In a vote among their peers, directors determine one Open Class and one World Class director who is awarded the Dr. Bernard Baggs Leadership Award and Dr. David Kampschroer Leadership Award.
Presented during World Championships Week in Indiana, this year those honors were awarded to Mark Richardson of the Academy and Richard Rigolini of the Spartans.
At the helm of the Academy for 15 years, Richardson has been instrumental in the growth and success of the Tempe, Arizona corps. Following a gold medal campaign in DCI’s Division II class in the corps’ very first trip to the DCI World Championships in 2006, the Academy earned a spot among DCI’s elite top 12 for the first time in history this August.
“It is an honor and even more so because it’s voted on by my peers,” Richardson said. “Being a director of a drum and bugle corps has its own set of challenges that I think only other directors really understand, but the reality of it is that it’s made possible for any one of us by the hard work and the leadership of so many that surround organizations like ours.”
The role Richardson has played in his corps’ successes has not gone unnoticed, but he also gives credit to the entire staff and administration of the Academy.
“I’m super proud to have this honor bestowed but certainty it belongs to the entire organization,” Richardson said.
Richard Rigolini has worked with the Spartans since 1997 and also currently serves as the vice chairman of the DCI Open Class Advisory Committee.
With a fifth-place finish at the Open Class Finals in Michigan City, Indiana this summer, the Spartans’ director is humbled to receive the Dr. David Kampschroer Leadership Award.
“It’s awesome to be recognized with this award because Open Class directors and members of the Open Class Advisory Committee have worked really hard to turn this class into what it’s finally becoming. It’s great to be recognized by everybody,” Rigolini said.
An additional honor that is presented each year as part of the DCI World Championships is the George Bonfiglio Chairman’s Award named in the memory of the founder and longtime director of the 27th Lancers. The award is given to a person who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, service and effort on behalf of Drum Corps International.
The 2016 George Bonfiglio Chairman’s Award was presented at the conclusion of the DCI World Championship Semifinals to DCI Open Class judge administrator John Turner.
“I have been and am so blessed to be a part of drum corps and DCI,” Turner said. “Being recognized by DCI this week is obviously an honor. Being recognized with an award named for George Bonfiglio is overwhelming.”