For Entertainment Business Master’s grads Letrece and Ontario Griffin, work is a family affair. Together, this brother and sister team runs Power Move Management (PMM), a self-described “one stop shop” for artists looking to take their careers to the next level.
“Growing up, [Ontario] was always into music, playing all kinds of different instruments, and I was more interested in the back end of things,” remembers Letrece. “Like, okay great, you have a show. How much are you getting paid? He’d say, ‘I don’t know.’ I would say, ‘Okay. We need to figure all of that out.’”
This dynamic carried over into their college years, when Letrece moved to New Orleans in 2000 to pursue a degree in Mass Communications and moved in with Ontario, who was running his own in-home studio. With a steady stream of musicians coming and going, Letrece was able to hone her skills writing press releases and bios for her brother’s clients, which is where the genesis of PMM’s began.
She founded PMM in 2007 as an agency that prides itself on the ability to fulfill every aspect of an artist’s professional needs, from branding to booking. They also handle recording and video production. They’ve worked with clients all over the South, and currently represent award winning gospel artist Jor’Dan Armstrong.
“I always say we’re an artist’s boutique agency,” she says. “When you walk into a boutique, it’s a little bit of everything you could possibly want.”
With Letrece running PMM on her own, Ontario left New Orleans to work for an oil company in Baton Rouge, but he missed the creative outlet music production provided. A friend suggested he look into master’s programs at Full Sail, and once he decided to go back to school, he knew he had to get Letrece on board too. They enrolled in the online Entertainment Business Master’s program together a week later.
Despite logging nearly 15 years in the industry – six of those at the helm of PMM – Letrece says the decision to get her master’s was an easy one. In fact, a lot of her coursework coincided with real life situations.
“I may have had an idea of how to negotiate contracts on my own, but to have a course on negotiating and deal making definitely helped solidify what I’m trying to do every day. The same can be said for event planning, or with financing. Month by month, every course was a direct reflection of what I needed to make PMM a stronger company.”
Ontario became the head of A&R for PMM (in addition to teaching Digital Media at the Mentorship Academy, a public charter school) and although he lives in Baton Rouge and Letrece now lives in Atlanta, they keep up with each other via video conferencing.
“We’ve figured out how to run a company virtually,” says Ontario, a skill they perfected while obtaining their degrees. “It was a delicate dance.”
It paid off. Letrece graduated with a nearly perfect GPA, while Ontario won the prestigious Advanced Achievement Award. As part of the honor, Ontario was asked to address his classmates on graduation day. Despite being singled out for the award, his sister’s influence followed him all the way to the podium.
“As I walked out on stage to give my speech, the announcer said, ‘Now, the winner of the Advanced Achievement Award—Letrece Griffin!’ and her name came up behind me, big as day on the live screen. I decided to just go with it.”
After clearing up the minor confusion, Ontario thanked his sister for taking the journey with him. He remembers it as one of the most special moments about graduation: “It was a great to be able to share some of the spotlight with Letrece.”