The Board of Directors of the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation led by President, Kathy Zeis, held a meeting with Chairman of the Grants Committee, Kasey Kesselring to discuss the appointment of an Executive Director to oversee the daily operation of the foundations efforts.  The revival of the foundation this year has resulted in increased contributions and distributions allowing the foundation to garner even greater interest and support from the walking horse community.  With this growing interest and the desire of the board to advance its efforts on behalf of the industry, it has determined that the services of a part time executive director will be necessary to continue the momentum of the foundation.  With gratitude to foundation board member, Janice Fostek, the foundation has secured funding to appoint a part time executive director. 

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark K. Taylor as Executive Director of the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation.  Mark has long been engaged as an active member of the walking horse community first as a trainer and farrier and most recently as the Walking Horse Owner’s Association’s Sales and Marketing Coordinator.  Mark’s experience with the industry in his capacity at WHOA has afforded him the opportunity to build relationships that have assisted in securing financial support for various initiatives undertaken by WHOA.  Similarly, Mark will continue this effort on behalf of the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation to secure funding to assist the foundation in meeting its mission “to encourage support of, and funding for charitable, scientific, and educational projects for the welfare of the Tennessee Walking Horse while serving the needs of both the donor and the recipient.”  In addition to seeking private and corporate donations, Mark will work in conjunction with the Grants Committee Chair to identify and prepare applications for grant and foundation funding.  When asked about his vision for the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation, Mark replied, “to make a difference in the Walking Horse Industry.  Funding youth programs, scholarship, industry development and continuing education are very important goals that the Foundation can achieve.  I would also like to see the Foundation take an active role in the development of additional programs for our industry such as an after school riding program for under privileged children.  Eventually, I would like to see a permanent Foundation building and walking horse museum.  Our industry is going through a very insecure time and we are under much scrutiny.  There are many things the Foundation could do to help fund positive change within our industry.  We have to look outside the box to see where the Foundation can lead us in the future.”

Mark will officially begin his duties on behalf of the Foundation on October 1st and will also continue his employment with the Walking Horse Owner’s Association.  The Foundation would like to also acknowledge the support and cooperation of WHOA and President Frank Neal and Executive Director Tommy Hall for their support in allowing Mark to also serve the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation.  It is this spirit of cooperation and support that will lead the industry to realizing its full potential within the equine community.

The Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation is a tax exempt charitable organization that enables donors to easily and effectively support and promote funding for charitable, scientific and educational projects for the welfare and interest of the Tennessee Walking Horse and educate the public about the unique talents of this equine breed. As a 501(c)3 all contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law. Contributions of any denomination are welcome. Donors may contribute to any of the Foundation’s existing funds or establish a separate fund with a minimum gift of $5,000.00.  New funds require the approval of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

The Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation is governed by a board of directors with the assistance of a voluntary, non-voting, Grant Committee Chairman and a non-voting compensated Executive Director. For more information about the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation, please visit the website at