Sean Gilday ’92: Music Man Lives by the Golden Rule

Sean Gilday

Sean Gilday

Booking bands is a third, successful business endeavor for Sean Gilday ’92, a young entrepreneur who started Blue Raven Entertainment four years ago. Gilday, a marketing and management major, started a merchandising business called Joker Promotions that did printing and embroidery on t-shirts and uniforms that eventually grew into a $2 million a year business. Another business, Edge Marketing, focused on Web design and online merchandising

His business philosophy is simple and based on the Buddhist principles he embraces: it’s not money-focused.

“At one time I made a lot of money,” he says. “But I wasn’t happy. Now, I make less money, but I am at peace with myself because I try to put the best interests of others first. I’ve found that if I follow my passion, the money comes. The only thing worthwhile in life is to care about other people. That’s what makes me happy.”

He keeps his connection to William Paterson strong by booking shows into Shea Center. Most recently, Childhood’s End, a Pink Floyd tribute show he booked, performed in December. Since the band played songs from Pink Floyd’s Animals record, Gilday made sure to donate funds to a local animal shelter for each ticket purchased.

“If I’m going to put my efforts into something worthwhile, it might as well be William Paterson,” he says.

He also participates in alumni events such as job shadowing day, where William Paterson students “shadow” alumni to learn what it’s like to work in certain industries. In fact, during last year’s event, one of the students, Rachel Hill, who worked with him on a show featuring the Led Zepplin tribute band, Kashmir, so impressed him with her work ethic that he offered her a job at Blue Raven Entertainment.

“Rachel is a smart kid and she’s talented,” Gilday says. “She came in for an interview after she graduated, and she was great. She now has her license, and is an agent who works with us. I mentor four or five students. Some of them are just starting out in the music industry, and I’ll give them business advice about partnerships, or dealing with paperwork. Sometimes, I’ll spend a couple of hours on the phone with them."

He also comes to campus to speak to classes. “It’s important to me to maintain a relationship with William Paterson,” he says. “If I can help someone else, that’s what makes me happy.”