Sanchez: I am NOT a fail­ure! Let me set the record straight

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

In the last few weeks since send­ing out a Press Re­lease to the me­dia ti­tled “ECCO Di­rec­tor Res­ig­na­tion In Protest” I have been ver­bally at­tacked by the CEO of ECCO (East­ern Caribbean Copy­right Or­ga­ni­za­tion), to the ex­tent that I have been ac­cused of be­ing a fail­ure amongst other things. I felt that I should clar­ify and high­light some of the mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tions that I have made to ECCO, formerly HMS (He­wanorra Mu­si­cal So­ci­ety) over the years. I am set­ting the record straight.

I served on the board of HMS from 2001 to 2004, be­ing the Vice-Chair­man from 2002. Whilst on the board, I was asked to as­sist with the li­cens­ing process. I worked part-time and as­sisted the Gen­eral Man­ager, my su­per­vi­sor. I was suc­cess­ful at that time as I was com­mit­ted to the con­cept that “if you play, you must pay”.

This was at the early stages of the ini­ti­a­tion of li­cens­ing where there was a very hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment as per­sons or es­tab­lish­ments re­sisted the im­ple­men­ta­tion of this new le­gal sys­tem.

In 2004 I was of­fered the po­si­tion of Sales Ex­ec­u­tive as an em­ployee of HMS but had to re­sign from the board to un­der­take the po­si­tion. It was a nat­u­ral process for me as by this time I had in­creased knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence in the ar­eas of li­cens­ing and I had be­come well known in the music and en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try. I was suc­cess­ful in the li­cens­ing of events and lo­cal premises. At that time I was also man­ag­ing artistes and as­sist­ing HMS mem­bers. I was, then, the bridge between the mem­bers and the so­ci­ety.

Based on my suc­cess in Saint Lu­cia I was ap­proached by Performing Rights So­ci­ety di­rec­tor Diana Der­rick to as­sist her in the li­cens­ing of the St Kitts Music Fes­ti­val. She briefed me on her two-year chal­lenge of li­cens­ing the fes­ti­val which I at­tended, soon un­der­stand­ing why Ms. Der­rick had those stum­bling blocks in St Kitts. It was a dif­fi­cult as­sign­ment as I ini­tially was treated as a for­eigner com­ing to take the fes­ti­val’s money. Nev­er­the­less I per­se­vered. I was de­ter­mined to at least get a com­mit­ment to li­cense the fes­ti­val from the Fes­ti­val Di­rec­tor be­fore I left St Kitts, which I achieved af­ter a few months. A year later the li­cense was paid. Since 2006 the St Kitts Music Fes­ti­val li­cense has been re­newed and to­day this li­cense has be­come a sta­ple in ECCO’s ar­mory of events.

I continued my role as a music pub­lisher and man­ager of artistes. in 2010 I was elected as a mem­ber of the board of ECCO, as a di­rec­tor, and my opin­ions and views were highly re­garded by col­leagues and ECCO man­age­ment.

I was given as­sign­ments to An­tigua in 2013 and to Gre­nada in 2014, li­cens­ing over EC$20,000 for events in the lat­ter. I val­ued my time in Gre­nada as it opened my mind to the var­i­ous strate­gies that could be used in the li­cens­ing process.

I have al­ways stood firm in the be­lief that ECCO should be fair and serve the best in­ter­ests of the mem­bers and, as a re­sult, I re­signed as Di­rec­tor in protest of de­ci­sions made at an ECCO Board meet­ing on July 21, 2016. Those de­ci­sions, in my opin­ion, were not in the best in­ter­ests of mem­bers but were in the in­ter­ests of the hi­er­ar­chy of the Ad­min­is­tra­tion of ECCO.

Over the last few years I have seen the dis­con­nect between the man­age­ment of ECCO and the mem­ber­ship which has led to a sub­stan­tial di­vide between the two and has been one of the ma­jor is­sues that have caused a break­down in com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

I served on the board of ECCO from 2010 to 2016 and I guess I was dis­hon­ourably dis­charged (by ECCO man­age­ment) when I re­signed in protest!

In light of my afore­men­tioned re­sumé, i am set­ting the record straight. I am un­doubt­edly one of the most ex­pe­ri­enced per­sons in the OECS in terms of the li­cens­ing and sales process for the use of music in the East­ern Caribbean. I am not a fail­ure!

- Ian Sanchez

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