Ellis L. Marsalis Jr.

Bernie Cyrus

Steve Picou

Jennifer Tusa


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Bernie Cyrus
Executive Director of the Louisiana Music Commission
A Personal Resume

Highlights of Qualifications


• Proven success in implementing productivity-enhancing programs for music, education, radio, television, telecommunications, government, and public benefit charities

• Proven success in securing and coordinating major music events and programs

• Proven communications and media skills with high exposure successes in broadcast, print, multimedia and the Internet

• Award winning sales background in telecommunications, technology and developmental projects

• Strong foundation of community and government service

• Strong relationships with governmental executive offices, legislative leaders and department heads

• Strong relationships with business leaders, community developers, convention and tourism organizations

• Proven ability to assemble effective Boards and fulfill their missions

• Working with an average annual Louisiana Music Commission budget since 1992 of $205,000, produced an average return on investment of 15:1 generating over $35 million in impact

• Identified obstacles to growth of the Louisiana music industry and created programs, projects and initiatives to create remedies

• Developed and maintained an extensive database of the Louisiana music industry and important contacts within the international music industry

• Developed and maintained a database of new Louisiana companies working in music manufacturing and related industries

• Working to develop a music manufacturing cluster with CA Guitars, Acoustic Analysis and ElectroFaulken Engineering

• Produced and hosted hundreds of hours of radio shows highlighting Louisiana musical artists and companies

• Produced and hosted more than 150 hours of commercial television shows highlighting Louisiana musical artists and companies

• From 1992-1995 put more Louisiana artists onto commercial radio and television than anyone in history up until that time

• Strong relationships with many major Louisiana music stars, producers and Louisiana recording studio, staging and events management companies

• Strong relationships with many major film and television stars, producers and Louisiana film/video service companies

• Proven fund raising skills for projects large and small

• Serve on numerous Boards and Advisory Committees for university, community college, and community development entities working to implement new music and entertainment industry strategies

• Innovated, implemented and partnered to create significant education initiatives for music history that have reached more than 150,000 Louisiana school children in the past 3 years

• Actively pursuing workforce development initiatives in partnerships with Louisiana educational institutions

• Key player in negotiating the settlement between the Orleans Parish School Board and the State of Louisiana over future operations of NOCCA

• Produced and developed benchmarks and related data that validate the economic impact of the music industry and help measure the successes of the Louisiana Music Commission


Professional Experiences


Louisiana Music Commission 1992-Present
Executive Director

Supervise state government efforts to promote and develop Louisiana's $3 billion music industry. Implemented numerous projects including a successful 10 year effort to end the New Orleans Amusement Tax on live music; led efforts to secure the $85 million Grammy Expo, and the $20 million National Music Center; credited by the producers for saving the Aaron Neville Christmas Special resulting in over $1 million in economic impact; hosted and co-produced a weekly live cable television show featuring Louisiana music that presented over 300 musical artists; co-founded New Orleans Jazz Centennial Celebration which helped secure the Louis Armstrong stamp issuance ceremonies for New Orleans, staged a symposium on the past and future of Jazz, is bringing historical jazz history "informances" to elementary schools, developed a promenade on the Algiers Point levee dedicated to deceased jazz musicians, and is estimated to have had a more than $3 million economic impact so far. Helped create the Louisiana Music Trail promotional campaign with the Louisiana Office of Tourism. Hosted international media including television and radio from Japan, England, France, Germany, Italy, Australia and Russia. Additionally, hosted and assisted with events for dozens of charities including Cerebral Palsy of Louisiana, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Big Easy Awards, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, the Arts Council of New Orleans, the Mayor's Arts Awards, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, New Orleans Museum of Art, the New Orleans Opera Association, the Celtic Nations Heritage Festival, the Jean Lafitte National Historical Jazz Park, the Seafood Festival in Mandeville, Share Our Strength and more.


Partial List of Achievements

Helped kill the Amusement Tax on live music in New Orleans

Increased economic impact of the Louisiana Music Commission

Created programs/initiatives that generated new jobs

Provided new outlets for Louisiana artists to reach retail markets

Produced direct and indirect job growth in Louisiana's music industry

Increased international marketing efforts for Louisiana music

Improved economic environment for music

Staged major music events, conferences and meetings

Raised more than $2 million in federal, state, local and private funds for music charities

Developed the LMC into a responsive, innovative agency that annually assists thousands of customers


Past Employment:

US Sprint 1988-91 Major Account Representative

Sales of long distance, broadcast fax, data, early adoption of fiber and email, to major accounts in New Orleans Metro area, Top Twenty Sales (#19 of 240) in the nation. President's Club 1990-1991.

Independent Insurance Agent 1984-87 Louisiana license: Property, Casualty, Life and Health

Orleans Public Schools 1983-84 Teacher

Louisiana Department of Education 1978-82 Project Director

Hired, evaluated and supervised a staff of 30 professionals and paraprofessionals, liaison to funding agencies in state, local and federal government. Oversaw entire operation of after school reading, math and adult education programs. Established and administered summer youth camp. Received Director of the Year honor from the Department of Education in 1981.

Professional Video Services 1976-78

Produced court room trial evidence, video court room depositions, numerous industrial, commercial and political video spots.

Board and/or committee membership(present):

Cancer Crusaders

Delgado Music Business Program Advisory Committee

Louisiana Rock n Rhythms Hall of Fame Museum (chairman)

Loyola Music Business Program Advisory Committee

Loyola School of Music Advisory Committee

New Orleans Jazz Centennial Celebration (co-founder)

New Orleans Musicians Alumni Association

UNO Jazz Studies Advisory Committee

Past member:

Louisiana Bicentennial Planning Commission

Governor's Commemorative Quarter Commission

Young Progressive Democrats (founder & past president)

Rock Against Racism (co-founder & president)

New Orleans Sister Cities

New Orleans Jaycees (Secretary)

Past Honors & Associations:

Gambit 15 Anniversary Issue, New Orleans' Favorites

Co-creator of National CableAce nominee, LTV/Louisiana Jukebox winner of 6 CableAce awards

Who's Who People in American Politics

Who's Who in American Colleges

All American Collegiate Press

New Orleans Magazine "People to Watch"


University of New Orleans 1978, Bachelor of Arts&emdash;Communications/Political Science, Minor in Film.

Marion Abramson High School 1973, President DECA (1972 DECA La. Student of the Year), VP Student Council

Partial Listing of Media Appearances Promoting Louisiana Music

International Television: Australia, BBC-TV Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia

International Radio: BBC Radio Britain, BBC Radio Ulster, Ireland, France, WRNO Worldwide Radio

International Print: London Times, press in Russia, Australia, Japan and several other countries

National Television: ABC-TV Primetime, NBC-TV, Jazz Alley TV (National syndication), Family Channel Aaron Neville Christmas Special featuring Linda Rondstadt

Louisiana Television:

WDSU&emdash;New Orleans After Midnight Creator/Producer/Host (1997-1999) Highest Neilsen rated locally produced late night television show in the history of Louisiana. Critically acclaimed.

Cox Metro 10: LTV Host/Co-Executive Producer/Co-Creator of CableAce-nominated (1993-96) Produced 100 live shows, became the basis for Louisiana Jukebox, which continues to run today and has put more Louisiana artists onto commercial television than any show in history.

WLAE: Gallery Orleans, Jazz Brunch TV, Ringside Politics- Executive Producer/Co-host

Executive Producer/Co-Host Cerebral Palsy Telethon 1996-98 WLAE

WWL Morning Show

WVUE&emdash;Grammy w/Aaron Neville


WNOL: Executive Producer=Politically Speaking Louisiana Style-2000


 Louisiana Radio:

WCKW-FM Co-host/executive producer Louisiana Homegrown Music Show 1992-94, WZRH-FM-creator of LA's Alternative Show 1993 to 1995, WWOZ&emdash;Guest Co-host/Producer, WTIX&emdash;Guest Host/Producer, WWL, WRNO, KLJZ, KLSU, WTUL, KBON and more.

Print Media:

Billboard Magazine&emdash;3 Feature Stories, 2 Letters

USA Today

Down Beat

New Orleans Magazine&emdash;Feature Story

Shot In LA. Magazine&emdash;Cover Story

Cultural Vistas

Dallas Morning News

Offbeat Magazine


The Advocate

Gambit Weekly

Washington Post

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Orlando Sentinel

San Diego Union Tribune

Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Film and Television Courses and Related Productions

Amateur Films

1972 8mm In a Land Called Viet Nam

1974 8mm The Wild Wild East

1977 16mm Giving Love

Courses taken at UNO: Introduction to Film, Film Theory, Film Production, Advanced Film Production, History of Film, Television Production

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