Wynton Marsalis performs with CCM students during a visit to UC's campus in the fall of 2008. Photo/UC Creative Services.

CCM Jazz Studies Named Inaugural College Affiliate of the Acclaimed Jazz at Lincoln Center

When the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JALCO) embarks on its next international residency, the world-renowned big band will be accompanied by nearly two dozen CCM students and faculty members.

CCM’s Department of Jazz Studies has been named Jazz at Lincoln Center‘s inaugural College Affiliate, a distinction reserved for the country’s top-ranked jazz programs. Led by Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, the JALCO will invite a premier student ensemble on tour for educational residencies through this new program.

Left to right: Scott Belck, Wynton Marsalis and Stanley Romanstein.

Left to right: Scott Belck, Wynton Marsalis and Stanley Romanstein.

For the initial installment of this program, the CCM Jazz Orchestra directed by Professor Scott Belck, DMA, will join Marsalis and the JALCO for an international residency in São Paulo, Brazil, from June 22-30. The residency will provide participants with an unprecedented level of real-world performance and teaching experience in an international setting.

Nine undergraduate and 10 graduate students will participate in the trip, alongside Belck and fellow CCM faculty members Craig Bailey, Steve Allee and Kimothy Pensyl. During the intensive week-long program, CCM’s students and faculty will work with JALCO members, perform in São Paulo schools, perform at the US Consulate and serve as the opening band on a number of JALCO concerts at venues around the city.

“We want our students and faculty to be part of a global network of alumni and artists — to experience other cultures, other languages and other ways of looking at and creating art,” says CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein, PhD. “CCM is cultivating these opportunities so we can provide students with more hands-on learning experiences that prepare them to take the next steps in their lives and careers.”

Wynton Marsalis performs with CCM students during a visit to UC's campus in the fall of 2008. Photo/UC Creative Services.

Wynton Marsalis performs with CCM students during a visit to UC’s campus in the fall of 2008. Photo/UC Creative Services.

Throughout this landmark residency, the JALCO and CCM Jazz Orchestra will appear in performances, a Jazz for Young People concert, clinics, and workshops in performance halls and schools throughout São Paulo. The two orchestras will also demonstrate jazz’s rich history of collaboration by performing with Brazilian musicians and exploring the melding of Afro-Latin influences with improvisation and jazz harmony.

Education is central to JALC’s mission and its official College Affiliate ensembles will take part in education activities, master classes and performances throughout the selected residencies. Following a parallel schedule with the JALCO, the college affiliate ensemble will perform in educational and public performances. The program will culminate with the ensemble opening for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in concert.

The CCM students participating in this exciting international opportunity include:

  • Christopher Glenn Andrews: graduate student from Columbia, SC
  • Justin Daniel Dawson: undergraduate from Dayton, OH
  • Thomas Hayden Floro: undergraduate from Dayton, OH
  • Timothy Francis Fogarty: graduate from East Setauket, NY
  • Hector John Gagnet: undergraduate from Dayton, OH
  • Robert Conwell Gooch: undergraduate from Dublin, OH
  • Wade Andrew Goodwin: graduate student from Greensburg, IN
  • Zachary Robert Granger: graduate student from West Chester, OH
  • Carly Elizabeth Hood: graduate student from Edgewood, KY
  • Marcelo Invernizzi da Silveira: graduate student from Campinas, Brazil
  • Simon Richard Carol Jansen: undergraduate from Cincinnati, OH
  • Ryan Thomas Jones: graduate student from Bremen, KY
  • Jacob Matthew Lemons: graduate student from Harlan, IA
  • Spencer Merk: undergraduate from Cincinnati, OH
  • Christian Joseph Paradiso: undergraduate from Liberty Township, OH
  • Mitchell Thomas Parton: undergraduate from Chicago, IL
  • John Thomas Phillips, Jr.: undergraduate from Trenton, OH
  • Andrew Chapin Walits: graduate student from Valparaiso, IN
  • Jonathan Lloyd Wiseman: graduate student from Concord, NC

About Jazz at Lincoln Center

Jazz at Lincoln Center is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, which is part of New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Founded in 1987, its mission is to entertain, enrich and expand a global community for jazz through performance, education and advocacy.

Representing the totality of jazz music, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s mission is carried out through four elements – educational, curatorial, archival, and ceremonial – capturing, in unparalleled scope, the full spectrum of the jazz experience. It produces an annual concert season in Rose Theater and the Appel Room and nightly concerts at Dizzy’s Club, all located in at Frederick P. Rose Hall on the 5th floor of the Time Warner Center in New York City’s Columbus Circle.

Hailed as the “finest big band in the world today” by The Telegraph, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, is made up of 15 of the finest soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers in jazz music today. Learn more by visiting www.jazz.org/about.

About the CCM Jazz Orchestra

The CCM Jazz Orchestra performs under the direction of Professor Scott Belck at the 2016 Moveable Feast gala fundraiser. Photo/UC Creative Services.

The CCM Jazz Orchestra performs under the direction of Professor Scott Belck at the 2016 Moveable Feast gala fundraiser. Photo/UC Creative Services.

The CCM Jazz Orchestra is the CCM’s premier big band. Under the direction of CCM Professor of Jazz Studies Scott Belck, the acclaimed ensemble performs a wide variety of styles including historical swing, bebop, post-bop, fusion, Latin and avant-garde. Special emphasis is placed on the idiom’s great art-music composers such as Thad Jones, Bill Holman and Bob Brookmeyer. The ensemble also focuses on projects like the annual Essentially Ellington Festival sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and on the performance of student arrangements.

Concerts have included historical tributes to Woody Herman and Stan Kenton, as well as composer residency programs featuring artists like Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, Slide Hampton, Tim Hagans, Kenny Wheeler and many others as guest conductors and performers.

The CCM Jazz Orchestra has been invited to appear at numerous professional festivals and educational conferences, and has been featured on several radio broadcasts. Many internationally recognized artists have performed as soloists with the CCM Jazz Orchestra, including Eddie Daniels, John Fedchock, Frank Foster, Curtis Fuller, Kenny Garrett, Joe Henderson, Ahmad Jamal, Dave Liebman and Joshua Redman.

The CCM Jazz Orchestra’s recent recording projects have included original collaborations with modern creative innovators. In Search of Garaj Mahal is a recording of new original arrangements performed by student and alumni members of the CCM Jazz Orchestra with guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque, which was released on the Harmonized Record label in 2016. That same program was performed live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in Jazz at Lincoln Center and was also featured as the opening night main stage performance at the Jazz Education Network’s international conference in 2016. Nobody Does it Better: The CCM Jazz Orchestra Does Bond featuring trumpeter, composer and arranger Steven Bernstein was released in 2017 to glowing reviews. Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite will be released later this year.

In 2012, the CCM Jazz Orchestra recorded a live concert performance for public television (An Evening with Gerald Wilson, National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master). This hour-long video special featured the CCM Jazz Orchestra with Wilson conducting, interspersed with commentary and anecdotes by the composer. Stream the entire video on demand below:

About CCM Jazz Studies

Offering both bachelor and master of music degrees, the Jazz Studies program at CCM teaches the fundamentals of classical music, stylistic elements of each historical jazz period, strategies for enhancing originality, techniques of electronic media and today’s cutting-edge trends that defy categorization.

By receiving a wide musical perspective and the command of a broad jazz language, the student is equipped to pursue a future in jazz music. At the same time, this thorough course of study serves as the best preparation for related careers in commercial music. Learn more at ccm.uc.edu/jazz.
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Featured image at top: The CCM Jazz Orchestra performs under the direction of Professor Scott Belck at the 2016 Moveable Feast gala fundraiser. Photo/UC Creative Services.

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A picture of CCM faculty member Donald Hancock holding his Emmy Award.

Emmy Award-Winning Producer Donald Hancock is Named Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production at CCM

CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein has announced the appointment of Donald Hancock to the position of Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production in CCM’s Division of E-Media. Hancock joined CCM’s faculty as an adjunct in 2012. His new appointment will begin on Aug. 15, 2019.

A picture of CCM faculty member Donald Hancock holding his Emmy Award.

Hancock is an Emmy Award-winning producer, professor and an active member of the media community. He has an MA in Film and Television from Savannah College of Art and Design and a BFA in E-Media from CCM. Hancock currently works as a producer at CET, Cincinnati’s PBS Member Station. He has produced “The Art Show,” CET’s weekly art magazine program, since 2013. He also produces content for a variety of partners with CET, including ArtsWave and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Hancock won a Regional Emmy Award for “Cincinnati’s Music Hall: The Next Movement,” a 60-minute documentary that he co-wrote, produced and shot. The documentary details the historic $150 million renovation of Cincinnati’s National Historic Landmark. Watch a promotional spot for the documentary below.

In 2013, Hancock was chosen as one of 25 producers from around the country to participate in the PBS/CPB Producer’s Academy, whose goal is to engage a talented pool of diverse producers in public broadcasting. Hancock has also partnered with WGBH and PBS to produce content around national programming including “Finding Your Roots,” “American Experience” and “Downton Abbey.”

For the past seven years, Hancock has been an adjunct professor at CCM, teaching Digital Video and Integrated Media Production courses to sophomore and junior-level students. In his spare time, he serves on the Executive Board for the UC Center for Film and Media Studies, as well as the community advisory board at Elementz Urban Arts Center. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, a member of the Broadcast Education Association and volunteers as a Big Brother in the Big Brother Big Sisters Program.

Dean Romanstein thanked search committee members Kevin Burke (chair), Peter DePietroJohn HebbelerTondra Holt and Hagit Limor for their work on finding CCM’s new Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production.

Please join us in congratulating Donald Hancock on his new appointment!

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Shauna Steele Is Named Associate Professor of Dance and Chair of Dance Department at CCM

CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein has announced the appointment of arts administrator, educator, performer and choreographer Shauna Steele to the college’s dance faculty. Steele’s appointment as Associate Professor of Dance and Chair of the Dance Department begins on Aug. 15, 2019.

An administrator and educator with nearly two decades of experience, Steele most recently taught at Michigan’s Hope College where she taught dance history and criticism, jazz, modern, improvisation, assisted the historic and social dance sections, and mentored Student Dance Showcase choreographers. From 2011-18 Steele served as the Dance Program Director and Associate Professor of Dance at Anderson University in Indiana.

“I am excited by ongoing education, both that which I teach and that which I learn from my students,” Steele says. “I find challenge and reward in teaching and am inspired by my students and the movement that grows from class sessions, both academic and technique.”

She is the founder and artistic director of Mocha Dance Project – which pursues projects engaging the fusion of photography, video, dance and collaboration – and was the Associate Director for RusticGroove Dance.

Arts administrator, educator, performer and choreographer Shauna Steele.

Arts administrator, educator, performer and choreographer Shauna Steele.

Her research interests include dance in world culture and context, Africanized movement in the Diaspora of Western culture (specifically Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean), the influences of Celtic traditions on art and movement, the function of art in restricted or repressed environments, and body movement logic. She was the artistic director of Parallel Differences youth dance and the Associate Instructor for the Indiana University African American Arts Institute’s dance company. Her choreography has appeared in Robert Hay-Smith’s Pollen: The Musical, RADfest, The Tank NYC, Midwest RADfest, the Arizona Positivity Project and the Ypsilanti Fringe Festival. She has taught master classes in Roots of Jazz Dance and served as dance faculty at Grand Valley State University, Eastern Michigan University, Anderson University and the University of Michigan’s MPulse summer dance institute. She has lead master classes and workshops in improvisational movement, African dance, modern dance, jazz, Afro-jazz and hip hop. Her professional credits include Windfall Dancers, African American Dance Company, Dancers Studio Inc., Sancocho: Musica and Dance Collage and Ann Arbor Dance Works. She has performed in Robin Wilson’s Slave Moth, in Alexandra Beller’s Reasons for Moving and in Gay Delanghe’s Motor Tango/Tangle.

Her past projects include Millstones in August 2010 and The Positivity Project in Tempe, Arizona in October 2010. Her current choreography projects include Disobedient Objects/Caged Bird Legacy (a site-specific work), Sacred Ground (an evening length concert in three parts), /ˈākər/ (which delves into compulsive behavior and the need to sort, measure and catalogue), Leyenda in Winter (a dance for camera work), Still Frame (a video dance project) and Passengers (a contemporary modern work).

A published dance scholar, Steele’s co-authored textbook Experiencing Dance: A Creative Approach to Dance Appreciation (2011) examines the ever-changing culture of dance and provides a basic historical context and appreciation of dance as an art form. Her research articles include Exploring Choreographic Responsibility through the ‘Cultural Lens’ (2013); Drawing Parallel Lines: Dance, Architecture, and Society (2009); and Drawing Parallel Lines in Dance, Architecture, and Society: African American Modern Dance, and Jewish Deconstructivist Architecture (2006), among others.

Steele received her MFA in Dance Choreography and Performance with a focus area in History and Technology from the University of Michigan in 2006, and a BGS in Arts and Humanities with a focus area in Cultural Anthropology and Dance from Indiana University in 2002. She is a member of the American College Dance Association, World Dance Alliance and the National Dance Education Organization.

Dean Romanstein thanked search committee members Diane Lala (co-chair), Denton Yockey (co-chair), Rebecca Bromels, Qi Jiang and Regina Truhart for their work on finding CCM’s new Associate Professor of Dance and Chair of the Dance Department.

Please join us in welcoming Shauna Steele to the CCM family!

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Demarre McGill, CCM's new Associate Professor of Flute. Photography by Denver Rispel.

Acclaimed Musician Demarre McGill Is Named Associate Professor of Flute at CCM

CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein has announced the appointment of Demarre McGill to the position of Associate Professor of Flute at CCM. McGill joined CCM’s faculty on a visiting basis in 2017. His new appointment will begin on Aug. 15, 2019.

Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and Sphinx Medal of Excellence, McGill is a leading soloist, recitalist, and chamber and orchestral musician.

Demarre McGill, CCM's new Associate Professor of Flute. Photography by Denver Rispel.

Photo by Denver Rispel.

At age 15, he appeared as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony and he has since appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Seattle, Pittsburgh, Dallas, San Diego and Baltimore symphony orchestras. In 2018 he performed and presented master classes in South Africa, Korea and Japan. That same year, he was soloist with the New York Youth Symphony at Carnegie Hall and he performed with the Cathedral Choral Society at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC in a May 20thprogram entitled “Bernstein the Humanitarian.”

Now principal flute of the Seattle Symphony, McGill previously served as principal flute of the Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Florida Orchestra and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He recently served as acting principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and earlier with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

A founding member of The Myriad Trio, and former member of Chamber Music Society Two, McGill has participated in the Aspen, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Seattle and Stellenbosch chamber music festivals, to name a few. He is the co-founder of The Art of Élan and, along with clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Michael McHale, founded the McGill/McHale Trio in 2014. The trio’s first CD, Portraits, was released in August 2017 to rave reviews.

His media credits include appearances on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center, A&E Network’s The Gifted Ones and NBC’s Today Show and Nightly News. McGill also appeared on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood with his brother when they were teenagers.

A native of Chicago, McGill began studying the flute at age seven and attended the Merit School of Music. In the years that followed, he studied with Susan Levitin before leaving Chicago. He received his Bachelor’s degree from The Curtis Institute of Music and a Master’s degree at The Juilliard School.

Dean Romanstein thanked search committee members James Bunte (chair), Ron Aufmann, Mark Ostoich, Sandra Rivers and Heather Verbeck for their work on finding CCM’s new Associate Professor of Flute.

Please join us in congratulating Demarre McGill on his new appointment!

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CCM Welcomes Judith Mikita As Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance

Judith Mikita

CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung has announced the appointment of Judith Mikita to the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance, with a focus in modern choreography. Mikita has served as an adjunct dance instructor at CCM for more than 20 years. Her new appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

Mikita is a choreographer and performer with more than 30 years of professional experience. Her choreography has been presented by the American Dance Festival, the New York International Independent Film Festival, Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center and the Biagiotti Art Gallery in Florence, Italy, among others. She has also choreographed for Cincinnati’s Contemporary Dance Theatre, Ensemble Theatre, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cleveland Fringe Festival, Covington’s Carnegie Art Center and New York’s White Mountain Dance Festival.

As an artist and educator, Mikita has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Columbia College and Antioch College and as artist-in-residence at Wright State University and the University of Utah. She has also choreographed at Miami University, Northern Kentucky University and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

As a performer, Mikita has toured nationally with the Chicago-based dance companies of Shirley Mordine, Jan Erkert and Bob Eisen. She has worked with Martha Clarke of Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Lucas Hoving of the José Limón Dance Company, Marnie Thomas of the Martha Graham Dance Company and Gus Solomons, Jr. of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Mikita is a founding member of the Greater Cincinnati Dance Alliance and has served on the board of directors for OhioDance and Cincinnati’s Contemporary Dance Theater. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from Indiana University and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from University of Michigan.

On the announcement of Mikita’s appointment, mcclung commented:

“Judith Mikita’s extensive experience in modern dance and professional work with arts institutions, festivals and dance companies throughout the country will benefit CCM’s BFA students in refining their contemporary dance technique.”

Please join us in welcoming Judith Mikita to the CCM family!

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Scott Linford, incoming Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at CCM.

CCM Welcomes Scott Linford as Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology

Scott Linford, incoming Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at CCM.

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Scott Linford to the position of Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at CCM. Linford’s appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

A scholar, filmmaker and performing musician, Linford has conducted fieldwork in West Africa, Central America and the United States around themes of participation and musical experience, ethnicity, gender and politics. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds an MA and PhD in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and most recently served as Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts (Music History) at the Berklee College of Music.

In addition to his dissertation, “Interweaving Worlds: Jola Music and Relational Identity in Senegambia and Beyond,” Linford’s work has appeared in Ethnomusicology Review and the Yearbook for Traditional Music. He has presented papers at annual meetings of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the African Studies Association, and has presented invited lectures at UCLA, Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, and Centro Nacional de las Artes in Mexico City.

A guitarist, bassist, fiddler and award-winning banjoist, he directed the UCLA Bluegrass and Old Time String Band, which won numerous awards at regional music festivals. Linford has also directed three documentary films focusing on musical communities.

On the announcement of Linford’s appointment, mcclung commented:

“CCM students will benefit from Linford’s expertise as an ethnographic researcher, documentarian and performer. He makes an excellent addition to our Composition, Musicology and Theory Division. I am grateful to Search Committee Chair Jonathan Kregor and committee members Jenny Doctor, Stefan Fiol, Jeongwon Joe, Stephen Meyer, Matthew Peattie and Stephanie Schlagel for their collaborative effort on this successful search.”

Please join us in welcoming Scott Linford to the CCM family!

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A portrait of CCM's incoming TAPAA Division Head, Denton Yockey.

Accomplished Producer and Administrator Denton Yockey is Named Head of CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration

A portrait of CCM's incoming TAPAA Division Head, Denton Yockey.

CCM Interim Dean bruce d. mcclung has announced the appointment of Denton Yockey to the position of Professor of Arts Administration and Head of the Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration (TAPAA) at CCM. Yockey will arrive on campus this July to work with TAPAA’s Interim Division Head, Alan Yaffe, and his appointment will officially begin on Aug. 15, 2018.

In his new position, Yockey will oversee CCM’s Departments of Acting, Arts Administration, Dance, Musical Theatre, Opera, and Theatre Design and Production. He will also serve as producer of CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series productions.

Yockey is one of the nation’s premier regional theatre producers and presenters of touring Broadway. During a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Yockey has produced or presented shows starring such luminaries as Jensen Ackles, Margaret Colin, Richard Kind, Jack Klugman, Lorenzo Lamas, Donna McKechnie, Lou Diamond Phillips, Tony Randall, Cathy Rigby, Sally Struthers, new Tony winner Rachel Bay Jones and Academy Award-winning June Squibb.

Yockey is currently the Executive Director of the Thrasher-Horne Center at St. Johns River State College in Orange Park, Florida. He is also a principal with A Rising Tide Theatrical Group, LLC, which independently produces theatrical entertainment and national tours while providing counsel for other projects.

Over the course of his career, Yockey has helmed four not-for-profit theatres including Lone Star Performing Arts Association in Galveston, Texas (Executive Director); Casa Mañana Theater in Fort Worth, TX (President and Executive Producer); and Starlight Theatre in Kansas City (President and Executive Producer). Under his leadership, Starlight Theatre received the 2013 Venue Excellence Award from the International Alliance of Venue Managers in the Performing Arts Centers category. Also in 2013, his mini-tour of Miss Saigon was cited in Playbill’s list of “Most Unforgettable Experiences.” During his tenure at Casa Mañana, the landmark theatre underwent its historic renovation and the theatre was the producer and presenter of all the Broadway shows at the newly opened Bass Performance Hall. Upon his departure from Casa Mañana, Yockey received the Silver Dome Award, the theatre’s highest award for meritorious individual accomplishment.  He is one of only three recipients in the 13-year history of the award.

Yockey received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University South Bend. He is a member of the Broadway League and a past Tony Awards voter for over 15 years. While in Texas he was a theatre panelist for the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and the Texas Commission on the Arts, and board member of the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County, Texas Nonprofit Theatres, Inc., and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

A native of Plymouth, Indiana, Yockey met his wife of 26 years, Gina, on stage in a production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. They are the proud parents of Gwyneth and Grayson Yockey, both whom are pursuing acting careers.

On the announcement of Yockey’s appointment, mcclung commented:

“Yockey’s impressive background in producing, presenting and administration, coupled with his dedication to artistic success, positions him as the ideal head of CCM’s Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration. I am grateful to Search Committee Chair Alan Yaffe and committee members Rebecca Bromels, Lydia Brown, Vince DeGeorge, Susan Felder, Qi Jiang and Stirling Shelton for their work and dedication to find CCM’s next great division head.”

Please join us in welcoming Denton Yockey to the CCM family!

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