The TWHBEA Executive Committee held a regularly scheduled monthly meeting on September 30, 2002.

Among the first items of business, Charles Wharton, administrative/fiscal division vice president, recommended both the July and August financial statements be approved. His recommendation was accepted.

In his opening remarks, President Robert Thomas commended Kathy Zeis and her owners/exhibitors committee for the tremendous success of their Celebration Clinics. He then gave an update from the search committee. This committee is charged with finding a replacement for Bob Cherry, TWHBEA’s retiring executive director.

Thomas said 21 resumes had been received, and provided the executive committee with the names of all applicants. He said the search committee had met during the Celebration and established a deadline of October 7 at 5:00 p.m. for accepting resumes. He also said that advertisements were published in the Nashville Tennessean and USA Today, and credited those ads fro increasing the number of applications.

Continuing his report, Thomas said the personnel committee had decided on a list of attributes and preferences for the position, rather than creating additional criteria. The attributes include personal integrity, strong organizational/management skills, strong business skills and strong communications skills. In addition, the candidate should be results oriented and a team player, and preferably have a background in Tennessee Walking Horses and be a college graduate.

The search committee will meet again on October 14 to begin reviewing the resumes. The executive committee asked that it be informed of the search committee’s findings via conference call on October 24.

The executive committee then selected this year’s nominating committee and election committee. The 2002 Nominating Committee includes Grover Blaylock (AL) (chairman), Joe Dietz (IN), Melvin Belcher (VA), Mandy Dawn (TN) and Bud Thomas (MO).

The 2002 Election Committee consists of Nancy Groover (TX), Linda Starnes (KY), Mag Ranft (OH), Jeff Givens (TN), Smokey Carswell (KY) and Marietta Gambrell (SC).

Under Old Business, Sid Baucom, member at large-bylaws, recommended that the name of the Administrative/Fiscal Division be changed to the Administrative/Fiscal/Audit Division. He said with the recent government furor regarding corporate responsibility, the Association would be well served to have the Administrative/Fiscal Division take on the roll of an audit committee as well. This recommendation was accepted.

During his remarks to the executive committee, Cherry confirmed a dinner meeting between the executive committee and the Celebration Board of Directors on October 27 at TWHBEA headquarters. The meeting will serve as a follow-up to a similar goodwill dinner meeting between the two groups held earlier this year at the Celebration.

Cherry asked for and received permission to address the board of directors at its semi-annual meeting in December. He also asked for and received permission to attend the Geraldine Livingston Foundation Trustee meeting scheduled for next January. This is a follow-up meeting about securing the life-size statue of Midnight Sun for the TWHBEA Commemorative Garden.

During his report, Cherry asked Michael Cook of iNetStrategy to explain to the executive committee the need for a new file server to support the Association’s internal documents. Cook said the current file server is outdated and a new server would provide a good back-up system for at least five years. The executive committee approved a $10,000 capital outlay for the purchase of the new file server.

Cherry said he’s been working on the fiscal 2003 budget, and that this budget process is proving to be the most difficult of his tenure. Although revenue from memberships, transfers and registrations is up, he said it is not enough to offset increases in program expenditures. “I can tell you that some programs may have to be cut, or additional sources of revenue will have to be found in order to have a balanced or excess revenue over expense budget,” said Cherry.

Continuing his report, Cherry presented a letter expressing concern over “fraudulent” affidavits for duplicate registration certificates. The letter suggests that the current affidavit be amended to include a statement that ensures the original registration certificate is not being held to guarantee payment of fees and/or expenses. The letter states that such language would greatly assist in pursuing legal action against an untruthful owner. After some discussion, the matter was referred to the breeders’ committee.

Cherry concluded his report with an update on the National Futurity. He said numbers continue to dwindle - both in nominations and actual entries. He said that although actual entries have only decreased by 30 since 1997, nominations during that span have decreased 243, and this is a cause for concern. After some ideas were exchanged, the breeders committee was asked to look into the situation and offer some ideas to help rejuvenate the show.

Year-to-date registry numbers through August 31 show an increase in registrations of 142, resulting in an increase in revenue of $19,500. Transfers are up 835, resulting in an increase in revenue of $39,700. New and renewed memberships are up 187. Mares on stallion breeding reports are down 185, but 114 have been added since July. Current membership has increased 489, resulting in a revenue increase of $3,300.

Charles Wharton reported that total revenues are down $70,000 this year compared to last year, while expenses are up $222,000. Through nine months, Mr. Wharton said the Association has earned $19,000 compared to $311,000 last year. “Through the remainder of the year, I think we’ll have to be very careful with our discretionary spending,” said Mr. Wharton.

Other standing committee reports of note included Kathy Zeis’ recap of the Celebration Clinics, which she said attracted between 1,700 and 2,000 attendees. Also, Jane Meredith reported on the success of TWHBEA’s first riding instructor certification clinic, which took place August 20 and saw 41 people earn certification.

The next meeting of the executive committee is set for October 28, 2002.