The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) held its annual general membership meeting at 1:00PM on Friday December 5, 2019.  In a change from previous years the standing committee reports were not given during this meeting and were held for presentation at Saturday’s International Board of Directors’ meeting. President David Williams did give anyone in attendance that had a question for a committee director the opportunity to ask any question of which there were none.

Williams, who is serving his last year on the executive committee, did update the audience on the improvements in the association over the past several years. “Six years ago when several of the executive committee members and I came on board the association was losing $10,000 a month and had a finite time of existence.  Since that time we have reversed that and balanced the budget. We had a real good year this year,” said Williams.

“One of the items I am most proud of is the improvements to our iconic building,” continued Williams. There was a time just a short couple of years ago that some in the association thought selling the building would be a good idea. Through stabilization of the budget and reduction in expenses, the previous couple of executive committees have strengthened the financial position of the association, making selling the building something that doesn’t have to be considered.

Executive Director Rory Williams then updated the factors that mean the most to the budget at TWHBEA.  Williams said that 3,800 memberships were purchased throughout the year making the current membership of 5,298 just under the membership at this point last year. Williams stated that the registrations in 2019 were only three under the number in 2018 and TWHBEA processed 64 fewer transfers in 2019.  Williams did say that the associations overall revenue was close to $100k better than budgeted.

In comments from the floor, Tom Kakassy urged the executive committee to value the work of the committees.  “Committee work is the foundation of this association and I hope consideration will be given to their work by future executive committees,” said Kakassy.  Kakassy served on the bylaws committee of TWHBEA.

Kakassy also urged TWHBEA to be focused on public relations moving forward. “It is my view that the association has two goals, to register horses and to promote the breed. We do a fine job registering horses but haven’t done our part in public relations. Public relations should be a major emphasis moving forward,” concluded Kakassy. Williams acknowledged that he felt all of those on the executive committee agreed with Kakassy’s comments.

The International Board meeting will be Saturday at 10:00 with an expansion on the performance of the association, approval of the budget and election of the 2020 executive committee.