Board of Directors Annual Retreat 2018

VAIL, CO – The Board of Directors and staff of Ascend Performing Arts spent the weekend of October 19th – 21st reviewing the 2018 year and evaluating the organization’s progress in relation to it’s strategic plan for the future.

“Ascend is facing some significant challenges in FY 2019,” said Board Chairman Darrell Griffin. “This board has worked hard to position the organization for success and I am encouraged that the current leadership has the necessary skills and drive to ensure that Ascend has the resources both present and future to fulfill it’s strategic objectives”.

The weekend was spent reviewing current offerings in Ascend 4 E’s: Educational programs (BKXperience Clinics, Spark! Ideas Conference, Mile High Drum & Percussion Festival, Denver Day of Drum Line), Ensembles (Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, Blue Knights Winds), Events (Drums Along the Rockies, Corps Encore, Friendship Cup), and Entertainment (Broncos Stampede & Broncos Brass) and the financial plan currently in place to support the delivery of Ascend’s mission.

Additionally, time was spent on continuing to improve upon the safety and wellness of not only participants but staff and volunteers for all aspects of Ascend Performing Arts activities. Learn more here.

New Board members were welcomed: Neil Corvino and Lee Reiff.

They join current Board members: Chair, Darrell Griffin; Vice Chair, Alex Factor; Treasurer, Janet Archibeque; Secretary, Doug Kelley; and At-Large members: Ken Adams and Dallas Martin; Advisory Board (non-voting) members: Scott Factor and George Lindstrom.

Former board members Brian Cocos and Scott Weidner were thanked for their service.

The board was joined by Ascend Executive Director, Mark Arnold (Ex-Officio member); Director of Development, Thelma Fung (Ex-Officio member) and staff members Volunteer Coordinator & Database Manager, Keith Huffman and Ascend Director of Operations, GM Kuzma.


About Ascend Performing Arts

Since 1958, Ascend Performing Arts has become a multi-faceted, youth performing arts organization dedicated to elevating life performance through the pursuit of excellence. Ascend Performing Arts is recognized as the Rocky Mountain region’s most visible performing arts organization. Programs such as the internationally acclaimed Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, the 4-time Winter Guard International Champion Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, and Blue Knights Winds play an important role in providing high-caliber performance ensembles for thousands of youth performers each year. Ascend Performing Arts also produces the Broncos Stampede Drum Line and Broncos Brass to entertain tens of thousands of NFL fans at Denver Broncos home games every season. Educational programs such as the BKXperience allows students of a variety of performance levels to learn from the best educators in the marching arts activity. Ascend Events, such as the Drums Along the Rockies and Corps Encore drum corps shows and the Friendship Cup high school marching contests, provide a stage which showcases the world’s top young musicians at the highest level. For more information, please visit AscendPerformingArts.org or call (303) 777-1937 or email Info@AscendPerformingArts.org.

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Ken Adams

KEN ADAMS

Mark Arnold is one of the longest-serving Directors in Drum Corps International, serving as Executive Director of the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps since 1985 and as CEO of Ascend Performing Arts since 2010.

Under his leadership the Blue Knights organization has developed into one of the premier Drum and Bugle Corps in the history of the activity, recognized Internationally for excellence and innovation in the performing arts. Through the years the Blue Knights has expanded its programing and now serves thousands of young musicians and performers annually in multiple performing ensembles, events and educational programs under the umbrella of the Ascend Performing Arts.

In addition to shaping the course of Ascend Performing Arts, Mark also has played an integral role in the ongoing development and successes of Drum Corps International as a collective. He served as chairman of the DCI Board of Directors in 1994 and again from 2008 to 2013. Mark was honored as Corps Director of the Year in 2004, and was the inaugural recipient of the George Bonfiglio Chairman’s Award at the 2012 DCI World Championships, which is given to an individual each year who demonstrates extraordinary leadership and service on behalf of DCI and its performing drum corps.  Mark was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Blue Knights Hall of Fame in 2019.

Prior to his position with the Blue Knights, Mark was the Assistant Director of the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps from 1978 through 1983, serving alongside Director Jim Jones, one of the founders of Drum Corps International and an inaugural member of the DCI Hall of Fame.  Mr. Arnold has a degree in Music Education from the University of Wyoming and taught High School Music in Wyoming and Nebraska from 1979 through 1985.
Mark Arnold

MARK ARNOLD

Scott Factor has served on the Ascend Performing Arts Board from 2012 to 2018 as a voting member in various positions including Vice-Chairman. Since 2019 my role has been in an Advisory position.

Outside of Ascend Performing Arts i am Senior Account Executive for Baxter HealthCare.
Scott Factor

SCOTT FACTOR

I am currently an Ascend Board Member-at-Large.  I have been a volunteer with the Blue Knights since 2013.  I have been serving on the BoD since 2019.  I retired from the United States Postal Service in 2010.  Although I have never marched drum corps I am an avid fan of the activity and thoroughly support our members in any way that I can.  “We Go On”!!! 

Neil Corvino

NEIL CORVINO

Board member Kathy Black is an attorney in New Mexico practicing as a full-time litigator focused on employment and civil rights defense. She came to the law as a second career after twenty-five years in high tech with NCR Corporation, doing everything from operating systems programming to Vice President positions in engineering, customer services, and sales. She earned her JD from Lewis & Clark Law School and her BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Ms. Black is active as a percussionist in the Albuquerque area. Way back in 1978 she marched with the Guardsmen, including at DCI Finals in Denver.  After many years of being just a drum corps fan, she was elected to the Drum Corps International Board of Directors in January 2016 and served on that board until January 2022, including three years as chair. 

Kathy Black

KATHY BLACK

Bryant’s path to the Ascend Board of Directors, which began in 2021 as a member-at-large, traces back to his childhood. Watching the Reading Buccaneers senior drum corps practice near his grandparents’ home ignited a lifelong passion, and a student of all thing’s percussion.

Years later a family move to Colorado provided Bryant with a platform to display his passion, both on the stage with the nationally acclaimed Green Earth Percussion Ensemble and on the field as a snare drummer with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps until his age-out year in 1984.

In his professional career as the Senior Director of Strategic Accounts at Yokohama Tire Co., Bryant credits the principles instilled by the marching arts and years on tour for his success. On a personal level, the arts played an even larger role, where Bryant met his wife, Stephanie. The Rankin’s currently make their home in South Carolina, enjoying time with their grown children, two incredible grandchildren, and their beloved brown lab, Zoey.
Bryant Rankin

BRYANT RANKIN

Retired, Director, Office of Research and Analysis, Colorado Department of Revenue Ms. Archibeque served 26 years in the area of statistical analysis for the Colorado Department of Revenue and Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Her skills in this area assist the board in developing a strategy for statistical analysis in the area of program evaluation. She has also been a significant volunteer managing and working with volunteers for the organization and will assist the board in understanding the complex nature of the organization. Her personal experiences as a minority and female can inform and promote a more inclusive environment and agenda for the projects that the board supports.

Janet Archibeque

JANET ARCHIBEQUE

Rob Batchelder was appointed to the Ascend Performing Arts Board of Directors in May 2023, and currently serves as Vice Chair. As a member of the Senior Foreign Service, Rob has represented the United States overseas in India, Poland, Germany, Argentina, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Namibia during a diplomatic career spanning nearly 30 years. He currently serves as Managing Director for Visa Services in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, DC. Rob marched in the Blue Knights hornline in 1987 and 1988, and he was Drum Major in 1989. He and his family live in Alexandria, Virginia, but his heart still yearns for Colorado.

Rob Batchelder

Rob BATCHELDER