, visit berklee.edu/trustees.