Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) announces that its current board of directors tendered its resignation and a new board and officers has taken over operations of the organization effective immediately.
The new board of directors will serve with two specific objectives: first and foremost, to ensure the safety of the members, volunteers, staff, and participants of YEA!; and to provide oversight and governance of the organization.
Doug Rutherford is now Chairman of the Board. Doug is the Vice President of Global Client Success at Tangoe, a provider of IT Expense Management software and services. Doug, a member of the Cadets from 1984-1988, and drum major from 1987-1988, will represent the many thousand alumni of the Cadets programs in the organization’s 84-year history.
Doug stated vehemently, “The recent allegations that have come to light are very disturbing and shocking. We are committed to an environment free from all forms of coercion and harassment. YEA! views sexual harassment, assault or aggression in any form as unacceptable; these behaviors will not be tolerated. Our mission is to support the development of young people through their participation in the performing arts while ensuring an environment that is safe, creative, and empowering for everyone involved.”
YEA! is working with RAINN, The nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization to develop long term policies, procedures, training and best practices for the organization as well as support services for any individual impacted in any way. If you are a victim of sexual abuse and need someone to speak with, the National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached at 800.656.HOPE or via the web at online.rainn.org.
Mr. Rutherford has been joined on the board by the following individuals:
Jane Lemmon of Malvern, Pennsylvania has extensive experience as an organizational development human resources executive, previously serving for 23 years as the Vice President of Human Resources Operation at Ikon Office Solutions. Her responsibilities included being named Chief Diversity Officer, managing employee relations and leadership training. She will serve in the role of developing and implementing human resources policies and procedures for the YEA! staff and programs.
Vicki Ferrence Ray of Wexford, Pennsylvania is the Chief National Programs Officer for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), the nation’s premiere youth leadership development organization that provides programs to motivate and empower individuals to make a positive difference within our global society through understanding and action based on effective and compassionate leadership. She is an alumna of the 1992 Cadets and has over 20 years of youth program development and non-profit experience. She will work to ensure organizational and youth program excellence at all levels.
Ben Regalado of Severna Park, Maryland is an Ambulatory Practice Manager at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and is a parent of a current member of The Cadets. He has served in positions of executive board leadership or as a volunteer with four drum corps and two scholastic band booster groups over 25 years. He will serve as an advocate for students and parents to create and implement new policies, procedures and practices for the organization and to establish clear avenues for grievances.
Larry Mills is Co-President of Phoenix, Arizona-based Tresona Multimedia, one of the leading music rights licensing companies in the nation. Tresona works with thousands of schools and their performance ensembles, which include marching bands, show choirs, orchestras, winter guards and dance/cheer teams. He will provide helpful guidance to the many corporate partners that work each year with YEA!
Providing additional support and resources will be Dan Acheson, CEO of Drum Corps International of Indianapolis, Indiana, who is now serving as a monitor of the work of the new YEA! board to help it make sure it is in full compliance with all rules and regulations of DCI. Dan will help ensure that YEA! develops policies and procedures that represent best practices in the care of members, staff and individuals involved with the organization.
Drum Corps International (DCI) recognizes member organizations, and as a condition of continued membership, sets expectations for members’ and their participants’ conduct. DCI has stepped in to help guide YEA! through this transition, and to ensure that YEA! develops policies governing sexual harassment that are in total alignment with DCI.
Further appointments to the board, task forces, and sub-committees will be forthcoming, and YEA! will update everyone of this progress and actions going forward on the YEA! website.
(Note to media: For more information, please contact Peter Giles at Giles Communications 914-318-2680)
This is a painful moment for all those who care about The Cadets and Youth Education in the Arts. Today a newspaper published multiple allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of the organization’s CEO, George Hopkins. The anguish conveyed wasn’t missed. It was difficult reading for all.
George has resigned. Though he denies the allegations, he believes stepping aside is in the best interest of the organization. We agree. His resignation is effective immediately.
The best thing YEA! can do now is move forward through programs like The Cadets, Cadets2, USBands and Xcape. We have a full schedule and intend to keep it. Sean King, a fixture in the YEA! office and a veteran leader of so many of its programs, will be acting as CEO in the interim. There will be further appointments in the days to come. And as we proceed, this board and our staff will make certain our workplace and our programs provide a safe environment for all.
This situation began in January, when board members received an email demanding that we remove the CEO of YEA! or see allegations of misconduct published in the press. It was the first time any such allegations were communicated to the board. From the beginning, the board took the matter seriously and engaged a law firm to investigate the anonymous claims.
The investigation was conducted professionally and vigorously. Unfortunately, there was no cooperation at all from anyone making those accusations. Despite our pleas for cooperation, we were told so long as George remained in his role, no one would allow herself to be interviewed or reveal any facts that might confirm the allegations. No responsible board of directors can take action based solely on anonymous allegations. One of the many disappointments in this regrettable situation is third parties who claimed specific knowledge of these allegations failed to assist in bringing this to a proper resolution, offering instead to bury those same allegations if the board took preemptive action. The investigation proceeded anyway.
Today was difficult for everyone. We expect tomorrow to be better. The Cadets will have their April camp this weekend as planned. More music will be learned. More progress will be made on the way to another great summer. USBands has outstanding shows planned for the fall. The dancing at Xcape won’t stop. This board is committed to fulfilling the organization’s mission on behalf of the thousands of young women and men it serves. We hope you will help us.
The past several days for the Youth Education in the Arts family have been ones of pain and excruciating sadness for us all.
As with any tragedy, the hurt is gut-wrenching and the sense of sorrow, overwhelming.
In the initial statement from the Board of Directors regarding the accusations brought forward against YEA’s former executive director, and their effort to explain YEA’s knowledge of the situation, we realize we did not do enough to acknowledge the tremendous hurt and pain of the victims, and for this we apologize.
The detailed accounts by the brave women who have come forward are painful to hear and to read. We will never tolerate any such actions by any entity connected to YEA! We offer our deepest sympathies to the women involved and want to ensure everyone that YEA! will make every effort, and take every action, to ensure the safety of all of our student members, faculty and staff.
Our commitment to the young people, staff and volunteers moving forward must be firm and unwavering. Safety of mind, body and soul is not an option, but an expectation by any individual engaged with the YEA! organization.
In our first few hours, we have already begun to take the first steps towards the healing.
Members have come together to joyfully play music. Supporters have come forward with offers of generous financial and moral support. Sisters and brothers across the marching music activity have come to share their support in all forms. YEA! staff have been empowered to create new policies and protocols that are necessary as we carry out our mission. And we are only at the very beginning of our journey.
You will read more in the next few days about the commitment of the future of YEA! turning the next page. We are committed to establishing a new culture of openness, accountability and safety at all levels. Much will change, and we will change, but in doing so, we will never forget what makes us so unique.
It will take some time but, eventually, somehow, we will see clear of the pain and begin to feel whole again. Undoubtedly, the scars will remain, but together we can and will overcome for a better tomorrow. We will be a better, stronger organization in spite of the pain.
I hope you will be able to join us in creating a better future. After all, is there really any option but to be the very best versions of who we are and do the RIGHT thing no matter how difficult?
The Cadets Hall of Fame celebrates the men and women who've contributed greatly to the corps over the years, and we're getting ready to find a our next class of members. Starting on April 2, the Hall of Fame Committee will begin accepting nominations through April 25. To nominate a candidate, you must be an alumni of The Cadets. There are, however, plenty of ways to get involved if you cannot nominate a candidate.
While only alumni can nominate candidates to be in the Hall of Fame, all are welcome to submit a letter of support for their favored candidate. We would also like to invite all of our friends, family and alumni to our Hall of Fame Celebration at the DCI Tour of Champions event in Chester, Pa on Augut 1 for the official Induction Ceremony. Read on to find out when you can best get involved with our Hall of Fame Class of 2018!
April 25: Final day for alumni to submit a letter of nomination.
April 30: Nominees will be published at the website. Letters of support may be submitted via email. Each nomination must be supported by additional letters describing the nominee's qualifications. Anyone is welcome to submit letters of support!
May 10: Final day for the public to submit letters of support. Committee votes to select finalists.
May 1 - 10 : All Cadets supporters may submit letters of support for final candidates.
May 15: Class of 2018 finalists are announced live following the first full rehearsal of Spring Training. Additional letters of support may be submitted for finalist candidates.
May 27: Due date for final letters of support. Committee votes to select the members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
May 31: Class of 2018 announced live following the last full rehearsal of the Johnstown Spring Training Sessions.
August 1 : Class of 2018 Induction Ceremony at the DCI Tour of Champions event in Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa. Purchase your tickets here.
Criteria for Nomination
Nominations MUST be submitted by Cadets alumni; however anyone may submit subsequent letters of support for nominated candidates.
Nominees MUST have been members, instructional staff, support or volunteers of The Cadets (this includes quartermasters, drivers, parents, cooks, etc.)
Nominations must be made in the form of a letter describing the candidate's qualifications. Letters of nominations may be submitted via email to The Cadets Hall of Fame Committee Chairman, Jim Zulick, at .
No more than one nomination per year will be accepted from each individual.
Once all nominations have been submitted, all nominees will be posted on The Cadets' website, cadets.org, and the Hall of Fame Committee will begin accepting and reviewing letters of support.
Each nomination MUST be supported by additional support letters describing the nominee's qualifications. Anyone is welcome to submit letters of support!
Groups are NOT eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame.
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