Q&A: Milly Petriella Details New Role as Milk and Honey’s Local Managing Director
As reported by TMN, Milly Petriella is ending an era after almost three decades at music rights management organisation APRA AMCOS to join management giant Milk and Honey.
As the Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, Milly Petriella is also tasked with the global role of director of cultural and social responsibility for the company, where she will champion awareness and equality for women, people of colour and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Calling the move to leave APRA AMCOS and join Milk and Honey “the most difficult decision” of her career, Petriella spoke to TMN to detail why she’s taken on the new challenge, what that means for APRA, how she’ll manage her success and scale the business, and more.
You have been with APRA AMCOS for 27 years, your name is synonymous with APRA in so many ways. Tell us about why you chose to leave your role there, and why now?
The most difficult decision of my career and I do not say that lightly. My name has been “Milly from APRA” for over 27 years and the company has been my ‘work family’ and ‘safe place’ for a very long time. APRA AMCOS provided me with the skillset, connections and experience along with a solid foundation and confidence to venture into this new career path which is exhilarating.
It has always been my dream to establish and lead a team at home, providing global connections and an infrastructure to support Australian and New Zealand songwriters and producers. The offer came from a company I respect immensely and they in turn trust me with their reputation and handed me their full imprimatur to build a new business from the ground up at home and this truly excites me.
I have always said the time to exit is when you are still relevant, leaving a legacy and most importantly with grace and dignity, which I hope I have managed to achieve.
Many APRA members have said they signed up because of you. Songwriter Tushar Apte has said so publicly in the past. Should APRA be concerned that it may lose members now with your exit?
I will forever remain a global ambassador and supporter of APRA AMCOS. My respect for the company and the team is REAL and this is business! Personal relationships are important, I will not deny, which IS why it is my intention to ensure those relationships continue even after I have left the building.
Moving into a consultancy role allows me the time to introduce and handover those personal relationships to the extraordinary team within membership. APRA remains at the forefront of our industry having just had their best financial results in history, lobbying for the rights of our industry and delivering extraordinary programs and services, these are the true reasons a member should consider remaining with APRA AMCOS.
Competition exists in all areas of our industry and the reason to choose one PRO over another should be based on true financial results, support and the services provided.
As Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, what are your hopes for building out a local team?
I am going to spend some time understanding the current landscape in both Australia and New Zealand whilst identifying the gaps and obstacles currently standing in the way of our writer producers, both at home and abroad. Based on those determinations and mapping out the investment required to deliver the results we want in this territory we will begin to invite talented, intuitive, creative and entrepreneurial collaborators who will be happy to work as a team complementing the rest of the global Milk and Honey team.
How will you measure success in your role?
Increasing the financial return and global reputations for all our Milk and Honey roster is paramount, including building income opportunities from this territory.
Identifying new and emerging talent is crucial, providing opportunities for female producers and creating scholarships by way of Milk and Honey investment is one of my immediate priorities.
Finally, and importantly sustaining careers for Australian and New Zealand writer producers without losing them abroad would be a dream!
Can you give us some idea of the scale of the business you hope to create with Milk & Honey locally?
There can be no measure or scale, surely that would only set a limit to the possibilities. I admire our CEO’s, Lucas Keller‘s, drive, determination and vision and he would never limit possibilities and I would like to adopt his business acumen locally
You’ve also been named Director of Cultural & Social Responsibility for Milk & Honey, what’s your first order of business?
Establishing a code of conduct for all staff and clients to always adopt and conduct their business. Building and creating environments that are safe and inclusive within the business and beyond, leading by example and to champion their diversity goals.
Can you explain a bit of the Milk & Honey empire which extends beyond management?
The company has offices in Los Angeles, London, New York, Nashville, Dallas and now Sydney as well as a sports division (Milk & Honey Sports) an agency and marketing company representing over 20 athletes in the NFL.
Milk & Honey has been fully independent since its inception over 8 years ago. The company’s diverse roster of over 100 clients span every prominent genre of music and earlier in 2022, Milk & Honey launched Milk & Honey Labs, a digital creative studio focusing on NFT’s and all areas of Web 3 representing blue chip brand names in Hollywood.