Spirit of Atlanta Appoints New Executive Director

Jeff Nelson named Executive Director of Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta announces the hire of Jeff Nelson as Executive Director of the drum corps, effective immediately.  Nelson has stepped down from his current role as Board President to accept the position and to focus his efforts on the day to day operations and management of the drum corps.  He will remain on as an ex-officio member of the board.

Nelson has served as President of the Board since 2015, stepping in at a time when the corps found itself in deep debt and with an uncertain future.  He has been pivotal in restructuring the board and corps operations, leading to a strong recovery from a difficult financial position in a relatively short period, while resetting the corps for growth and an optimistic future.  Nelson has longstanding ties with the organization as both he and his wife are alumni of the corps, Jeff having played snare from 79-81 and wife Judy as a color guard member from 78-81.  Nelson was also a member of the Concord Blue Devils as section leader of the drumline in 1982 and member of the staff in 1983.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to lead the corps back into prominence as Spirit enters into its 42nd season of competition.  Spirit has a long and storied history as a 20-time finalist in the activity while embracing it southern sound with high energy, crowd-pleasing shows,” said Nelson.

Nelson is the owner of Lone Star Percussion, one of the nation’s largest retailers of percussion instruments and supplies.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Percussive Arts Society and actively supports the arts through business sponsorship of DCI, WGI, PAS, and multiple other organizations and events throughout the year.

Corps Director Chris Moore shares, “I have known Jeff for over three decades and consider him a dear friend. He brings strong business savvy and an incredible wealth of experience in looking at the big picture and steering organizations to success. I look forward to our continued partnership.”

In his new role, Nelson will focus his attention on the long-term business and operational elements of the corps.  Chris Moore and Dave Coheley will remain in their current capacity as Director and Asst. Director to lead the artistic and instructional aspects of the program.  Jeff Pearson will continue as Director of Operations for the corps.