The Orchard has named two executives to lead strategy for the company’s offices in New York and Nashville.
Mary Ashley Johnson (pictured left) has been promoted to executive vice president, sales and artist & label management, US and Canada. Katie Studley (pictured right) has been appointed vice president, Nashville. They will report to Colleen Theis, The Orchard’s chief operating officer.
Both executives will provide local distribution expertise, release strategy and regional support to The Orchard’s extensive roster of artist and label clients, while focusing on expanding their reach to global audiences.
Johnson has been in her role since 2019 and the company said she has “driven revenue and market share for The Orchard to record highs”, while managing teams responsible for client relationships and high-level strategy on key releases across the regions.
Prior to joining The Orchard, Johnson spent over 28 years as an employee under the Sony Music umbrella, including 11 years at RED Distribution, which was incorporated into The Orchard in 2017.
Johnson said: “I look forward to continuing to deliver record-setting success in both market share growth and artist development for The Orchard and providing best in class service to our clients.”
As The Orchard Nashville’s vice president, Katie Studley will oversee the office’s day-to-day operations. Her responsibilities include developing new business relationships as well as providing on-the-ground support to existing clients in the market, further expanding the company’s presence in Nashville.
"I am equally excited to develop new relationships within Nashville's independent creative communities as I am honoured to foster growth for The Orchard's incredible existing roster,” said Studley. “I've long appreciated The Orchard's quality of service and the good people behind it, and I am proud to join their impressive global organisation."
Studley joins The Orchard team from a 10-year tenure at Jack White's Third Man Records, where she acted as VP, operations and marketing director. In her roles, she assembled a label team, strategised the diversification of Third Man's operations, and worked on album campaigns for artists including Margo Price, The Raconteurs, Sleep, Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Paul McCartney, and more.
Previously, Studley worked in artist development and marketing at Thirty Tigers, contributing to the growth of artists like the Avett Brothers and Jason Isbell. Both Third Man Records and Thirty Tigers have distribution agreements with The Orchard.
“We are proud to appoint these two well-deserving women to key executive roles in the company,” said Colleen Theis. “Mary Ashley’s leadership, business savvy and proven expertise has led The Orchard to unprecedented heights in 2022. In her newly expanded role, she will spearhead even bigger opportunities for our artist and label partners.
“We’re excited to welcome Katie to The Orchard family. As an instrumental partner on the client side, she comes to us with a deep understanding of our business strategy. Her relationships in the Nashville market and beyond will help us further connect local artists and labels to global audiences.”
The Orchard celebrated its 25th year in 2022, including successful US campaigns for Bad Bunny, Jack White, Nas, $uicideboy$, Blxst, Bizarrap, Sturgill Simpson and Kelsea Ballerini. The Orchard delivered over 200 US Top 200 releases, and its distributed artist and label clients had over 518 billion total streams.