The Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association Board of Directors is comprised of individuals that have been voted in by the membership of the CPDJA or, in the case of unexpected vacancies, temporarily appointed by the Board. The Board of Directors are responsible for the legal status and governance of the organization, as it applies to acts that govern the operation of not-for-profit corporations in Canada. The Board of Directors are responsible for appointing the Executive Committee and hiring staff and independent contractors. The Board of Directors oversee all aspects of the association and volunteer their time in this position.
2019-2020 Board of Directors
The Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association Executive Committee is the Board of Director appointed management team that manages and leads the day-to-day operations of the association. They are responsible for the implementation of new ideas and projects as well as maintenance of in-place programming. Each Executive Committee member is appointed for a 2-year term and volunteers their time for this role.
I have been an active mobile and club DJ for 25 years and a proud member of the CPDJA for many of those years. Along with my wife Tammie, we have been operating Schwartzentruber Music Services since 2000 and I have also become a licensed Wedding Officiant.
I have witnessed the DJ industry evolve from vinyl to digital and have always wanted to give back to the industry by volunteering time with an association. As many have taught and mentored me along the way, this is my way to give back and help grow the art of DJing.
Music has been a passion of mine since I could bang a pot with a wooden spoon. Other passions that allow me to relax are listening to country music, watching my Maple Leaf's (yes they will win a cup before I die!) and unwinding with a game of Candy Crush.
I began my DJ career at the ripe old age of just 16 years old when myself and a few friends (Corey and Danny) wired our large house stereos together and started playing Aqua, Vengaboys, and The Hamsterdance for elementary school dances. Today, I operate Special Request Weddings, a highly specialized company that focuses on uniquely creative and entertaining weddings.
After having received so much incredible help from other DJs over the course of approximately 10 years, I really wanted to give back to others. My goal with involvement in the association is to help it transition into becoming a self-driven entity that DJs will always have to lean on for support, networking and education for countless decades to come.
My music tastes run nearly the entire spectrum from Metallica to Josh Groban to U2 to Armin Van Buuren to Matchbox Twenty to The Phantom of the Opera to Garth Brooks to Keane. I also love new foods and fresh and ridiculously dark coffee. And I love to travel...I believe everyone needs more travel in their life.
Driven by my DJ Ritchie Rich brand, Big & Rich DJ Service is my DJ company in the Sudbury and Northern Ontario region since 2010. I love providing amazing experiences and life long memories through music and entertainment, dedicating myself to providing a professional and personalized service and ensuring that I meet and exceeds my clients' expectations.
I first got involved with the CPDJA in order to ask for help and find answers to questions about the DJ industry. Joining the CPDJA was one of the best decisions I made because it allowed me to learn from my peers and to seek the help of mentors. One of the greatest advantages to becoming a member was the ability to make positive changes to the way our industry is guided. The CPDJA gives me access to a knowledge base of other like-minded professionals who want to improve and advance themselves in order to grow the industry and to better serve their clients.
In 2012 I had the opportunity to meet Skrillex at the train station in Capreol, the small town I grew up in. He was passing through on his first Full Flex Express tour, and as an avid fan I HAD to see him. We chatted about food, popular bands at that time, and of course dance music! He invited me aboard, where we played Xbox and practiced mixing on his DJ console. It was a day I will never forget, and I have pictures to prove it!
Debbie Russell got her start as a DJ in 2006, after tripping and falling in to it through competitive ballroom dancing. Thanks to a series of lucky opportunities and a dose of serendipity, Debbie began to learn how to DJ in 2006, and quickly caught the event bug. It was something that she did part time, on a one-off basis, while maintaining a career in IT consulting focusing on software development and quality assurance. That consulting career allowed Debbie to live in, and travel throughout the US for work over the course of ten years. During that time, she always maintained her dancing thanks to the availability of coaching, social dancing and training, in addition to DJing weddings and events thanks to word of mouth, mostly through the dance community.
Now that she is back in Canada and working with ENI Productions, Debbie is still DJing weddings, fundraisers, corporate events, ballroom dance competitions, and other dance-related events. Her specialized knowledge in the area allows her to play to a dancing crowd in a way that also appeals to those who don't have partner dancing experience. In addition to DJing, Debbie is also teaching ballroom, latin and swing dancing, including first dance choreography for wedding couples.
When she isn’t working on events, the CPDJA software implementation, or other association business, Debbie is currently a full time student at Trent University, working on a degree completion in Business Administration with a focus on Information Systems and E-Commerce. In her “spare time” (ha ha), Debbie loves to explore new places, try new foods, indulge in a cocktail or two and, when there’s snow on the ground, fly down mountainsides on her skis at speeds that most cars hit on highways.
Steve got involved in DJing in 1982 when a friend of his who owned 2J's Music Machine asked for his help. That request eventually led to Steve taking over the entire company, which he still operates under the same name today.
For many decades, Steve earned the confidence and trust of his peers across the nation through his high quality volunteer work with the Canadian Disc Jockey Association. In 2017, Steve moved his efforts here to the Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association (CPDJA) and was trusted with an appointment as Regional Team Leader for the Ottawa Region of the CPDJA. In his first year at the job, he led his region to receiving the Region of the Year Award.
The Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association Regional Team Leaders (RTLs) are Executive Committee appointed individuals tasked to organize Networking Nights and other special events, locally in regions across Canada. RTLs are also a local point of contact for members and non-members that have questions about the association and its programming, such as insurance and membership types.
Many RTLs also participate in various committees in order to help the Executive Committee and Board of Directors with their work. The role of a Regional Team Leader is a voluntary, unpaid position.
CPDJA Executive Director (2019-2020)