Press Release • August 18, 2021


In reflection of its sustained growth and diversification of programming, The Philly POPS President Frank Giordano announced today the appointment of four Vice Presidents. Each Vice President will act as a department head for four newly defined areas and will report to Karen Corbin, Chief Operating Officer of The Philly POPS. This new organizational structure supports the POPS’ long-term goals and coincides with the organization’s six-year strategic plan. 

The Vice President positions are: 

Keith Obaza, Vice President of Production
Daniel Palmieri, Vice President of Sales and Customer Relations
Joshua Thomas, Vice President of External Affairs
Jason B. Ward, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development 

These appointments will continue the POPS’ expansion and will promote future progress for the organization. With this reorganization, the POPS seeks to extend its mission of bringing the transformative power of popular music to the Philadelphia community, and to its regional, national and international initiatives. 

“I’m excited to work with this energized team of young professionals,” said Frank Giordano, President of The Philly POPS. “I look forward to the organization’s future growth, and even I will have plenty to learn from them!” 

About Keith Obaza, Vice President of Production 
A graduate of Temple University, Keith joined the POPS in 2016, with a background in audio production and radio broadcast, including experience at WHYY, WMMR and WMGK. In his time with the organization, Keith has managed the production of POPS events in Verizon Hall, at The Met Philadelphia and at numerous venues throughout the Tri-State area. His work included coordinating travel logistics, advancing contracts and tech riders, designing stage plots and hiring contractors.  

In this new position with the POPS, Keith will direct productions for the full orchestra, The Philly POPS BIG Band and The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, including live, streamed and broadcast performances. Keith will supervise artist contracts, budgets, artist and orchestra communication, logistics and technical needs of all programs.  

Keith is a saxophonist who made the transition from performance to production. With the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, Keith recorded the orchestra’s four European tours through Spain, France, Italy and Monaco. 

About Daniel Palmieri, Vice President of Sales and Customer Relations 
With nine years of experience in various roles at the Kimmel Cultural Campus, including group sales, marketing and operations, Daniel joined the POPS as the Assistant Director of Sales and Customer Relations in May 2017, and from 2020 on, he supervised marketing. In his more than four years with the POPS, Danny has assisted subscribers, guests and groups and set new records in all earned revenue categories. 

In his new role, Danny will continue providing high-quality guest service for POPS patrons. He will lead the POPS’ earned revenue growth trajectory, with performances at The Kimmel Cultural Campus, the Mann Center, the Met Philadelphia and Penn Live Arts, as well as a new initiative with regional touring performances.  

A graduate of The University of the Arts, Daniel is a vocalist and local cabaret artist who has had the pleasure of musical directing for the Philadelphia Department of Recreation, singing and producing for the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and performing with the Philadelphia Heritage Chorale alongside Andrea Bocelli and Aretha Franklin. 

About Joshua Thomas, Vice President of External Affairs 
With previous experience at the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Joshua Thomas joined the POPS as Senior Manager of Development in 2019.  Joshua is a credentialed arts administrator whose work connects to his past artistic experience.  

A graduate of Temple University, where he studied voice with a concentration in opera, he served as President of The Greater Philadelphia Student National Association of Teachers of Singing Chapter, liaising between the Board and the student body, which increased membership dramatically. 

In his new role, Joshua serves as the liaison with the Board of Directors, cultivating relationships with key sponsors and donors, and is responsible for the organization’s recent Contributed Revenue growth. Outside of the POPS, Joshua has been active with arts affinity groups such as Orchestra Careers, The League of American Orchestras and most recently served as a mentor and consultant for The Tessitura Network’s Early Career Development Program. 

About Jason B. Ward, Vice President of Brand, Strategy and Business Development 
Jason first joined the POPS in 2015 as the Manager of Education and Community Engagement, where he initiated the POPSinSchools program. He recently rejoined the organization in this newly created role. A trained musician, Jason studied horn with David Jolley, receiving degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  

As an arts administrator, Jason has professional experience at the Interlochen Center for Arts, Lincoln Center Education, the League of American Orchestras, The Metropolitan Opera, and Curtis Institute of Music. Jason recently oversaw a diverse portfolio of constituent relations at Curtis, expanding audiences and fundraising to record-breaking levels.  

His new role at the POPS will include a focus on analysis of messaging and communications across constituencies, work on the POPS’ digital content distribution and revenue, establishing measurement and metrics for the new Strategic Plan and the construction of a new website.