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TWHBEA Nominee for President Lays Out Strategy



Editor's Note:  The following letter was sent by Kasey Kesselring to the Walking Horse Report.  Kesselring is the nominating committee's selection for President of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' & Exhibitors' Association.  Kesselring sent the letter to the TWHBEA National Board of Directors.

15 November 2010

TO: TWHBEA National Board of Directors  

FR: Kasey C. Kesselring
 
RE: TWHBEA 2011

I am humbled to have been nominated for the position of President of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeder’s and Exhibitors Association by the nominating committee, and I look forward with great anticipation to the possibility of serving you, this organization and this wonderful and versatile breed during the 2011 year. 

For the past two years, I have served the association as a member of the National Board of Directors and as the Executive Committee Vice President for marketing in 2009 and the Executive Committee Vice President for Enforcement in 2010.  In addition to my service to TWHBEA, I have also served as a director for the Florida Walking and Racking Horse Association and served as its President for three years.  I also served as a founding board member and Vice-President for the Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse (FAST).  Most importantly, however, I am an owner, breeder and exhibitor of Tennessee Walking Horses in both the pleasure and performance divisions and have worked to deliberately share the talents of this great breed with young people and adults at the Montverde Academy Equestrian Center where I have served as its Headmaster and CEO since 1999.  As a domestic and international boarding and day school, young people from 41 different countries have had the opportunity to associate with our breed and it is my hope that they will take their positive experience back to their home countries.  Prior to my move to Florida, I served The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee as its Assistant Head of School and it was during this time in Tennessee that I gravitated from Morgan horses to the Tennessee Walking Horse and have not looked back. 

Having worked a career in independent education, I am well versed in the complexities of not for profit management from a fiscal, personnel and marketing perspective.  Leading an organization with more than 130 employees, I have gained a wealth of experience in those facets of non-profit management that are critical to survival and progress in challenging times and I look forward to sharing that experience with TWHBEA. 

As a director from Florida, there may be concern that someone from outside the state of Tennessee or the adjacent region can adequately serve as President of this association.  I consider Tennessee my home, and I own a home and farm in Tennessee and frequent here often.  Between regular monthly visits for our Executive Committee meetings plus additional time to visit with our staff as well as utilizing our technology to hold meetings via Skype, I intend to dedicate the time necessary to ensure that the goals of the association are met to the best of my ability. 

More specifically, I would propose to initiate the following should I be elected as our President:

1. First and foremost to plan and execute a strategic planning session in early January at TWHBEA headquarters for any TWHBEA member who wishes to participate until we reach our appropriate capacity for a well structured and meaningful strategic planning session.  The primary purpose of this session will be to first reaffirm and develop, in writing, our mission statement and our core beliefs statement.  This will serve as our compass moving forward.  The second objective of such a session will be to develop appropriate and meaningful goals for the organization in the following core areas:  governance/personnel, marketing/communications, programs/services, finance and facilities.  In establishing these goals, we will be mindful of our mission and beliefs statement and put together a plan that includes the goals, its rationale, the action plan for implementation and an approximate timeline and resources to see it to fruition.  These goals will be developed through the process of discourse and prioritization and when complete should provide useful and meaningful direction to each member of the Executive Committee in fulfilling his or her duties throughout the year.
2. The association shall reaffirm its commitment in a pronounced manner to supporting appropriate efforts to eliminate the practice of soring in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Horse Protection Act.  Concurrently, we must reaffirm, without prejudice toward any aspect of the industry, the association’s commitment to recognize, support and promote all disciplines of the breed from the trail horse to versatility to our show ring pleasure and performance horses.
3. In keeping with our need to monitor our resources, a complete evaluation of internal operations shall be conducted to ensure that our objectives may be met in keeping with our budgetary constraints and that appropriate internal controls are in place to ensure work place equity and accountability. 
4. Given our registry is our single largest producer of revenue, a thorough evaluation of technology must be conducted to assure that our production is in keeping with modern technological advances and current with other breed registries.  Advancement toward more on line completion of registry tasks should be pursued.
5. Very few not for profit boards achieve sustainable progress when the governing body’s executive committee changes leadership annually.  Most often a strategic plan is a 3-5 year document and commitment.  In keeping with that assumption, it will be my recommendation to initiate by-law changes that will provide for staggering executive committee terms to allow for better continuity in achieving measurable success with meeting the objectives of the strategic plan and to assure greater overall operational strength as the result of more sustainable leadership.
6. Ipeds is a very useful and significant tool for the breeder or for the buyer who desires to analyze prior breeding and show performance of mares and their colts.  Ipeds, however, is lacking in some ease of navigation functionality that needs to be carefully identified and consequently pursue more immediate solutions.
7. I would initiate a special task force under the direction of our marketing VP to thoroughly evaluate The Voice magazine with the objective of initiating a complete overhaul of the publication by encouraging out of the box creative thinking to bring this publication back to more prosperous times.  Advertising packages to include financial incentives, prepayment bulk incentive purchases, corporate advertisers, regional sales associates and redesign should be considered to revitalize this important publication in our breed’s history.  As part of this initiative, it shall be made clear that in keeping with our mission, at no time shall the Voice magazine directly or indirectly apply prejudicial practices that may be perceived by the membership to favor one discipline of the breed over another.
8. I will remain open and receptive to engaging in dialogue with the leaders of other industry groups in an effort to be a positive partner in an effort to advance our breed as a whole.
9. As President of the association, it would be my intention to contact you monthly via an on line newsletter to keep you informed and abreast of those initiatives occurring within the association and to solicit your input and assistance where applicable and appropriate. Use of short online survey modules will be incorporated to seek your input periodically on important issues facing the industry so that we might seek your input as your executive committee works to make decisions on behalf of the association.
10. Each Vice-President and what they represent is an important factor in the success of this association as a whole.  To that end, it will be a fundamental objective to work diligently to see that each, where applicable and appropriate, is provided with some funding within our means to see that they are able to accomplish the work they have been requested to do.

In closing, I want for this association to succeed and prosper and will work fervently by the conclusion of my term to see that I have left it having achieved progress in meeting the goals and objectives you have collectively set through our strategic planning process.

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