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Opening the door

Opening the door

Michelle Tedford '94 November 02, 2022

As a young Joe Maimone eyed his upcoming UD graduation, he knew networking would be key. So he did what people did before LinkedIn: He flipped open the UD Quarterly alumni magazine and circled every alumnus living in the New York-New Jersey area or working in the music business. He then called 411 and got phone numbers for every person with a similar name — and he dialed every one, long distance, on a rotary phone. 

Illustration of Joe Maimone opening the door at Billboard.
Joe Maimone '87 is helping UD students break into the music business.


“It was horrible. I got nowhere,” said Maimone, who graduated from UD in 1987 with a degree in marketing. 

Today, Maimone is vice president of sales and publisher at Billboard. His cell phone contact list is full of Flyers, one way he’s keeping his promise to ensure their road to success is easier than his own. 

Every April for the past decade, Maimone has flown into Dayton at the invitation of marketing lecturer Irene Dickey. He talks with four classes — “by the time I leave, my voice is gone,” he said — and invites students needing advice to contact him anytime. 

Jack Karnatz ’18 wasn’t in the class, but when his buddy told of Maimone’s lecture, Karnatz reached out that day. Maimone agreed to meet at Panera on Brown Street and then offered to stay in touch before catching a flight out of town. 

Over the years, Maimone has helped Karnatz find work in the music business, including as a Billboard intern. Karnatz is now tour manager for Neal Francis, a musician based out of Chicago. 

“Joe is the biggest Dayton Flyer fan — he loves the school, loves to help, loves to help kids like me,” Karnatz said. “He’s a big reason why I’m doing what I’m doing.”

“He’s a big reason why I’m doing what I’m doing.”

Mike McGuire ’18 agrees. McGuire found himself at a crossroads in 2020, with multiple job offers. He didn’t know what to do, so he texted Maimone. Within five seconds, Maimone replied: “You still want to be in music? Go with iHeart.”

“Joe has been the most influential and helpful person I have come across at UD,” McGuire said. “He goes out of his way to set young UD alums and students up for success. If you reach out, he will call whenever and say, ‘What do you need me to do?’” 

Music is a hard business to get into, Maimone said — and he should know. His parents met at Capitol Records — his mom was an A&R rep, his father in radio promotions — and still he had trouble breaking into the business.

His first job out of college was for NCR Corp., selling paper rolls and printer ribbons to grocery stores and banks. It wasn’t his dream job, but he said everything he learned at NCR about sales propelled him forward. 

That’s one of the stories he tells young grads like Jakob Rosati ’20. A sport management major, Rosati had an eye on sports marketing but opened his sights to learning how his skills could apply to marketing and sales positions in other industries. Today, he is a client partnership manager for cjAdvertising. 

“Joe also taught me to always follow up with people,” Rosati said. “Write thank you notes and maintain a personal connection.”

In addition to opening doors for jobs, Maimone has also welcomed young Flyers to his city. Katy Garcia ’15 got a job at Rolling Stone thanks to a referral from Maimone. She called him up to tell him she was moving to New York City. 

And a year later,when Rolling Stone and Billboard came under the same parent company,
Garcia found herself working for Maimone, tracking and booking advertising for the magazine. 

Known on campus as “that girl who knows music,” she initially connected with Maimone on LinkedIn. 

“We just chatted all things music, and I asked him, ‘How can I be you one day?’”

“I asked him, ‘How can I be you one day?’”

Maimone said he hopes he’s rubbing off on these Flyers in many ways — and that his actions will encourage others to help them too.  

“My goal is that when others read this, they’ll act in the same way,” he said. 

Maimone already has one convert: Karnatz, who extends an invitation for students and alumni to contact him. “I now feel obligated to give back and am happy to connect with any Flyer,” Karnatz said. 

Friendship grows by leaps, bounds — and stories