Presented this August, the recipient of the 2022 George Bonfiglio Chairperson’s Award is Drum Corps International housing coordinator Jeff Cox.
Named in memory of the founder and longtime director of the 27th Lancers, the Bonfiglio Award is presented annually at the DCI World Championships to a person who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, service, and effort on behalf of Drum Corps International.
“Jeff has served over two decades in what I consider to be the most important behind-the-scenes role in DCI,” DCI CEO Dan Acheson said. “His desire to ensure the corps have the best possible housing at DCI events, his tenacity, persistence, and willingness to always go an extra mile — or 20 — for the corps has been nothing short of extraordinary.”
Since 1999, Cox’s primary role as housing coordinator has been to track down and secure suitable housing and rehearsal sites for corps participating in the DCI Tour. Working to find schools and other facilities that can provide a safe and reliable place for participating corps to sleep, eat and practice, his job is piecing together a veritable jigsaw puzzle of administration and logistics; all while juggling a myriad of variables like size of corps, length of stay, distance from an event site, facility rules and regulations, and much more.
Cox’s role originally encompassed housing sites just for the DCI World Championships, but it has greatly evolved and expanded over time. It has also become increasingly complex in a time when policies with school facilities make it harder and harder to provide overnight stays to outside groups.
“Jeff’s ability to take a ‘no’ and keep going rivals any master salesperson I have ever met,” Acheson said. “He embodies the true essence of every value taught through the drum corps experience.”
Working until 2017 on his own, Cox now leads a team of two others who work to house corps for more than 30 events on the DCI Tour including DCI’s biggest regional events in San Antonio, Atlanta and Allentown. DCI’s team secured 359 housing and rehearsal sites across the 2022 DCI Tour, 64 of which were for the DCI World Championships alone. Colleague Jim Paxton says that Cox is “truly the 'unsung hero' in our activity.”
First presented in 2013, Cox is the 10th recipient of the Bonfiglio Award. Other recent award winners include Sue Kuehnhold, DCI senior director of event development (2021), Wayne Leide, DCI chief financial officer (2020), Vicki MacFarlane, Colts director (2019), and Michael Cesario, former DCI artistic director (2018).