The Drum Corps International Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors opened Thursday in Orlando, Fla., with a full agenda of administrative issues pertaining to general business matters, finance and budget presentations, reports of various departments and committees within the organization, and additional discussions and updates from the Open Class representative and judge administration officials. Highlights of the session included:
Budgetary Approval – Chief Financial Officer Wayne Leide presented highlights from the 2008 budget which was passed with no dissenting votes. Details of the financial plan included the relocation of the Drum Corps International Headquarters from Addison, Ill. to its new home in Indianapolis, Ind., and new financial reporting processes and procedures.
Open Class – Chairperson Vicki Schaffer (Colt Cadets) shared with the members of the board a preview of several initiatives which will be discussed during the course of the weekend during the Open Class business meeting. With topics ranging from corps stability issues to experimental judging systems, board members thanked Schaffer for her commitment to the development of the Open Class.
Participation Review Committee – Chairperson Mark Stasa, reported on the petitions of the Spartans and Jersey Surf corps, both of which have formally requested evaluation in support of their applications for the achievement of World Class status starting with the 2009 season. After interviews and on-site visits with both organizations, the committee unanimously recommended both organizations for World Class membership. The board is expected to review the recommendation and rule in September.
Business Plan – Dan Acheson presented his vision for the operation of Drum Corps International for the next three years when he shared with the board the highlights of a DCI business plan. With the detailed version of the plan previously sent to the corps for consideration and evaluation, Acheson's overview touched on the philosophical and strategic vision for the organization's next period of growth, and addressed specific tactical issues relating to the Indianapolis relocation.
Adjudication – Judge Administrator John Phillips reported that the Instructor/Judge Task Force will be undergoing a restructuring to facilitate a more efficient flow of information and to reconfigure the committee to better serve the interests of the corps. The board of directors will have the opportunity to review and ratify a candidate appointed by the executive director to chair the task force, transferring administrative authority from the judge administrator.
Research – Drum Corps International Marketing Committee Chair Steve Auditore presented the results of numerous marketing research projects conducted during the 2007 season. Auditore explained that details from the research are used in a variety of ways, including product development, member services and corps management issues. It also is shared with corps management officials to assist in development of organizational initiatives.
Marketing – DCI Marketing Quarterback Bob Jacobs and members of the Drum Corps International marketing team delivered an informative presentation highlighting numerous strategic marketing initiatives conducted during the 2007 season, and gave a preview of activities which will be taking place in 2008. Areas of discussion included strategic partnerships, new initiatives, merchandising, corporate communications, Web development, advertising and business development.
Organizational Governance – A new governance proposal was offered by George Hopkins (Cadets), calling for nine board members comprised of six elected World Class corps directors and three at-large (non-affiliated) directors, charged with the responsibility of operational responsibilities and oversight of the affairs of Drum Corps International. Under the proposal, the general membership would retain voting rights on competitive issues and bylaw changes. Further discussion and refinement of the proposal will take place during Friday's business sessions, prior to being voted upon.
General sessions of the 2008 Drum Corps International Annual Meeting get underway on Friday afternoon, with opening sessions for Open Class corps directors as well as members of the Tour Event Partner network. The World Class Board of Directors continues its meetings on a variety of agenda subjects and departmental reports, including a policies review, rules process review, and presentations on international travel and the drum corps medical project. On Friday evening, the instructors' workshop gets underway with a full slate of working sessions, and Dan Acheson's "State of the Activity" address to the Tour Event Partners.