Fireside Chat with Duff McKagan
Duff McKagan is one of the most recognized bassists in rock music history, best known as a founding member of the Guns N' Roses. McKagan has also become a prolific writer, as a five-year columnist for Seattle Weekly and stints as a weekly sports columnist for ESPN, as well as a financial columnist for Playboy.com. He has authored a bestselling autobiography "It's So Easy: and other lies", followed by his second book, "How to Be a Man: (and other illusions)". After attending Albers School of Business and Seattle University in his thirties, McKagan has established himself as a voice of business from within the music industry. Developing a reputation for financial knowledge, McKagan was highly sought after amongst other musicians for his advice on managing money. In 2011, McKagan partnered with investor Andy Bottomley to start Meridian Rock, with the aim of creating a capital management firm for musicians. McKagan resides with his wife Susan and two daughters, Grace and Mae, in Seattle, Washington.
Milana (Rabkin) Lewis is the co-founder and CEO of Stem, a distribution and payments platform that simplifies finances for musicians and content creators.
Prior to founding Stem, Milana spent five years as a Digital Media Agent at the premier global talent and literary agency, United Talent Agency (UTA). She helped build UTA’s digital offerings by advising the agency’s individual and corporate clients on emerging distribution platforms, digitally-driven fundraising and monetization opportunities. Milana represented a roster of digital creators, ranging from top YouTube and Vine stars to prominent bloggers and social media personalities, and helped grow their social channels into sustainable and profitable careers. In addition to this work, Milana sourced investment opportunities for UTA’s then newly-formed venture capital division.
From her days at UTA to the helm of Stem, Milana continues to be a champion for the creative class by pioneering new ways to bring ideas to life and her drive of novelty.
She has been recognized as “30 Under 30” in 2017 by both Forbes and Inc Magazine, was named one of Refinery29's “30 under 30" most influential rising stars in 2012, and featured in Hollywood’s “New Leaders” by Variety.
Milana attended UCLA earning a B.A. from the Women’s Studies College, designing a major in Critical New Media Literacy.