CORE EXECUTIVE TEAM:
Acclaimed for his work as a music manager, founder/head of an independent record label and for promoting ocean awareness and preservation, Dave Kaplan has managed the careers of entertainment industry legends UB40, Brian Setzer, Dave Stewart, Glen Campbell, Stray Cats, Gary Hoey, Butthole Surfers, BulletBoys, and many more artists.
Life and career
Dave graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara business school and received the elite Salutatorian award of his graduating class of 1981. He gained status as a Certified Public Accountant in 1984. Though raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Kaplan took his very first steps on Mission Beach and, fittingly, set up permanent residence in San Diego. He played in rock n’ roll bands since the age of 14 and played on the college bar circuit in Southern California.
After beginning his career as a CPA, a college friend called and asked him to join his father’s entertainment firm in Los Angeles based on Kaplan’s business training and experience, combined with his music sensibilities. Kaplan accepted and became the Vice President of the firm, which produced and sold rock and roll t-shirts and other items for entertainment icons including Madonna, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Bette Midler, and other music superstars. Then in 1985, at the age of 25, Kaplan was selected to co-manage the world renowned British reggae group, UB40. He oversaw their USSR tour (the first-ever tour of Russia by a Western band) which resulted in the documentary UB40 – CCCP by acclaimed director/photographer Anton Corbijn. When his management-business partner left to work for Arista Records, Kaplan founded Dave Kaplan Management. From this foundation he went on to manage the careers of several of legendary rock and roll artists, which he continues to do to this day.
If Dave’s on a “business trip,” that could always be code for his annual Fiji surf trip with his pack of ultra-close-knit high-school buddies (who all learned to surf at the world’s first artificial wave in Phoenix!).
Dave lives in North County San Diego with his wife of 25 years, and his teenage daughter and son. Oh and with their 5 dogs, horses, pigs, chickens and all of that too.
Executive VP/General Manager
In 1995, while studying broadcasting at Humboldt State University in Northern California, Scott began his career in the entertainment world as a radio deejay and promoter. As well as becoming an avid record collector, he also spent a lot of his time surfing in the cold Northern Cal waters! Scott went on to work for CBS News as a cameraman, audio technician, and technical director. He then moved to San Diego to become a Director for an audio/visual production company in San Diego.
Previous to moving into an integrated role in the overall company, Scott ran Surfdog Entertainment, a youth lifestyle marketing and consulting division, whose clients have included Pepsi, Best Buy, Mervyns, Warner Bros Records, Intersope Records, the US Open of Surfing, Surfline, and many more. As Senior Director, he oversaw many activations, including extremely successful multi-year, grassroots campaigns for Pepsi by ushering them into youth street culture.
Scott has been with Surfdog / Dave Kaplan Management for ten years and over that time has risen from an intern to Executive Vice President of the company, overseeing all management and record label duties. This includes responsibility for all company operations, staff, strategic alliances, day-to-day management of key artists, and new business opportunities/long-term planning.
Scott lives in Encinitas with his wife, young son and daughter. If you don’t see him in the office or on the road, he’s probably surfing or hanging with his family.
Executive Assistant / Office Manager
Anita grew up in Ohio, singing in church and at social gatherings with her musically gifted father and as a vocalist in several bands. After attending Ohio State University she made her way over to California. That love of music led her all the way to Surfdog / Dave Kaplan Management, where she’s been keeping the machine oiled and the bills paid for over ten years! She also oversees the operations of Surfdog’s Java Hut.
Anita lives in Encinitas, a few steps from the ocean. If she’s not in the office she can be found tending her cactus and succulent gardens, painting wonderful works of art, running on the beach or playing with her three dogs, Stella, Sam, and Jazz. She also has a cockatiel named Bert!
Merchandise / Production Coordinator
Kristen grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She assists with A&R, runs the Surfdog internship program, production, and handles our merchandise. Before coming over to Surfdog, Kristen independently managed local Bay Area talent, and booked local band showcases. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Radio & Television degree in 2010, and is now pursuing her passion of working in the music industry… and loving every day of it!
Kristen enjoys playing in the sun and water, and will eat any food with lots of sugar!
Web Content Manager / Production Assistant
Joey was born and raised in Nashville, TN where his parents encouraged him to actively pursue music from an early age. He grew up playing the saxophone until he started high school, and his parents finally let him trade his saxophone in for a Gibson SG. Shortly after, Joey started a band with some friends and began playing shows anywhere that people/venue owners would allow them to play in or around Nashville.
Joey’s passion for music quickly turned into a huge interest in wanting to learn the business side of the music industry, so he got his bachelor’s degree in Music Business from Middle Tennessee State University. Shortly after graduation, Joey moved out to San Diego where he caught wind of Surfdog Records/DKM, began interning, and eventually got hired on full time. Joey assists with all Surfdog Records and management duties.
He is also a licensed skydiver, so if he’s not working, you can find him at 14,000 feet up – throwing himself out of airplanes.
Artist Relations / Licensing Director
Rob Grew up in Connecticut, where he began playing the piano and trumpet at the age of 9. Rob heard a Tower of Power album, and, in that moment, the trumpet took over as the primary passion and focus musically! After joining his high school big band for two tours throughout Europe, he began to realize the real power of music, and chose to make it the focus of his career.
This all led to a scholarship to attend the HARTT School of Music Jazz Program chaired by the late Jackie McLean (acclaimed saxophonist). After graduating, he headed for the sun in Southern California and began his professional career at CAA in tour marketing. From CAA, Rob took a role as a product manager at EMI/Capitol overseeing the development and marketing of DVD and music products. Rob then spent 5 years at Warner Chappell Music Publishing in an artist relations role, providing financial/musical analysis and advertisement for Warner’s largest publishing deals.
When he’s not in the office, you will most likely find Rob listening to or playing music, playing sports (or watching them!), or engaged in a good n’ healthy debate!