Editor's Note:  The following letter from Mike Inman was posted on the TWHBEA web site.

Dear Members,

Along with the rest of the newly elected Executive Committee it has been a pleasure to serve you the last few months. As promised, a look into our financial position was the key to creating a realistic budget. Unfortunately, our investigation found the Association in worse shape than anyone had imagined. In a nutshell, our reserves have been depleted from $1.5 million to $150,000; thus, quite a reason for major concern. Please refer to Mr. Pruett’s State of the Association article for more detail as to where the money went, but for now I would like to concentrate on our options on a move forward basis. Just as in any other business, the two ways to get back in the black are to cut costs and/or increase revenue. I would like to discuss both

Click to see Reserve Account
Click to see Comparative Statement of Activity

Cutting Costs:

Our number of employees has been reduced by almost two-thirds. Executive salaries have been eliminated or greatly reduced and consolidation of duties has happened as a result (i.e. currently the Executive Director is fulfilling the responsibilities of the Executive Director, the Deputy Executive Director, the Registrar, the Director of Operations and oversight of the Voice). Our loss of some very capable people has been the most painful turn of events. The current numbers of employees is at the very leanest level possible and still provide quality service.
All line-by-line operating expenses, from phone lines to garbage pick up, have been reviewed and wherever possible reductions, consolidations, or eliminations have taken place. This is what we should do at all times as stewards of your money- I simply want you to know that Stan Butt and all of our dedicated employees are attacking this challenge in earnest.
Our programs (i.e. versatility, pleasure, marketing, owner/exhibitor, performance, and etc.) have budgets that are at historic lows and still will require donations to be successful. Team efforts with WHOA and NWHA, as well as others, are being pursued in hopes of sharing costs. The motto is simply, "Find a way to make it happen."

Generating Additional Revenue:

This is a difficult task for a "for profit" business so believe me it is not a walk in the park for a "non-profit" business. We are (or should be) a service conduit for registering, transferring, and promoting your horse. Our income is driven by memberships and the business of breeding only, so when we spend more than those items bring in we have deficit spending. So what is being done? Our new 2008 budget reflects a conservative spending approach, however, we will have shortfalls if the late summer and fall registrations are less than conservative projections. To restore the necessary reserve funds, we must do one or more of the following things:

1. Obtain donations from our membership

2. Borrow money using our headquarters building as collateral. However we would still need donations to repay the loan.

3. Sell the headquarters and move to a smaller facility. Excess revenue from the sale would replenish reserves.

4. Raise all fees for services (with membership approval).

Clearly, the most immediate and desired solution would be donations. With nearly 16,000 members, a $25 gift from each would amount to $400,000. A $100 gift from 8,000 members would give us $800,000. This, coupled with sticking to our current budget, which reflects spending only money generated through the registration office, would restore the financial integrity to our seventy three year old, Association.  

We must respond quickly to fulfill our obligations. Please contact Lisa King @ 931-359-0581 with any donation you can share. You will receive recognition on the TWHBEA website and in the Voice as we track these gifts. Meanwhile the monthly postings of how we are performing to budget will be published. For the first two months we budgeted for a loss of  ($64,212). Our actual loss was ($18,259). We are headed in the right direction, but we need help. Like any other business we have a profit period and loss period. Our Association relies on the final four months of the fiscal year to be its most profitable period.



Mike Inman
Administrative/Fiscal/Audit Vice President
Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association