By Sharon Higginbotham

LEWISBURG, Tenn. - On Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, at its biannual meeting, the International Board of Directors elected the Slate of Officers recommended by the nominating committee. The newly elected officers are:

President: Stephen Smith (TN)
Senior Vice President/Membership: Walt Chism (TN)
VP Admin/Fiscal/Audit: Christy Lantis (CA)
VP Breeders/Futurity: David Williams (TN)
VP Owner/Exhibitor/International: Denise Bader-Keyser (Germany)
VP Performance Horse: Ford Gates (AL)
VP Pleasure Horse: Jessica Hlebak (NC)
VP Marketing: Ashley Wadsworth (MS)
VP Training/Equine Welfare: Dr. Linda Montgomery (AL)
Member at Large By Laws/Enforcement: Tom Kakassy (NC)
Member at Large Youth: Sherry White (MI)
Secretary: Loren Sanderson (TN)

Steve Smith has been an active member of TWHBEA for many years and served as President from 1995-1997. From Nashville, Tenn., Smith is chairman of the board of Haury & Smith Contractors, Inc. He is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, has served on the Metropolitan Nashville Planning Commission, Regional Transit Authority and Metropolitan Nashville Parks and Recreation Commission.
 Smith raises cattle and Tennessee Walking Horses and has ridden to 10 world championships. He was inducted into the Celebration Hall of Fame in 2001. He brings a wealth of experience in business and a passion for the Tennessee Walking Horse to this position.
Walt Chism has been an active member of TWHBEA since the mid-1960’s and served as President from 1991-1992. He is a great supporter of TWHBEA and the industry and was the first recipient of TWHBEA’s Presidential Award. He currently chairs the Master Breeder Committee.
Chism has bred two World Grand Champions and three World Champions. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama who worked in the computer business for many years. He helped advance TWHBEA’s technological capabilities and improve customer service. He looks forward to serving as senior vice president of TWHBEA.
Christy Lantis, a property assessor from California, has a lifetime involvement with the Tennessee Walking Horse. She has devoted much time and talent to TWHBEA over the years, serving on various committees, and most recently serving as VP of Enforcement. She has represented TWHBEA within the industry in its effort to consolidate the focus of various organizations to speak with one voice for the industry.
David Williams, stallion manager at Rising Star Ranch, has years of experience in managing the popular sires of our breed and tracking the progress of their progeny. He will be a great asset to TWHBEA as VP of the Breeders Committee and Futurity.
Four previous VP positions have been combined into two. The Training Committee and Equine Welfare Committee have been combined and will be headed by VP Dr. Linda Montgomery. The Enforcement Committee has been combined with the Member at Large Bylaws Committee that will be chaired by VP Tom Kakassy. Both Dr. Montgomery and Mr. Kakassy have served TWHBEA’s Executive Committee in various VP positions over the years.
This slate of officers includes members who have served before and members who will be serving for the first time. All are in agreement that there is much work ahead and all are committed to the task at hand for the breed registry.