Three years ago, Kristina Grossmann, ’08, turned a class assignment in music entrepreneurship into Rock for Health, a nonprofit organization that works with insurers like MetLife and Medilinq to provide affordable health coverage to rock musicians.
Today, more than 300 bands have secured health insurance through Rock for Health and Grossmann has been named to Billboard magazine’s 30 Under 30 list in recognition of her accomplishments.
“I’m incredibly honored to be a part of Billboard’s 30 Under 30 this year,” said Grossmann. “It’s been a goal of mine ever since I found out about the feature a few years ago. Now let’s see if I can find myself to be the first person to make the list multiple times!”
Grossmann says Assistant Professor of Music Richard Strasser, the professor teaching that music entrepreneurship class back in 2007, made a big difference in bringing Rock for Health from idea to reality.
“Professor Strasser was there with me every step of the way and taught me some of the most valuable information that I know about being a company owner and young executive,” she says. “I would not be where I am without his guidance and support.”
Rock for Health originated through Grossmann’s own experience with health care providers. Traveling with the rock band Bayside for the 2007 Warped Tour, she became ill with strep throat. Though she had health insurance, Grossmann began thinking about the many musicians who did not.
When Strasser presented her class with the assignment to design a business plan for a start-up company, “I knew it was my opportunity to take it a step further and create a real organization that could positively affect the health of musicians,” said Grossmann.
While continuing to grow Rock for Health, Grossmann is an A&R (artist and repertoire) coordinator at Universal Republic Records in New York, where she has worked since graduating from Northeastern– a position she credits having secured through a co-op experience.
At Universal Republic, Grossmann has signed several new artists including the Limousines, Atomic Tom, Hit the Lights and Stephen Jerzak. She also works with a majority of the label’s 84-act roster, such as Owl City, Anberlin, Damian Marley, Godsmack, Steel Panther, The Lonely Island, 3 Doors Down and Jay Sean.
“Music is in my blood,” Grossmann said. “I am fortunate to do what I love and work with talented musicians on a daily basis. My position with Universal gives me new ideas and strengthens my hopes for the potential for Rock for Health.
“The experiences I garnered through Northeastern, both in my classes and out on co-op, helped me to focus my ideas and create my own career path.”
Editorial note: As of February 23, 2011 Universal Republic’s roster includes roughly 130 artists. Kristina has been promoted to A&R Manager and is in charge of the recording schedule for the NBC show “The Voice” (Seasons 1 and 2).