Max L. Siegel is the CEO of The 909 Group LLC, a sports, entertainment, and lifestyle marketing firm, leads Baker & Daniels' sports and entertainment industry team, and is the author of the forthcoming Know What Makes Them Tick: How to Successfully Negotiate Almost Any Situation (written with G.F. Lichtenberg; Amistad). The 909 Group's clients include NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt Inc., BET Networks, and the Minnesota Vikings. At Baker & Daniels he serves a diverse group of clients, including corporations and production companies; coaches, athletes, and entertainers; labels; and foundations. He has represented sports athletes like Tony Gwynn and Reggie White and currently represents a variety of entertainers and athletes, who call on him for his sound advice, understanding of their industry, and savvy business expertise. During his tenure at Sony BMG, Siegel helped the company score more #1 hits and gold and platinum records than ever before, serving on the executive team that produced top pop artists such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Usher, and working with gospel stars Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin.
Siegel has appeared on Oprah, NPR's Tavis Smiley, ABC's Good Morning America, ESPN, CNBC, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the New York Times, Crain's New York Business, Black Enterprise, Billboard Magazine, Gospel Truth Magazine, Gospel Times Magazine, among others. There's not a situation that daunts him and not a dilemma he thinks the principles in Know What Makes Them Tick can't solve. As he travels the country giving keynote motivational speeches, managers, leaders, artists, church leaders, sports figures, and businessman are drawn to his ability to connect with people across disciplines, cultures, and ages. They marvel at his ability to get people to move beyond the lines the have been drawn firmly in the sand for the good of the situation at hand. He has spoken to a wide range of organizations including Hershey Corp., Eli Lilly, ESPN, the National Dental Association, the U.S. Army Key Influencer Tour, Columbia Law School, Gospel Heritage Praise & Worship Conference, Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association Annual Conference, University of Michigan Law School, and Howard University School of Law.
Siegel's career has an unlikely trajectory - a self made man, he's managed artists and sports teams, singers, and race car drivers. He's convinced recording artists to experiment with new kinds of music and talked athletes into working for the good of the team rather than their own individual glory. He's worked in primarily black organizations and virtually all white ones. How, he is often asked, how do you do it? The trick he says is knowing what makes your opponent tick. For some people it's money, for others it's spending more time with the family, a bigger office, more respect, support of one of their initiatives. Siegel gives audiences guidelines for assessing what motivates others. In just nine simple steps, he shows exactly how to find the right people to help realize one's deepest goals and how to establish a mutual realization of these goals as the core component of professional and business relationships.
Siegel is the living example of how these nine rules work. The child of an African-American mother and a white, Jewish father, he grew up poor in a climate of divorce and violence, both within his home and in the Indianapolis ghetto. Yet again and again he found ways to turn disadvantage to advantage, and lifted himself from the bottom to reach levels of professional and personal success that no one would have ever dreamed.
Siegel's rules work because they are universal: one set of principles for success in work and in personal relationships, for spiritual life and with family. These rules took him everywhere he needed to go, and, in addition to helping his clients reach new heights - this attorney, executive, president, and industry insider has made history himself in a number of capacities. He was the first African-American to graduate with honors from the University of Notre Dame Law School. Later, he made history as the highest ranking executive in the NASCAR industry as the President of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Siegel has served adjunct professorships in Sports & Entertainment Law (Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis) and Law of the Music Business (Seton Hall University, Newark, N.J.). His many honors include the NASCAR Diversity Award, 2004 Outstanding Professional Achievement Award, the Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award, Gospel Heritage Foundation -- 2004 Executive of the Year, Crain's New York Business Journal -- 40 Under 40, Center for Leadership Development -- Entrepreneur of the Year, University of Notre Dame -- Black Achievers Alumni Award, and the Gospel Truth Music Awards - Industry Executive of the Year. He is a member of the American, National, Indiana, and New York Bar Associations, Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association, National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and the Gospel Music Association. His first book was About My Father's Business: Merging Business and Ministry.
Siegel lives with his wife and children North Carolina.
Praise for Max Siegel:
"Max Siegel's presentation for the IndySHRM Diversity Conference was passionate, inspiring and a great true story of a Hoosier who never quits! Max has clearly set his mind to achieve the highest goals and has truly attained those. What a great example of diversity, perseverance and a man dedicated to making a difference in our community, in every sphere he touches. Thanks Max!"-Erin Brothers, Director of Diversity, IndySHRM
"Having Max speak at Eli Lilly was like a breath of fresh air. He was engaging, informative, real, and down to earth. He did a wonderful job! Max really knows how to pack the house! WOW! Everyone is still talking about him and buzzing his name around. I already have Senior Management calling me to bring Max in again for Diversity Month this year!"
- Anita Torres, President, African American Affinity Group, Eli Lilly
"Max's life story is both inspirational and instructional. His success speaks to the limitless possibilities available if you are open to new opportunities and continue to learn and grow. All of us in attendance left his presentation with a renewed sense of pride and a rejuvenated spirit."
- Andre Goodlett, Sr. Director, Diversity & Inclusion, The Hershey Company
"September 12, 2007 Max Siegel, of DEI, delivered a luncheon speech for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Development's Minorities & Women in Business Luncheon. Max's delivery was motivating and informative as he capsulated his growing up in Indianapolis, his educational pursuits, and how faith and preparation landed him the position of Vice President Zamba Label Group and Zamba Gospel and later President of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated. Max's relaxed style of delivery resembled a one-on-one conversation with an old friend about life's trials and tribulations, overcoming, and maintaining equilibrium. His delivery was relevant and held the attention of the audience. Hardly a week passes that someone doesn't recall his thought provoking presentation."
- Douglas Jones, Vice President, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce/Executive Director, The Small Business Resource Center
"Max Siegel was one of the best corporate speakers we have had in my time with Hershey's. His story was both relevant and uplifting to employees across our organization. We would love to have him again in the future."
- Gordon Washington, Senior Associate Brand Manager -Sugar Confections
"Max motivates by understanding what moves people, from the financial to the spiritual and everything in between. Through that crucial understanding, he motivates his team to reach their goals. Max helped shape my career. You'd be lucky to have him guide yours."
- Tony & Alicia Gwynn (MLB Hall of Fame/Philanthropist Entrepreneur)
"Max has the intuitive sense of what works and is innovative in an ever-changing business and social climate. We are excited that he joined our team and what his leadership means for the future of Dale Earnhardt, Inc."
- Teresa Earnhardt, Owner Dale Earnhardt Inc.
"The most powerful thing about Max is that he uses people in the right position. He doesn't run a dictatorship; he really relies on people and he has really pulled all the people of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. together. He is a really smart guy, he has a way with people, and manages people very well. Max is great at building relationships, he has done it with our employees, drivers and commercial partners."
- Richie Gilmore, Chief Operating Officer Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies
"The Foundation nominates prominent figures from the entertainment industry, corporate and community leaders to receive the Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award. He is a genuine pacesetter and his life speaks for itself. It was a privilege to honor him this year."
- Russell Simmons, Chairman, Foundation For Ethnic Understanding (FFEU)
"Max Siegel is a leader in the business and entertainment communities. The Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award is presented to prominent business leaders and corporations who are committed to the strengthening of race relations through their business and personal endeavors. Max Siegel embodies both and it is a privilege to have him as a part of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding."
- Rabbi Marc Schneier, President, Foundation for Ethnic (FFEU) Understanding
"Max Siegel does away with the conflict between doing well and doing good. He has the know-how to succeed and the understanding to bring all kinds of people together to succeed with him."
- Tavis Smiley, Author, Television and Radio Host
"In NASCAR (as African Americans) we are the odd guys out a lot of times. Max shows a lot of backbone, poise, and character with the way he handles himself. He has done tremendous things for Dale Earnhardt, Inc."
- Brad Daugherty (ESPN Analyst/Former NBA Star)
"Max Siegel inspired us at ESPN to embrace diversity in our vision and mission. Life to the Max is thoughtful, caring, and wide open for the eager and insightful."
- John A. Walsh, Executive Editor and Executive Vice President ESPN
"I have known Max Siegel for over 20 years and can profoundly state that he has been blessed by God with a unique blend of talent, vision, integrity, toughness, loyalty and moxie. His business and legal background combined with his dynamic work ethic has clearly placed him in a special class of corporate executives. For Max, the past has been interesting, the present is fascinating and the future will be magnificent."
- Kevin Warren, Vice President of Operations & Legal Counsel, Minnesota Vikings
"There are people in life who can talk Racing, people in life who can talk Sports, and people in life who can talk Entertainmentt - Max Siegel is the rare individual who can talk about them all and have a strong message to send. More impressive than his contacts and career path is the sincerity with which he has approached his place in the world. It is easy to see why folks like Reggie White and Tony Gwynn leaned on him to help counsel their careers - he is a man of integrity and principle above all else. It has been an honor to work with him to date; Dale Earnhardt Inc. is lucky to have him at the helm."
- Michael Hand, Senior Manager, Consumer Promotions & Sports Marketing
"Max Siegel's life really is the American dream. He overcame adversity in his early private life to become one of the most talented people in business today! Siegel has been a trailblazer from the time he hit the corporate pavement. From scholar to corporate lawyer to record company executive to, currently, the keeper of one of the most hallowed names in sports Siegel continues to prove he is a winner! It would be too easy to wrap Max's accomplishments in racial terms. Yes, he has broken down barriers over his career. But, it is not only Max's race that makes his story unique. It is also the fact that he embodies the drive, determination and gumption that creates a champ. Max Siegel in his career and life is a champion!"
- Ed Gordon, Host Our World/ Black Enterprises
"Max Siegel has an extraordinary knowledge and experience that affects the lives and livelihoods of many. A chance to equip tomorrow's leaders is sacred ground - a proud privilege. I am proud to share that ground with Max Siegel."
- Bishop TD Jakes, CEO, TD Jakes Enterprises