Finalists Announced in 10th Annual FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands

Corporate Bands Get Ready to Rock the Finals: Allied World Assurance Co., BTI Systems, Chesapeake Energy, DaVita, Deloitte Consulting, GE Aviation, Hinshaw & Culbertson and iTelligence Named Top Eight Finalists

Carlsbad, CA, August 17, 2010—Eight of the best rock bands from top companies across the country have advanced to the finals of the 10th Annual Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands. The national competition is in search of the best amateur, company-sponsored bands, with the goal of promoting the benefits of making music, which have been shown to increase employee morale and productivity in the workplace. The eight qualifying bands will take the stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, on Oct. 1 - 2, and have the opportunity to earn the title of best corporate band in the U.S. Proceeds will benefit the Rock Hall’s award-winning education programs.

Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands is collaboration between the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), Fortune magazine and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Gibson and Air Products also sponsor the competition, the proceeds of which benefit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s educational programs.

“The 10th annual Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands illustrates how playing music remains a significant part of people’s lives,” said Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. “While dreams of touring around the country in an old van may have been replaced with work and family responsibilities, these bands are showing everyone how playing music with friends at work is guaranteed fun. And more Fortune 500 companies are finding that what’s good for their employees is also good for business.”

Selected from more than 30 qualified entries, the best 16 bands from across the country were chosen to participate in one of two semi-final regional competitions, and in the end, eight top finalists were selected by a panel of judges to compete for the title of Fortune magazine’s best corporate band.

The eight finalists of the 10th Annual Fortune Battle of the Corporate Bands include:

“D7” from Allied World Assurance Company (NYSE:AWH) – Farmington, Conn.
“D7” is made up of five employees of Allied World Assurance Company. Formed more than four years ago during a company summer outing, the band quickly became a big hit and continues to play company gigs!

“Pete Dale & The Dealmakers” from BTI Systems (Ottawa, ON, Canada)
Pete Dale and the Dealmakers are employees of BTI Systems, a privately funded telecom systems supplier located in Ottawa, Ontario. A one-time gig at last year's corporate sales conference has led this blues-influenced, classic rock band to the finals of the Hall of Fame's 2010 FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands.

“Shale Play” from Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) – Oklahoma City, Okla.
An Oklahoma City-based band, Shaleplay is an eclectic mix of pop and rock. Made up of 100% Chesapeake Energy employees, their music features powerful vocals with confidently executed instrumentation.

“DaVita Blues All Stars” from DaVita (NYSE: DVA) – Brentwood, Tenn.
The DaVita Blues All Stars comprises 11 DaVita employees (called “teammates” at DaVita) representing work functions across all parts of the company (collectively called the DaVita “Village”). Formed in 2000, the All Stars have been dedicated to entertaining the DaVita Village with a blend of funk, country and rock and roll.

“Unrestricted Entity” from Deloitte Consulting (New York, NY)

What do you get when you put music and corporate America side by side? Clash of the Titans? Maybe. Passion? Definitely. Yin meets yang? Possibly. At Deloitte Consulting, an eclectic mix of exceptionally talented professionals from the Northeast puts their own unique stamp on the concept of a corporate band.  Not exactly the Beatles, and not yet old enough to be a Rolling Stones, they call themselves Unrestricted Entity.

“The Nuisance” from Hinshaw & Culbertson (Chicago, Ill.)
Made up of four lawyers from Hinshaw & Culbertson,”The Nuisance” is a modern rock band that plays a blend of original music and cover tunes. In 2009, the Nuisance recorded its first demo, which includes two original songs - Away in My Mind and Politician.

“Title 14” from GE Aviation (NYSE: GE) – Hamilton, Ohio
Title14 was formed in 2003 to participate in a band competition within the GE Aviation Engineering Division. From that performance, the idea was formed to reach out to those in the community who could use a little fun and excitement. The 12 member band plays a wide range of instruments including; guitars, keyboards, percussion, and a large brass section.  The varied musical interests of the individual members influence the band song selection which ranges from rock to jazz, blues to heavy metal.

“Underpaid” from iTelligence (Cincinnati, Ohio)
iTelligence SAP Application Consultant, Brian Widrig, formed “Underpaid” in the winter of 2007. The 5-member band plays at company gatherings, as well as various gigs in Ohio. The band’s main interest is to just play music, and as they don’t want to be paid, they selected the name Underpaid.

About NAMM
The National Association of Music Merchants, commonly called NAMM in reference to the organization's popular NAMM trade shows, is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global musical instruments and products industry. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of more than 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM, interested parties can visit www.namm.org or call 800-767-NAMM (6266).

About Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s Educational Programs
With the Rock and Roll Hall of fame and Museum’s increased focus on bringing music into the classroom, its educational offerings have now become one of the most celebrated and award-winning activities of its kind emanating from a fine arts museum in the U.S.  From the music therapy-based Toddler Rock to the videoconference technology of On the Road, we brought record numbers of students of all ages to the Museum and reached out to new locations across the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Australia and England.

About Fortune

Fortune is a global leader in business journalism with a worldwide circulation of more than 1 million and a readership of nearly 5 million, with major franchises including the Fortune 500 and the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. Fortune Live Media extends the brand's mission into live settings, hosting a wide range of annual conferences, including the Fortune Global Forum. Fortune magazine’s online home is CNNMoney.com, the most visited and utilized business destination website.

Media Contacts

Lora Bodmer - NAMM
Director of Public Relations & Social Media | Phone: 760.438.8007

©2008-2012 NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants