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George Hopkins signs multi-year extension as CEO of YEA!

Agreement includes Hopkins in role as Director of The Cadets

The Board of Directors of Youth Education in the Arts has announced an agreement that guarantees that George Hopkins will continue to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Youth Education in the Arts through at least December 2013. In addition, as a segment of his duties, Hopkins will continue as the Director of the Cadets Drum Corps, a position he has held since September 1982. 

In announcing the deal negotiated over recent months, Bill Speakman, chairman of the board commented, "The Board's unanimous and enthusiastic approval of his contract came after a rigorous review of George's performance in his dual role as CEO of YEA and as director of one of its several programs, The Cadets. This past year, and frankly for the past 10-years, we would be hard pressed to find a non-profit CEO with a record as remarkable as George's. One look at the change in YEA!'s balance sheet over the past years would be proof enough for anyone, but his enthusiasm for self-improvement, guidance and teaching puts him in a very special category. We are hopeful that YEA! and the young people it serves will have the privilege of George's leadership for many, many years to come."  

Hopkins arrived at YEA! in 1979 (then only The Cadets), after one year of teaching social studies in Pennsylvania. With a staff of one to begin, Hopkins led The Cadets to four of five world championships from 1983-1987, the organization launched the USSBA in 1988, Youth Education in the Arts was developed in 1990, and in 1996, the Crossmen were acquired. 

Today, the Cadets are nine-time world champions, there are multiple clinics under  the “Cadets Experience” label, two different dance and percussion ensembles are now in place in Allentown to serve the community, and various percussion ensembles are in development, regionally and locally. This month, under the new Urban Arts Center of the Lehigh Valley, YEA! launches two new hand drumming programs for adults and youth as part of its community programming. 

Hopkins is a member of the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame and the Cadets Hall of Fame. He has been a member of the DCI Board of Directors since 1982, the DCI Executive Committee from 1983-1999, and 2005-2010,  the New Jersey Music Educators Board of Directors from 2000-2003 and the president of the New Jersey Coalition for Music Educators from 2001-2003.  

Hopkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in secondary education and a Master of Arts in non-profit management. Additional studies include programs in business and non-profit management at Columbia University, a Coaching Certificate program at New York University and countless one and two day workshops related to the management of non –profit business. 

Youth Education in the Arts is in the midst of a revision of their strategic plan, an effort headed by Hopkins. In addition, as has been noted, YEA! is searching for a director of operations, therein allowing the CEO to devote far more time to new program efforts, the educational initiatives of the Urban Arts Center, as well as planning, sponsor and donor relations.  

“It’s rare that any one person would stay at the lead of an organization for 30 years, but we at Youth Education in the Arts are thrilled George has stayed the course for so long and continues to do so with a special brand of enthusiasm and devotion to the cause that is difficult to find anywhere,” Speakman said. “Now, we just hope to send him on a vacation now and then.” 

CLICK HERE for more information about Youth Education in the Arts.

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