TWHBEA Executive Committee Meeting

Saturday, March 3, 2012, 10:00 a.m.

The meeting of the Executive Committee of TWHBEA was called to order at 10:05 a.m. by President Marty Irby in the conference room at TWHBEA headquarters in Lewisburg, Tenn.

The roll was called by Secretary Alie Napier. In attendance were: Marty Irby, Ron Thomas, Tracy Boyd, Christy Lantis, Wayne Dean, Tom Kakassy, Loyd Black, Linda Starnes, Stephen Brown, and DeeDee Miller. In attendance by telephone conference were: Joyce Moyer, Rick Wies, Linda Montgomery, Margo Urad and Rob Cornelius.

The agenda was approved as well as the minutes of the general membership meeting in December with an amendment proposed by Buster Black and passed by the committee to add more detail to the declining financial trend reported in the minutes so that the directors would be better informed.

The executive committee went into executive session to discuss the minutes of the last two executive sessions.

Next, President Irby gave his remarks which centered around the Unity Committee meeting held on Friday, March 2, 2012, and hosted by TWHBEA at its headquarters. Irby reported, in light of the Barney Davis sentencing and the arrest of Jackie McConnell over the past week, all members of the Unity Committee were in agreement as never before that all factions of the industry must unify under one umbrella and speak with one voice. He further reported that Dr. Mullins was talking with various professional veterinary associations, soliciting their help, and that the AVMA will not help the industry until all factions are working together. He presented an organizational chart that TWHBEA had proposed to the Unity Committee, fashioned after the American Horse Council….a “mini American Horse Council”. He further reported that as an act of good faith, TWHBEA would like to offer its “doing business as” name of  Tennessee Walking Horse Association to the entity which will complete the formalization of the Unity Committee made up of TWHBEA, WHOA, Trainers Association and the Celebration. Discussion of this possibility was tabled until later in the meeting.

Executive Director Ron Thomas gave his report. He reported that customer service is going well and that most of the customer service issues involve customers sending incorrect amounts of money for various services and that these problems have been remedied by telephone. He reported on the financial situation with University of Kentucky, saying the current debt is $25,000, that the balance of 2011 was paid in the amount of $19,322, and that as soon as revenues permit, payment will be made on the agreed upon old debt of $43,000.

Thomas reported on his meeting with Sgt. J. D. Harber of the Metro Mounted Patrol. He further reported on the fundraising efforts of  Irma Brown.

There was much discussion of the fact that the owners of the Midnight Sun statue in front of the building want the statue back, stating TWHBEA has not upheld its commitment under the contract. Thomas reported it would cost $20,000 to return the statue and that TWHBEA does not have the funds. Thomas was asked to elaborate on what is meant by TWHBEA not upholding the contract and he explained that as part of the contract TWHBEA was supposed to get two sponsors per year to purchase the $5000 replica statues and this had not been successful. Also, it was stipulated in the contract that TWHBEA would have the statue cleaned twice per year and that had not been done.

Thomas reported that the March issue of the Voice magazine broke even. He further reported that TWHBEA had secured the services of a handyman who had done significant much-needed repairs and improvements for a very reasonable price.

Thomas reported that Chris Coffey had resigned his position as Director of Marketing. He applauded Coffey’s accomplishments during his tenure and said that everyone would miss his input but everyone wished him well in his new position with Farm Credit Service.

Thomas reported that membership revenues were holding and that first time foal registrations were up. He further stated that TWHBEA needed to develop a plan should they have to return the statue to the owners. It was decided that the owners would be told that TWHBEA does not have the funds to return it but the owners can come and get it.

The only item of old business was the update on the Unity Committee. Tom Kakassy, Christy Lantis, and Marty Irby represent TWHBEA on that committee. Kakassy reported that in the Friday meeting, the following items were addressed and agreed upon unanimously:

1.  The mission statement.

2.  Listening sessions. Kakassy reported that Dr. Mullins is compiling statistics from SHOW and all other

     HIOs over the last three years and the committee is drafting answers to the questions. The committee

     will schedule and pre-register persons to go to each listening session and speak on behalf of the


3.  The tentative schedule for the TTEC conference (TTEC - Tennessee Walking Horse Today Conference)

     June 29-30, 2012.

4.  Reviewed shoeing differences between HIOs and worked to consolidate those under one rulebook

5.  Reviewed rulebook changes between HIOs and began work to consolidate as much as possible.

Kakassy reported that all HIOs will be invited to the next meeting of the Unity Committee.

Irby again stated his desire to lend the DBA name Tennessee Walking Horse Association to the Unity Committee on a year by year basis as a matter of good faith and as a good will gesture. He discussed his belief that this would be to TWHBEA’s benefit in the long run. Steve Brown asked if some other name could be used, for example Walking Horse Alliance, and not offer the name that TWHBEA owns. Black said that, in fact, if the name were offered, it should be rented to the Unity Committee, not given, in order to maintain the integrity of the name. Further discussion was tabled until after lunch.

Irby reported further on the Unity Committee’s involvement with the TTEC Conference and said that TWHBEA had secured the hotel (Embassy Suites), the venue (Miller Coliseum) and the services of Monty Roberts. He further reported that he had sponsorship for all of the funds and it would actually cost TWHBEA nothing.

The next order of business was new business. Irby reported that David Landrum had contacted him to see if TWHBEA wanted to hold its annual banquet at the Marriott in Franklin in conjunction with the Trainers Association banquet. A motion was made, seconded and passed to do so in December.

Discussion arose about adding another Vice President to the Executive Committee who would be in charge of Public Relations (or Communications) and incorporate the job description carried out by Chris Coffey into this V.P. position. The committee went into executive session to discuss this personnel issue.

While in executive session, the meeting broke for lunch at 12:10 to reconvene at 1:00.

After lunch, the meeting was reconvened at 1:00 in executive session. After the executive session, the next item of new business was an issue that had been raised to Irby by Dr. Bryan Wright relative to horse sales and transfers not being recorded in a timely manner. Thomas and IT Director Rick Clardy were asked to research this and report back to the executive committee the best way to handle this as many members are concerned about horses that they have sold remaining in their names.

Discussion was moved back to the offering of the DBA name (Tennessee Walking Horse Association)  to the Unity Committee. Brown again stated that although he approved the structure of the formalization of the Unity Committee, he did not approve the giving of the name that TWHBEA owns. A motion was made, seconded and passed to recommend to the Unity Committee that they select a name other than Tennessee Walking Horse Association for the new entity.

There being no further new business, the standing committee reports were given.


Lantis reported that the Enforcement Division was researching one complaint.

Dr. Montogmery reported that the Equine Welfare Division had learned of two Tennessee Walking Horses who need to be re-homed.

In his report on the Horse Show division, Tracy Boyd reported that he had been asked to have the Executive Committee revisit refunding Futurity nomination fees. A motion was made, seconded, and passed not to refund any fees.

Boyd made a motion that the Futurity and the World Versatility show affiliate with the SHOW HIO. This motion was seconded and the motion carried with only one vote against.

Boyd reported he had been in discussions regarding two new shows, one in West Memphis and one in Missouri.

Brown reported on the Owners/Exhibitors/International division. He reported his committee is moving forward with its plans as outlined in December.

Kakassy gave the report of the Performance Horse division. He said that he had been in discussions with Irby and Thomas and they would like TWHBEA to provide a staff member to coordinate the materials provided by Dr. Mullins and the Unity Committee to be used at the listening sessions which begin Wednesday, March 7, 2012. That person could also pre-register speakers and send E-blasts about the meetings. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to help the Unity Committee in this respect.

Wayne Dean reported on the Training division. The first Academy show will be March 24, 2012, at Joe Fleming’s barn. The other Academy shows will be held at a time in conjunction with the Celebration Versatility shows but no venue has been selected yet.

Black gave his member at large Bylaws committee report. He said that the recommended amendments will be ready April 1, 2012. They regard the oath of service, staggered terms of Executive Committee members, electronic voting, and regular mail vs. email. For the sake of time, he did not wish to elaborate at this time.

Member at large Linda Starnes gave the Youth report and distributed the 2012 calendar of events.

Rob Cornelius gave his Administrative/Fiscal/Audit division report by telephone. He reported that revenues are down for January but that is due to the fact that USLGE monies usually paid in January were not paid until February. He advised the committee that the $30,000 property taxes had been paid.

DeeDee Miller gave the Breeders’ division report and discussed planned updates to the IPEDs program and the plan to move forward with the Go Gelding program.

There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.