SoBA Welcomes Mike Morelli as Director of Entertainment Management Program (UMEM)

Mike Morelli

Mike Morelli assumed leadership of SoBA’s popular Entertainment Management program this summer.  Morelli gives new meaning to the concept of triple threat as he brings to this position over thirty years of experience in the entertainment industry, including time in Reno and Denver.  He also has over forty years of involvement in acting and directing in the West and Midwest and impressive academic credentials spanning  four decades of involvement in higher education.

When asked how he happened to learn of the UMEM position, Morelli said, “The ‘back of the house’ network is a very small community.  An agent, who happens to be a friend of mine, called me and told me about the position and said he thought it would be a good match for me. He was right.  I consider this a dream job as it enables me to use my business experience.  It speaks to my performing and directing interests and is in line with my academic training.  

In assessing the current UMEM program, Morelli stated that it had been brilliantly designed by the founding alumni and Scott Douglas.   “I am impressed by its academic integrity and the incredible opportunities it provides students to learn from giants in the industry.“ 

Morelli also stated that a particular advantage of the UMEM program was its excellent internship program.  Whether in London or Las Vegas, New York City, LA or Nashville, UM students have remarkable opportunities to tour with big-name bands, work in talent agencies, film studios, productions houses, major entertainment organizations, sports organizations and even non-profit professional associations. 

“Through these internships, students are able to network with industry professionals and experience first-hand what a career in the entertainment industry entails.  Many of these internships lead to permanent employment for students, which to the academic platform of the UMEM program and indicates the commitment UMEM students have to hard work and professional growth. I am proud to be part of this well respected and very fine program. “

Looking forward, Morelli hopes to grow the UMEM  certificate program by partnering with departments across campus and offering courses that benefit students from such areas as performing arts, fine arts, media arts, journalism and sports and nonprofit organizations.

He also notes that event planning is part of the entertainment industry curriculum.   “The UMEM program teaches students how to plan and execute a successful major event. Almost any gathering today can become an event if a skilled person is in charge. Because of the need for people in all types of organizations to know how to manage events, Morelli is confident that UMEM will continue to grow its academic footprint in this area as well.

Morelli enjoys the outdoor sports Montana offers and rides his bike to work whenever he can.  He is married to Emily Morelli, a talented graphic design consultant who telecommutes with clients in the Midwest.  They have two daughters, Gabby (8) and Annan (23).