Close to $500,000 was raised for cancer research at the fourth annual Martell in Miami gala which took place Feb. 19, honoring WK Entertainment CEO/founder Walter Kolm and UMPG President for Latin America & US Latin Alexandra Lioutikoff. The amount was more than the past two years combined, making this a major show of force for an industry that has seen its fortunes grow exponentially in the past couple of years.
Kolm and Lioutikoff both were honored with the Estefan Lifetime Achievement Award for their work in the Latin music industry. Close to 500 people attended, including artists like CNCO, Carlos Vives and Sech as well as top music executives, including CAA agent and Martell in Miami chairman Bruno del Granado.
Lioutikoff and Kolm were fetted with music by Sech, singer/songwriter Arath Herce and, as the grand finale, a full-fledged set by Vives with his group.
Jody Gerson, the chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing, presented Lioutikoff with her award and a nod to the Estefan’s, whose publishing is signed to UMPG.
“I am proud to present Alexandra with an award named for Gloria and Emilio. If you have ever worked with Alex, you know she is a force. From her business leadership to signing artists.”
Liuotikoff was promoted to her post three years after joining Universal Music Publishing Group. She is the first woman to hold that post and, currently, the only woman to hold the position of president for a multinational Latin music company.
Kolm received his award from one of his artists, Carlos Vives, and from Afo Verde, chairman/CEO of Sony Music Latin America/Iberian Penninsula.
“There are few people like Walter who launched their careers creating an indie company,” said Verde, referencing Kolm’s early days in Argentina, and his most recent days launching his successful management company. WK Entertainment is a powerhouse today that represents some of the top Latin artists in the world, including Maluma, Vives, Wisin, CNCO, Silvestre Dangond and Emilia. “He takes care of his artists. He takes care of his team,” added Verde.
“It’s true,” quipped Vives. “He doesn’t let us order rice when we go out to dinner.”
Kolm, who draped a t-shirt of Argentine soccer team River Plate over the podium, accepted his award by thanking those who had supported his foray into management, and also asked those in attendance to not forget the real reason for the event.
“Thank you to all of you for buying tables. But we can all go into our pockets and give more. Good charity is the one that you can’t count but is done with the heart.”
As of Friday, nearly $100,000 more had been raised.
Please click here to see the original article in Billboard.