Copyright WHR 2007

By Christy Howard Parsons

The October Executive Committee meeting began Monday morning, October 29 at a record-breaking pace as the committee flew through their agenda. Absent from the meeting were Darren Gray and Kathy Zeis (who did briefly participate via conference call) and Jack Haefling participated via conference call.

The only committee report of any substance was Charles Wharton’s administrative fiscal report that set the tone for the day. Wharton reported that revenues for the ten months of the fiscal period were down $231,000 and the loss for that period was approximately $509,000. This loss was reduced by the extraordinary item of approximately $200,000 that was recognized earlier this year. Wharton reported that dues were down $39,000; registrations were down $118,000; transfers were down $124,000; Voice magazine revenues were down $420,000. He also listed significant expense increases including post retirement benefits of $84,000, executive director search costs of $49,000, marketing expenses for America by Horseback of $73,000 – all of which were not included in the 2007 budget.

“In the absence of significant changes, we will continue to see a very difficult financial result for the foreseeable future,” summarized Wharton.

The committee then entered an executive session that lasted over seven hours, as they grappled with the 2008 budget. Jerrold Pedigo released the results of that executive session that included approving the 2008 budget as well as renewing the annual contracts of Executive Director Chuck Cadle and Craig Evans for 2008.

Following the executive session, Marty Irby gave an update on the negotiations regarding the Midnight Sun statue in front of the Lewisburg offices. Chuck Cadle was able to negotiate with the donors to continue to showcase the Midnight Sun statue and to offer a Christmas promotion for the smaller replica statues at a $1000 discount.

Jane Meredith made the motion in old business to ask Cook & Co, the CPA firm that oversaw the recent election, to come to the December meeting to oversee and count the election for the 2008 Executive Committee. Pat Stout seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Bruce Vaughn and several of the Executive Committee members who attended the counting of the ballots for the national directors praised Cook & Co for their handling of the recent election. In new business, Kristy Lane presented a new format for the registration certificates that would include a transfer form as a part of the certificate. The executive committee liked the new format, but asked Lane and Nancy Lynn Greene to consider adding the ownership history to the certificate as well.

Similar to a car title, each time an owner sells a registered horse, he would fill out the transfer form on the back of the certificate, remit it to TWHBEA, and the buyer would be issued a newly printed certificate with their name printed on the certificate. The new format is similar to the format used by paint and quarter horses.

There was some discussion about changing the current policy of allowing people to register a new foal at any time during their lives (with appropriate late fees). While no decision was reached, the discussion seemed to center on giving current owners appropriate notice, but to require animals to be registered within their first 12 months of life. There was a motion made to have the staff study the financial ramifications of such a decision between now and the December Executive Committee meeting. The motion passed unanimously. Sid Baucom also agreed to review the bylaws to ensure that the committee could make such a decision without an approval by the full national board.

Charles Wharton made a motion to require executive committee travel be limited to expenses to executive committee meetings, unless approved by the president and executive director in advance. The motion passed unanimously. The final meeting of this Executive Committee will be Saturday, December 1 at 8 a.m. preceding the TWHBEA membership meeting and meeting of the full national board.