Milestone budgetary and strategic planning sessions are highlights of weekend meeting At its regularly scheduled business meeting held last weekend in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., the executive committee of the Drum Corps International board of directors welcomed the Arizona Academy to the competitive ranks of Division I, effective with the start of the 2007 season. In a detailed presentation to the board, the Academy's executive director, Mark Richardson, outlined the corps' plan to participate in a tour of modest length similar to the schedule followed as a Division II corps during the 2006 season. The corps also has committed to a regional tour of Division I events.
The Academy, the 2006 Division II World Champion, will participate as a Division I corps in 2007.

"Certainly this is the direction that we have been aiming for since the inception of this organization in 2000," said Richardson. "Measurable and achievable steps have enabled us to grow at a slow and steady pace ever since. It's interesting that most of the world was introduced to us for the first time in 2006 with our first journey to World Championships in Madison, Wis. To those new acquaintances, it may seem as if we came out of nowhere, while the reality is that we have been educating and training students in this activity for six years. This is the next step for our organization and we are very pleased that the executive committee felt that it would be appropriate to join the Division I arena in 2007." A significant business benchmark was established when the executive committee approved the operating budget of Drum Corps International, which will surpass $10 million for the first time, during the 2007 fiscal year. "This is a huge milestone in the continuing evolution of our business operations, said Drum Corps International Executive Director Dan Acheson. "We must continually strive to meet the challenge of offering our corps an intensive level of support so that they, in turn, can provide their students with an opportunity for the achievement of extreme levels of excellence." "In recent years, our organization and the respective member units have strengthened their organizations in many operational areas, including their financial management, but we still have several hurdles to overcome to achieve the level of stability necessary to keep our mission moving forward," Acheson added.
Dan Acheson meets with Robert Bedell, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, during Friday's executive committee meeting.

In other business, the executive committee discussed plans for future expansion of educational initiatives as well as the formal plan for moving DCI's business operations to Indianapolis in 2008. Division II & III representatives George Brown (Director of the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets and Chairman of the Division II & III Advisory Committee) and JW Koester (Division II & III Coordinator) reported on the beginnings of a business plan specific to the longevity of Division II & III events and to corps participating in the two divisions. Discussion also focused on the 2007 Summer Music Games Tour to California and the impact of the tour on participating Division II & III corps. Also participating in the meeting, representatives from the Kiwanis Kavaliers organization updated the executive committee on the status of its operation. The committee recommended that the organization further review and refine its operational goals and objectives before pursuing participation in the 2007 Summer Music Games Tour. The Drum Corps International board of directors will meet again in Atlanta, Ga., from Jan. 25-28, 2007, in conjunction with the annual instructor conference and Tour Event Partner workshops as well as the Hall of Fame induction luncheon.