Steven Orkin has established a unique place in the entertainment industry; almost as unique as the path that got him there. A former advertising agency executive who started his career in corporate marketing, Orkin uses strategic marketing skills to help manage and advise artists.
After earning his BA in English literature at the University of Cincinnati, Orkin began his career in television. Working behind the news desk at television stations in Cincinnati and Cleveland, he wrote and co-produced hundreds of news stories and also coordinated an original news project called “News Neighbors.” The project’s purpose was to gather and report more positive stories about urban neighborhoods.
After nearly two years in television, Orkin accepted a marketing position at MBNA Corporation, then the world's largest independent issuer of credit cards. It was at MBNA where Orkin's liberal arts background came face-to-face with an untapped business sensibility.
At MBNA, Orkin learned the business of direct response and customer relationship marketing. He helped grow many of MBNA’s affinity credit card programs through integrated/multi-disciplinary methods. Four years at MBNA created a foundation of business acumen that would complement his communications background.
Seeking new experiences, Orkin moved into an account management position at Wyse Advertising. In the 1950s, Wyse founders Marc and Lois Wyse had coined the tagline "With a Name Like Smuckers, it Has to be Good." Orkin worked on several high profile account and gained a wide range of strategic marketing experience working with a major electric utility, B2B publishing companies, a retail jewelry chain, and more.
After three years with Wyse, Orkin was invited to join a small business-to-business marketing communications firm. The firm was eventually bought by a larger agency and Orkin, along with most of the employees who came over from the smaller firm, was laid off.
Just a week before layoffs, Orkin had won a new account for the agency. Upon hearing of the layoffs, the company expressed an interest in staying with Orkin. Starting with this one client, Orkin decided to begin consulting.
While prospecting for new business, Orkin came upon the Web site of legendary drummer Dave Weckl. They next thing he knew, he was pitching ideas to Weckl at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. 17 years later, Orkin has managed countless promotions for Weckl including: a crowd funding project that achieved 170% of goal and all business/marketing and video production for the Dave Weckl Online School.
Orkin's clients in the entertainment industry are wide ranging. He manages social media for legendary musicians Steve Smith (Journey) and Mike Stern (Miles Davis/Brecker Brothers) among others. Orkin has completed projects with legendary musicians Peter Erskine (Weather Report/Diana Krall), Frank Gambale (Chick Corea Elektric Band), Mark Guilana (David Bowie/Brad Mehlldau), Todd Sucherman (Styx/Brian Wilson), and more.
In 2007, Orkin launched Drum Fantasy Camp. The international event features several of the world's top drummers as instructors. The camp draws attendees from more than 15 countries each year. Orkin has run 13 camps in the United States plus one in Ankara, Turkey and a special experience in Havana, Cuba. Reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic, Orkin started The Groove Masters, a Zoom-based master class series that features many of the world's greatest jazz/rock musicians.
Steven Orkin is driven by the social and spiritual consciousness of music and the arts. Today, Orkin continues to manage a wide range of artists. He seeks to understand and develop a vision for his artists - and then execute that vision with lots of personal attention.