Hoinacki cites accomplishments as outgoing MWPBA prez
In early October Drew Hoinacki announced his intention not to stand again as President of the Midwest Pipe Band Association after more than a decade in the job, saying that he felt it was time to step aside. Hoinacki had also served for more than a dozen years as the organization’s Chief Steward.
The position will be contested at the organization’s annual general meeting in November. It is not known who, if anyone, has expressed interest in running. The MWPBA currently lists 49 pipe bands in its membership base.
Among his accomplishments during his tenure as president, Hoinacki cited as the MWPBA’s “most notable advancement” professional development and accreditation of adjudicators through a comprehensive vetting, examination and shadowing program. He says he leaves office with every judge on the MWPBA having gone through the examination process.
“[The accreditation process] ensures competitors at our games are getting qualified judging professionals, and also permits our judges to travel to adjudicate other games who share our reciprocal credentialing process,” he commented.
Hoinacki also said that the appointment of judges to competitions and events has been standardized under his leadership.
“While previous grading decisions and judging appointments were an executive business issue, then an ad-hoc Grading Committee, our Music Board is now handling them,” he said. “Members of our current Music Board hold standings as senior-level adjudicators, respected band leaders, high-caliber players and proven educators. This allows them to critically analyze the standards for competitive grading and monitor the professional development and credentialing of our judges.”
When asked if he had any thoughts about the challenges that the next leader of the MWPBA might face, Hoinacki said, “I would challenge the next administration to take on another critical review process of the rules documents. I encourage this not just to close loopholes or update our regulations based on the status quo, but to envision the future of our association and devise ways that the MWPBA can continue to provide a thriving and healthy environment for piping and drumming.”
He added that communications within the organization have improved under his watch, but that, with the youngest group of elected leaders in many years, there is an eagerness “to interact with the members and find ways to accommodate the needs of our bands and soloists. It is easy to let communication fall by the wayside (we are a community of volunteers), but in the modern age of email, websites, and social networking, there is no reason that our membership and its leaders cannot have a continuous flow of productive communication throughout the year.”
Hoinacki said that during the current economic downturn, which has hit the Midwestern United States particularly hard, the MWPBA has made concessions to sanctioned competitions to allow them to operate at lower levels of expense.
“Our Board sought the input of all member bands and garnered their support necessary to allow games to continue and bands to take the field this year,” he commented. “Hopefully our economy will take a turn for the better, but in the meantime I would challenge the next administration to find additional ways to help our games and our bands both strategize their fundraising efforts and make compromises with each other when necessary for the greater good of the community as a whole.”
Drew Hoinacki stressed his work would have been near impossible without substantial support.
“I couldn’t have filled my role at all if it weren’t for volunteers who have jumped in whenever necessary to make sure a contest went off without a hitch, without the friends and supporters who attend our events each year and of course my family who have been there to help, or just listen, every step of the way.“