Not many folks in the music industry can say they’re former rocket scientists. Tonya Yoder can. The former researcher of ‘green’ rocket fuels and MAM’s newest Account Manager has the best Big Bang bragging rights in the land.
“I had an explosives license and everything,” says Yoder, who shies away from the ‘rocket scientist’ label… kinda. “Technically, not really, but sort of.”
Her green rocket fuel research sprouted from a background in earth-friendly chemistry, having previously developed a steel waste recycling system with a final byproduct of water. Really. Tonya’s a pretty slick chick.
Her thirst for research is a natural fit with the performance data research she now does for MAM’s freelance composer clients.
Friend and fellow Account Manager Kelli Nichols saw Tonya’s potential with MAM right away. “She said, ‘You’d be so great at this!'” recalls Tonya.
When not geeking out on audio tracks, spreadsheets and Competitrack research, Tonya is an avid pottery artist and novice mandolin player.
Potting runs deep with her family back in Pennsylvania.
“I grew up with a potting wheel in the basement,” she says.
Her father, Roy Yoder, is a former Mennonite minister and an acclaimed potter of Pennsylvania German folk-art pottery who “always had art going on the side.”
After years of asking Tonya to join him as ‘his West Coast arm’ of Oakleaf Pottery, she left the world of chemistry, set up a potter’s wheel in her Seattle basement, and joined the family business with Crow Hill Pottery in 2007.
Tonya says the rewards of exploring pottery part time with her father have been rich and wonderful. Several times a year she goes to his studio in Pennsylvania to brainstorm new product ideas.
“I see my dad in a whole new light. I realize now he’s a master potter I can call anytime I want to learn a new technique,” she says. “And I love collaborating with him; he’s a blast.”
As for learning the mandolin with a fellow rookie, she says it’ll be a while before her clients ask her to set aside their music royalty research and start jamming on their tracks.
“[My friend and I] just kind of twang it up. We’re terrible,” she laughs. “But the part I love most about playing mandolin is singing along. It’s brought my voice back to me. Coming from a Mennonite family we sang always.
“Plus, there’s such joy in it! We’ve had so much fun! And our friends and family have been very kind.”
Please join us in an equally rousing welcome (mandolins included) to Tonya as the MAM Fam’s newest member!
Contact Tonya Yoder (Account Manager @ MAM)…