Staff

The Planetary Group staff is a blend of people who all bring their unique experiences and talents to the table. In fact, our staff is just unique as your music. No matter your style or genre you will find that you will feel right at home working with our high energy and dynamic team.

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Adam Lewis

Adam Lewis

Co-Founder

One of Planetary’s founding members, Adam Lewis has demonstrated commitment to music promotion from the get-go. While at college, Adam acted as the Chairman of the Activities Board, as well as the Music Director & Arts Editor of the radio station and newspaper. Adam also produced and promoted an independent EP, which charted on CMJ for 9 weeks.

The Summer of 1990 found Adam with yet another task — tour managing the Aquanettas (IRS) on their North American tour opening for Nine Inch Nails and Meat Beat Manifesto. Upon graduating he worked for Harris Goldberg at Concert Ideas in Woodstock, NY, and opened a satellite office of Concert Ideas here in Boston. In between the move from Woodstock to Boston, Adam hit the road again — this time as Tour Manager for Alien Sex Fiend (Mechanic).

So, what’s Adam been up to these days? Besides leading Planetary into the new millennium, he spent five years as the New England Sales Manager for TVT Records, where he played an integral part in the promotion of such acts as Sevendust, Guided By Voices, and Snoop Doggy Dogg. Adam also does all of the publicity, promotion, and media buying for Great Northeast Productions. Great Northeast produces over 50 (club level to stadium-sized) shows a year throughout New England. They have also been responsible for all of the large-scale Phish shows for the last few years, including The Clifford Ball, The Great Went, Lemonwheel, Oswego, It, Coventry, and the 2000 New Year’s Eve show in Florida, which was the largest millennium rock show in the world. For several years, Adam also managed Blackbird/Atlantic recording artists, Angry Salad.

Luke Phillips

Luke Phillips

Radio Promoter

Luke “Diamond” Phillips was born and raised in and around Flint, Michigan. As a youth, he voraciously consumed all of the pop culture and random history he could possibly handle, which makes him great at trivia. All of that obsession finally culminated when, at 16, Luke read Our Band Could Be Your Life for the first time. That settled it — young LDP was now obsessed with music culture almost exclusively.

Our hero attended Oakland University in Auburn Hills, MI, where in his first week he stepped inside the doors of WXOU Radio. Thereafter, he pretty much never left the station’s walls until graduation, becoming a student DJ in the process. Fellow DJs and staffers soon took notice of Luke’s wide-ranging, all-encompassing, super-inclusive taste, encyclopedic knowledge of bands and artists, and willingness to animatedly discuss these and various other subjects with anyone and everyone.

Freshly graduated, Luke has transplanted to LA, where he’s joined the radio department at Planetary. He’s just as excited to talk to YOU about records and the minutiae of life as he is everyone else.

Cristina Ramirez

Cristina Ramirez

Office/Project Manager

Cristina Ramirez is a Los Angeles based multimedia artist and music enthusiast, originally from Pearblossom, CA. After moving to LA in 2009 to attend Loyola Marymount University, Cristina began volunteering at the on campus radio station, KXLU 88.9 FM, as part of the video crew filming and editing live performances. Her creative endeavors extended to DJing a weekly show and handling promotions and publicity for the radio station. She graduated in 2012 with a BA in Studio Arts with an emphasis in Screen Printing.

Cristina currently works as a Project Manager for The Planetary Group, manages several LA musical groups, and exhibits her artwork and zines in local art spaces and galleries. Her interests include petting cats, using Domino’s Pizza Tracker, and watching Bob’s Burgers.

Kyle Pacynski

Lucas Frangiosa

Radio Promoter
Lucas is originally from just outside of Boston, Massachusetts and decided to stay close to home when he attended school in the city at Emerson College. There he worked with the college radio station, WERS 88.9 FM, gaining his first exposure into the world of radio. Lucas was also busy writing for Verge Campus Media and eventually took over the role of the Managing Directorial Editor, overseeing a division of the media site. By the time he was a sophomore at Emerson, Lucas started making original music under the name Lauff. He’s released several songs and even performed at Boston’s House of Blues. Now, after graduating from Emerson with degrees in Marketing Communications and Music Studies Lucas is living in Los Angeles continuing his journey into the big, bad, music industry. He frequently still makes music and writes for several online music publications in his spare time. He also likes Skittles a lot.
Ben Zalman

George Chammas

Online and Tour Publicity
George has come a long way from booking local punk bands in his hometown of Pittsburgh, but his love of all things DIY has never changed.  After majoring in TV/Radio at Ithaca College in idyllic upstate New York, he moved to Los Angeles and spent the first four years working in reality TV where he acquired a wealth of great party stories.
Nestled in the neighborhood of Studio City, George took on several musical projects.  He founded an autumn-themed music festival, LA FALL FEST.  He manages and plays in a psychedelic rock band, The Mosaics, and helped start a local recording studio.  Now George is an Online Publicist at the Planetary Group where he is living the dream working with amazing bands every day.
George is the resident Deadhead in the office.  He loves cruising in his 1990 VW Vanagon with his girlfriend, chilling with his Russian Blue cat, frequenting music festivals, binging TV shows, (i.e. Twin Peaks), and scouring the Internet for new tunes to add to his Spotify playlists.
Ben Zalman

Ben Zalman

Development

As a music industry professional and attorney with over 15 years of experience in the music and entertainment industries, Ben started off as the music director at WMVL Radio. Soon after, Ben joined the Planetary Group and has led successful campaigns with artists including The Decemberists, Interpol, Bob Mould, Passion Pit, Gogol Bordello, Kings of Leon, Sun Kil Moon, Gaslight Anthem, DeVotchKa, and many others. Ben is passionate about developing new artists and creating opportunities for them to thrive.

Ben is also passionate about National League Baseball, craft beer, the intersection of music and the law, 90’s emo and punk rock, all things Larry David, Point Break, Spaceballs, and, of course, making themed playlists.

Kristen Walters

Kristen Walters

Publicity

Kristen grew up in the Arizona desert before moving a state over to LA and spent the next four years at LMU. She graduated in 2015 with a degree in Communication Studies with a focus in PR and journalism, and then moved down to the sleepy surf town, Costa Mesa, where she worked as a marketing assistant at skate/surf/music publication, What Youth, and later became associate editor at their women’s magazine, Herewith.

She now lives in Silver Lake where she spends most of her free time going to local shows, eating Thai food, drinking overpriced coffee, and chilling with her dog, Bowie (pictured), who has more Instagram followers than her.

Kristen Walters

Maria Lewczyk

Press Department

Originally from Georgia, Maria Lewczyk is a peach in an orange state. Maria graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Journalism and a certificate in Music Business, but her real achievement was drinking 3 cups of coffee a day and still functioning. Besides being involved in the radio station WUOG 90.5 FM (where she was the unofficial emo music correspondent) and freelance writing for magazines and newspapers, Maria spent most of her time in college listening to pop punk and yelling about how good Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” is at every possible social function. And how Estelle’s “American Boy” is the greatest song ever written.

Now, Maria works as a Publicist for The Planetary Group where she can professionally say how good a band’s single is compared to “Burnin’ Up” by the Jonas Brothers. You can find her eating ramen or poke, talking about the 1st, 2nd, 3rd AND 4th waves of emo, or watching Matthew McConaughey rom-coms or B-grade horror flicks.

Kristen Walters

Nikolas Soelter

Radio/Press

Nik is an LA native who loves coffee, spicy food, his cat Loti, and collecting music equipment. He spent the last 8 years living in the Bay where he studied Cognitive Science & Music at UC Berkeley. He got his first taste of DIY by booking tours through MySpace, and has traveled the states and Japan, all organized mostly through instant messaging. After graduating, he started working in a lab studying emotion, but quickly realized that life on the road was where his heart was at.

Over the last three years he’s toured in various bands, booked countless shows, moonlit as a music journalist, learned from the pros at Zeitgeist Artist Management, and by some wild stroke of fate ended up tour managing the South Korean indie stars Hyukoh. Now he’s back where it all started, ready for the next chapter in this wild ride we call life. What a story Mark. In this picture, he is probably listening to Preoccupations. No, he does not listen to Phish. He probably took this picture 10 times.

Kristen Walters

CJ Simonson

Radio

Hailing from the sometimes great state of Arizona, CJ spent his youth fully immersed in the worlds of both film and music before eventually moving to Orange County. After graduating from Chapman University in 2014 with degrees in Film Studies and Public Relations & Advertising, he worked for his alma mater in their marketing department before joining the Planetary Group to put both his past as a Program Manager for Chapman Radio and his passion for music to the test.

CJ spends his free time as a culture writer, with bylines at Collider and OC Weekly. He considers himself the Sultan of Skittles, the Baron of Bagels, and loves craft beer, Costco Pizza, and Carly Rae Jepsen’s masterstroke E•MO•TION.
Kristen Walters

Tim Gagnon

Radio
Tim Gagnon is a recent transplant to the radio team and Los Angeles at large after spending his initial post-college years dabbling in every career path the East Coast has to offer in the music industry. Starting off as a general manager of WKNH at Keene State, Tim eventually relocated down to Boston, where he found himself covering Pile, Krill, Guerilla Toss, and many DJ sets for Allston Pudding. He eventually started working at a few venues and quickly earned the title of Least Intimidating Door Guy/Security Guard in Boston, all while serving as a staff writer for Scout Magazines and writing for Noisey, Consequence of Sound, and Vinyl Me, Please.
Tim is now with us in LA, eager to discuss whatever you’re listening to, power rankings of candy bars, and anything related to the greatest basketball team in America, the Boston Celtics. Yes, he’s fully aware of how Celtics fans are treated in Los Angeles. No, he’s not afraid.
Kristen Walters

Max Datner

Radio Promoter

Max Datner grew up in Philadelphia, where the culture of music and broadcasting has as rich a history as throwing objects at professional athletes. Max chose to be passionate about two of these things, starting his first radio show at his high-school station, WHHS, and interning as a production assistant on NPR’s World Cafe radio show.

At WPTS Radio in Pittsburgh, he hosted programs that featured music from Spanish and Portuguese speaking parts of the world, new music releases, and commentary on current events. Max spent a year as the Music Director at WPTS, the highlight of which was talking on the phone with the promoters at Planetary.

Now that he is on the other side of those calls, Max is working to make musicians’ dreams come true. Among his other LA endeavors are recording his own music as a singer-songwriter and growing his Top 200 Burger Chart.