Sim looks to bright future for MWPBA as new president
Following in the footsteps of his late father, Jim Sim Sr. has a positive outlook on the future of the Midwest Pipe Band Association after being elected president at the organization’s annual general meeting on November 6th. Sim, longtime Lead-Drummer of the now inactive Midlothian Scottish Pipe Band, won the election against several other candidates, and succeeds Drew Hoinacki, who chose not to stand for re-election after a decade in the office.
Sim is in charge of one of North America’s more prominent associations, with a far-reaching geography covering most of the central United States.
He has his sights immediately set on improving his organization’s communications and technology. “I would like to get a very interactive web site that would better serve the membership,” he said. “I would like to see our staff at contests get more technologically advanced going forward.”
Sim remarked that another goal is to “increase the educational and competitive opportunities for the membership in all of our large geographic area. We need to continue our growing partnership relationship with our current eight contests and hopefully a few more. If we do these things, I think the MWPBA will grow.
“We need to once again be the centre for piping and drumming in the Midwest United States. Right now we have eight contests. I would not only like to see the numbers grow, but I would like to see the number of bands and soloists grow at all of the contests.”
He said that the organization will hold a MWPBA-Highland Games Summit in January to discuss ways in which the groups can better work together and help each other. Sim said he hopes to develop smaller off-season competitions in several of regions of the MWPBA or in conjunction with educational opportunities.
“I am really looking forward to a great year ahead,” he added. “It will be a challenge in these tough times but we have many good people that have already offered to help. I am sure we will continue to work with the other Alliance of North American Pipe Band Associations organizations going forward.”
Jim Sim retired from competition after the 2009 season, and his former band dissolved shortly thereafter due to other significant personnel changes, including the resignation of the band’s pipe-major. Sim had served as Chair of the MWPBA’s Music Board for many years, and was active as an adjudicator for the last 20 years.