Canadian rights management company, ole, announced Monday that Mike Whelan has joined the company’s Nashville office as Senior Director, Creative. Whelan joins ole from Sony Music Publishing, where he worked with writers and artists including two time BMI writer of the year Casey Beathard, Tony Martin, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney, and Luke Bryan. He reports to John Ozier, ole’s GM of Nashville Creative.
“Mike has such an extensive track record of both cultivating writers and placing songs with artists, and he brings a huge amount of knowledge and contacts to ole,” said Ozier. “He understands our unique personal approach and the ‘super service’ that we strive to give our writers and artists, and I’m very pleased to have him on the ole team.”
“ole is such a dynamic company and I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with John and the whole ole Creative team — and of course, all their talented writers,” said Whelan. “I look forward to helping the team continue to build the list of ole hits.”
Whelan began his career at Merit Music Publishing in 1986, working closely with producer Norro Wilson and writers such as Steve Cropper and Mentor Williams. After four years, he then joined Polygram Music Publishing, where he worked with writers and artists such as Bob McDill, Kostas, Toby Keith, Billy Ray Cyrus and Lee Roy Parnell. In 1994, Whelan went to Acuff Rose Music Publishing, where his writers and artists included Dean Dillon, Skip Ewing, Kenny Chesney and Aaron Tippin, and he also signed Casey Beathard to his first major publishing deal. He moved to Sony Music Publishing when the company acquired Acuff Rose in 2002, and eventually became VP of Creative Services there. Whelan is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State U.
Pictured here (left - right): Gilles Godard (Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Development), Emily Mueller (Manager), Shellien Kinsey (Coordinator), Mike Whelan (Senior Director), John Ozier (General Manager), Ben Strain (Director).