Executive Board of Directors

The Carolina Winter Ensemble Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization operating under the leadership of the Executive Board of Directors as elected by the general membership. The Executive Board and its appointees are responsible for managing and organizing the operations of the circuit. CWEA operating procedures are governed by the organization’s Bylaws document. Each director is elected to a two year term.

Cody Crawford


Cody Crawford, originally from Greenwood, South Carolina, moved to Rock Hill in the winter of 2012. Serving the circuit in many roles over the years including Media Manager, Contest Assistant, Contest Administrator, Director of Events and now President, Cody has overseen historic growth within CWEA. Under his guidance, CWEA has tripled in size and has become the premiere circuit serving the Carolinas.

Outside of his time with CWEA, Cody is the Director of Business Operations for the Carolina Crown Organization which includes the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps. Joining the Crown team in the Fall of 2012, Cody has filled many rolls within the organization, including overseeing the company’s fundraising efforts, event management, graphic design, web development and IT support, event ticketing firm and music store. In addition to CWEA and Crown, he also served as a Contest Administrator for Winter Guard International, where he oversaw and managed WGI Regional Events across the country.

Before entering the non-profit sector, Cody began as a student at Greenwood High School, eventually going on to attend the University of South Carolina. As a percussionist, Cody worked with many programs throughout the Carolinas including Belton Honea-Path HS, Greenwood HS, Spring Valley HS, Lexington HS, Paradigm Percussion, Marvin Ridge HS and Batesburg-Leesville HS, where he helped lead the program to its first of several SCBDA State Championships. When he’s not working (which isn’t often), you’ll find Cody enjoying time at home with his family. And if he’s not there, he’s in the air going somewhere – most likely Las Vegas!

Clayton Parker

Vice President

Clayton Parker has been an instructor and designer for over twenty-five years. He has worked with color guards, marching bands, and winter guards in North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina. Prior to becoming Vice President, he served on the CWEA Board of Directors in several positions, including Contest Administrator, Judges Liaison, and President.

Currently, Clayton is a freelance visual consultant and designer. He has judged as a member of the Florida Federation Judges Association in the captions General Effect and Design Analysis. He has also been an adjudicator for Fiesta-Val of Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Parker is a graduate of South Carolina State University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing. Currently, Mr. Parker resides in Columbia, SC, where he is an Information Resource Coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

Torey Riser


Torey Riser is a native of Greenwood, SC where he attended Lander University, majoring in Music Education. Mr. Riser has previously served on the CWEA Board of Directors as Percussion Representative and on the advisory board as PSA Representative.

Mr. Riser was a charter member of Palmetto Percussion in 2007 and aged out as the snare line section leader in 2009. For the last 13 years, he has worked with many successful high school programs in South Carolina as an instructor, designer, and composer, including Greenwood High School, Belton Honea Path High School, Bluffton High School, and works currently as the Director of Percussion at Ninety Six High School. In his free time, Mr. Riser has also worked with many ensembles in the state, including Palmetto Percussion (2010), NGI (2016), and Civitas (2018)

Recently at Ninety Six, Riser founded the school’s first ever indoor percussion program in 2015 which. The organization has since won 4 SCBDA State Championships, 2 CWEA titles, 1 WGI Regional and advanced to the 2018 WGI Semifinals for the first time in the program’s history.

Mr. Riser also coaches Varsity Girls Soccer and instructs the 7-time 1A State Champion Ninety Six Marching Band.

Mr. Riser would like to credit A.J. Pace, Erik Crook, Colin Brown, Joel Gardner, Luiz Riviera, Mike McIntosh, Paul Rennick, Cliff Sutton, and Chris Turner for their direct and indirect influences on his life as a music educator.

David Shives


David Shives is the Associate Director of Bands at Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, NC. The Ardrey Kell band program consists of over 300 students in four concert bands, two jazz ensembles, two winter guards, winter winds and marching band. Prior to his position at Ardrey Kell Mr. Shives spent 5 years as the Director of Bands at Community House Middle School in Charlotte, NC.

As the band director at Community House his bands earned consistent superior ratings at local and regional band competitions. In 2017, the Community House Middle School 8th grade band was awarded the Charlotte Musical Showcase Award of Excellence for the most outstanding middle school musical ensemble in Charlotte.

Mr. Shives has also served as director of the Ardrey Kell indoor winds program for the past 3 season. In 2019, the Ardrey Kell Indoor Winds were second in Scholastic A competition at the WGI Winds World Championships and were the Scholastic A Champions at the WGI Atlanta regional.

Mr. Shives is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a B.A. in Music Education and a B.A. in Euphonium Performance. Mr. Shives is also a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a M.M. in Music Education. He holds professional memberships in National Education Association, National Association for Music Education, Society for Music Teacher Education and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He lives in Fort Mill with his wife Kati, and their dog Lily.

Emma Boyce


Bio coming soon.

Tom Padgett


Bio coming soon.

Zakia Ruffin

Chair - Guard Advisory Council

Zakia Ruffin is the former Color Guard Director for Northwest Cabarrus High School. She found her passion for colorguard marching with Concord High School's color guard & winter guard programs and after graduating she has continued to grow in the performing arts. She has marched drum corps with Phantom Regiment (2001, 2003, & 2004), as well as performed with many Independent winterguards including: Carolina Visual Productions (2001-2002, & 2004), The Study 2006, Croatan World (2007-2009) & First Flight World (2010). She has been an instructor and has worked with many programs in the Charlotte area including East Lincoln High School, Concord High School, and South Mecklenburg High School.

Zakia was honored to participate in the Advisory Council for CWEA in 2019 and was able to be on the WGI Advisory Board for 2019-2020. She hopes to use the knowledge and experience to become further involved in this amazing activity, so all performers can have the best performing experience.