Moves to her own rhythm

Times Staff Writer

The gig: As founder and chief executive of Pasadena-based DMI Music & Media Solutions, Clark helps clients such as AARP and Build-a-Bear Workshop choose music to represent their brands. She also has composed music for movies and TV shows including "My Best Friend's Wedding," "Desperate Housewives" and "Hope Floats." And if you've ever had that McDonald's song "Have You Had Your Break Today?" stuck in your head, blame Clark -- she wrote it.

Education: Attended University of Southern Mississippi on a music scholarship; graduated in 1975 with a degree in science.

Inspiration: Her mother was a songwriter during the big-band era and would take her from their Waynesboro, Miss., home to New Orleans to hear music when she was a child.

First love: Although her parents urged her to try other instruments, all she wanted was to play the drums. "Even when I was in my crib, I was beating out rhythms."

First career: Drummer for dozens of bands touring the country, until she decided she didn't want her children to have to tell people their mom "plays down at Joe's Bar and Grill" for a living.

Got the idea: When she realized the music industry was going to change drastically because of the Internet, Clark saw an opportunity for a different career in music, by connecting consumers to brands. "Any brand has its colors, its font, its logo, but what is their sound? We help them figure out what their sound is."

First album: A Billie Holiday collection

Dream job: Spending more time working on Women of Grace, the nonprofit organization she co-founded that aims to help low-income women in Mississippi get an education.

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alana.semuels@latimes.com

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