Executive Director, CEO
Carolina Crown, Inc.
227-A Main Street
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(803) 547-2270 x103
Dear Hall of Fame Committee:
With regard to the many accomplishments achieved by the Crown organization through the years I am excited to nominate Jim Coates to the 2017 Crown Hall of Fame.
Since joining the organization back in 2009 I have watched the organization evolve in so many areas, all under the thoughtful and passionate direction of Jim. I use the term organization rather than corps as Crown has become far more than the entertaining drum corps that fans have grown to admire over the years. While the marching ensemble remains the pinnacle of the Crown organization and arguably the finest of its kind in the activity, it’s Jim’s influence relative to the overall organizational success that I want to focus on.
The Drum Corps
Upon Jim’s arrival prior to 2003 Carolina Crown had experienced what I’m told was one of the toughest years, both in regards to field success and general condition of the organization. This is stated not with any intended disrespect toward the men and women who made up Crown 2002 as the team undoubtedly worked very hard to maintain what had already become a reputable unit. It is mentioned to draw attention to what I believe resulted in a radical change in direction spearheaded by Jim. With Jim’s arrival came a new vision and a plan to “re-tool” the faculty. The years 2003 through 2012 saw a significant yearly improvement as measured not only by competitive scoring and increased fan response, but by the addition and retention of a heightened instructional and administrative level of talent. The fruit of this hard work has resulted in Crown capturing numerous awards including several Jim Ott Trophies for Best Brass Performance, a Best Color Guard and Best Visual Performance award, not to mention numerous Disney Fan favorite awards and a seemingly incalculable number of competitive wins including the World Championship in 2013. Whether the corps home office should be housing trophies for 2009, 2012, 2015, and 2016 I will leave up to your opinion; but there is little doubt that the pursuit of excellence has been Relentless!
Relative to overall organizational growth and strength Jim has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to foster what we are today; a quality corporation focused on Developing Lifelong Excellence. Jim’s leadership has fueled the creation and development of many Crown initiatives, all of which play an important role in the ability of Crown to not only sustain day to day operations, but thrive as what is now a truly international brand. Such initiatives or brands in their own right that have come to light under Jim’s watch include; CrownTICKETS, CrownSTORE, Partners in Education, CrownLEARNING and CrownCARES to name a few. Each of these pieces work together to ensure that the mission is achieved, members are given a great experience and the many adoring fans are treated to one of the world’s finest performance ensembles year after year.
The Personal Note
As I have come to know Jim on a personal basis over the years I am impressed by the deep-seated commitment he has for the many young men and women we serve through Crown. He genuinely cares about their well-being and experience with the organization, he’s like a dad to the 150 that board the busses every night throughout the summer. Though a very competitive individual, as the consistently high level of performance clearly indicates, Jim is quick to remind others that the focus remains on personal best, regardless of the placement; experience over score. As a Crown Board member over the years, I will admit that the most encouraging part of my involvement is reading the letters we receive, certainly regarding the quality of performances, but more so those that mention how kind and gracious the members are while on tour. This perception exists, I believe, because you reap what you sow. Jim leads an organization that works to sow Excellence into the lives of those involved, the outflow is excellence in performance…and behavior.
I am very proud to be a part of this great organization; one that was started by great men and women…and continues under the influence of great men and women. I have read that an organization is a direct reflection of its leader. If there is any truth to that axiom, then I believe it is safe to say that Jim is an EXCELLENT leader, certainly worthy of the Carolina Crown 2017 Hall of Fame.
Board Member 2009-Present
Executive Producer-NightBEAT presents Tour of Champions 2013-Present