January 2020 President’s Report
Wishing you all a wonderful and profitable 2020. I am excited for the coming year for AMHA. We are slowly recovering and getting back to stability and the future holds much promise for our association. The new website is being created, the software program is moving along, the office is catching up from the holiday rush and the board is working on implementing new and exciting ideas. Thank you to each and every member, board member, EC member, office staff and volunteer for helping us make it to this new year. It is because of a lot of people doing a lot of hard work that we are here today and able to move forward.
D&M Equine design is putting out our last e-magazine for this year. There will be two newsletters sent out to members this year and one printed magazine at the end of the year. Debbie and Marcy have given us one year of pro bono services, and our sincere thanks goes out to them for this huge contribution they have made to our association. They will continue providing us with beautiful, professional work through the newsletters, eblasts, FB messages, World Show program and the year end magazine at a very reasonable rate. Thank you, Debbie and Marcy!!!
The office staff have been working with Mark Anderson, the developer of the new software program, in preparation for the move to the new software. Thank you to each and every one for the time, thought and work you have already put into this. The changeover will be a challenge, but one I am confident the AMHA staff will handle with professionalism and dedication.
Our new website will have some exciting new features, and is being designed to be the “go to” place for accurate and up to date information for our members. We will be translating all of our forms into the different languages of our International members and making those available on the website. The new design will make it easier to find information and it will be easier to keep it updated.
The information on how to join the monthly Board of Directors meetings is posted on the website. Go to the top, click on “About Us”, then click on BOD Meeting Schedule. The board meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00pm CST. All members are welcome to attend.
We invite each of you to join us in reaching our goals of maintaining financial stability, moving AMHA into the 21st century, providing the office with new software and hardware, promoting our special award programs, such as Superior Event Horse and Honor Roll, increasing member participation, assisting local clubs to grow, and promoting AMHA Internationally – just to name a few.
Please consider joining the growing number of members who are participating in our Software Sponsorship program. Each contribution, no matter how large or small, will help us in reaching our goal. There are excellent recognition and advertising opportunities available through this program. See our website for more information.
2020 will be an exciting year for AMHA and a wonderful time to be a member. With new classes being offered at the Regional and World shows, new awards, exciting programs, a new website, a new registration program, new show program – don’t miss out on being a part of this amazing journey of the American Miniature Horse Association!
June 2019 President’s Message
Thanks to everyone who participated in our first-ever member video conference call on June 4th. We had well over 200 members join us. I sincerely want to thank you for taking the <me to make your voice heard in your association! The measure we voted on to lower the age of hard shipping horses to 36 months did not pass by a vote of 98-100. This will have an impact on the AMHA fiscal standing, as has been stated by your Treasurer, Dawn Henrich. However, it has also reinforced our leadership team’s objective to involve our members in key decisions, and in this fast-paced, quickly-changing world this is very important to our future. This was the first time a meeting of this nature was initiated by the organization, and we learned much on how to improve this venue for the future. Thank you for your patience and support throughout the process. We will continue working hand-in-hand to earn your trust and support as we move into the future. SO, WHAT NOW?
You have told us that you are s<ll passionate about the AMHA, have a host of opinions on many areas of our operations, want us to be open to new ideas, and are interested in growing and improving our organization – all while maintaining its structure and history. We have heard loud and clear that there has been a general feeling for years that your voice is not important or relevant in many areas. We are developing avenues to determine what the membership wants, who you think we are as an organization and what you want the AMHA to be. It is impossible to reaffirm and establish an identity and forward-thinking view without knowing what YOU think. On that note, we are developing several member surveys that will be released soon. I encourage each and every one of you to participate in these surveys.
As a member run organization, our successes and failures are linked to each and every one of us. I strongly encourage your ongoing participation and open, respectful viewpoints and commentary. It is our goal to provide each and every one of you the best possible avenue to participate in your association. We may disagree about parts and pieces, but in the end it is our sincerest hope that we all come together to celebrate the relationships we have built and these fabulous small horses we are so passionate about.
My hat is off to all of you!!!
March 2019 President’s Message
It is hard to believe that show season is upon us, especially with so many areas of our country still experiencing snow and winter-like weather. Spring has to arrive sometime, right?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member who joined us for our March 6th and March 12th teleconference board meetings. At one time we had over 35 people on the calls - almost as many members as we had at the last Annual Meeting! Those who joined us came away with the facts about what their board is doing. They heard first hand how the directors are voting, how they are processing information, and what direction our association is going. We heard member’s opinions, ideas and constructive suggestions. We heard what the members were thinking and what their concerns were. They were informative and productive meetings, and we would like to continue this trend.
Members have always been able to join board meetings. They can’t vote on issues, but they can attend, offer suggestions, voice opinions and help guide their directors into making sound decisions. But I don’t think we have been very good about letting our members know when these meetings are going to occur. We are now changing that and making sure that every member knows about all board and committee meetings and how to join them if they would like.
In that mysterious grey box at the very top of our website in a tab that reads “About Us” and in the Member Services Dropdown we have added a link entitled “Upcoming Board Meetings” Upcoming Board meetings will be listed there with the date and time of each meeting. If you would like to join the meeting just call your Director for the call-in information. Be sure you have your AMHA number available. You will be given the call-in information that allows you to attend. We encourage every member to join us and take an active part in the governing of your association. Keeping informed will allow you to know what truths and mistruths are being circulated via social media.
After consulting with our AMHA attorney the Board voted to suspend the Standing Rule to lower the hardship age to 36 months at this time. The majority of the board members, as well as the majority of members attending the meeting, agreed to this decision. In fulfilling our fiduciary responsibility to AMHA, the BOD is not willing to risk the financial exposure to AMHA if a lawsuit were to be filed. We offer our sincerest apologies to those members who will be disappointed by this decision. Due to the financial impact that this could have on the 2019 budget, the Board voted to hold a Special Membership meeting to allow members to vote on the proposal to lower the hardship age to 36 months. Members will be given the required 60 day notice of this meeting as soon as it is set up.
Our new media/marketing team has been working diligently on getting much needed information out to the membership. We have had several E-blasts that have recently gone out, and there are several more being developed. They are professional, well designed, informative communications that we hope are helping to keep you informed. Please take a moment to thank Debby Boosalis and Marcy Norwood of D&M Equine Design for their beautiful work!
The marketing team is now putting together our next Miniature Horse World E-Magazine. There is a new media kit on the website that lists all of the prices, publication dates and deadlines for getting articles and ads in. Every recognized AMHA club will have a FREE page in the magazine to promote their club. Every International Club will also have a FREE page in the magazine. Advertising rates have bee lowered to make it more economical for members to advertise. Support your association by advertising in your magazine!
Remember - what YOU can do for your association is support it. This means registering your foals, transferring horses, bringing them permanent, renewing your membership, encouraging new members and advertising in your magazine. As you know, this is a very tight financial situation we are in, and we need all of us pulling together to insure the continued success of AMHA.
February 2019 President’s Message
It has been whirlwind three months since taking the office of President of AMHA, and I am very honored to be in this position. Any president of any non-profit organization is only as good as the Board of Directors they have working with them. Our AMHA Board is truly amazing, dedicated and willing to work hard to move our association forward. Because of this group of dedicated people working tirelessly behind the scenes we are moving into 2019 in a positive way.
Without our office staff we would be nothing. I have spent several weeks in the office this year and am continually impressed with their attitude, willingness to work and their loyalty to AMHA. Our outdated equipment, computer programs, and phone system make their jobs much more difficult, yet they don’t complain and continue to get our registration work done and out to everyone. My hat is off to each and ever one of them.
I would personally like to thank Alison Stonecypher for her many years of service to AMHA. She was a huge asset to our members, and will be greatly missed by many. We all wish her the very best in her future endeavors.
I apologize to the membership over the lack of information coming out of the office this year. Difficulties with our systems has been a frustrating roadblock. I am happy to say we are finally “back in business” and will be getting regular e-blasts out to keep everyone informed of the happenings in your organization.
The VSE program that was voted on to implement at the annual meeting is still being developed. We are working with our attorney on correct ways of implementing it and announcements about this progress with be forthcoming.
The new qualifying rules for the World Show are posted on the website, so be sure and take a look there. We have changed the hardshipping program so your horse does not have to be registered with AMHR, and are offering a discount through April to hardship your horses. A Standing Rule has been just put in place to lower the age of the horse from 60 months to 36 months. Details can be found on our web site.
Please share your thanks and gratitude to Dawn Heinrich, our new Treasurer. Due to her expertise and hard work we now have our financials in order. This has been an incredibly time consuming project for a volunteer to take on and we all owe her a huge thank you. Please see her Treasurer’s report for a full statement of our financial health.
Many people have asked if AMHA is closing its doors. I can assure you that is not our intention. Yes, we, like many of our fellow horse registries, are having trouble making ends meet. Yes, it is going to be a tight year and some cuts will have to be made. Yes we are going to have to work hard to keep our association going. But together we can accomplish it. It will take the efforts of all of us, each and every member. Registering horses is our purpose and our income. Holding back your registrations reduces our income. Not renewing your membership reduces our income. Not encouraging new memberships reduces our income. If we all get behind our association by continuing to support it we will make it.