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2018 Candidate Statements – Watch email for ballots Nov. 1

2018 CANDIDATE STATEMENTS

PRESIDENT ELECT (2 NOMINEES)

Nominee: Julie Alonzo
Three years from the date a small group of us founded WE United, the organization continues to grow and thrive, with membership numbers—and opportunities for people to learn about the sport and participate in WE events across the country—growing exponentially. For me, the most exciting things about working equitation include the camaraderie between riders and the positive impact on horse/rider partnerships that the sport helps to foster. My goal with WE United is to support people of all levels and horses (and mules!) of all breeds and to help grow the sport throughout the country.

I’ve served in several roles over the years: first President, then briefly Past President before accepting the position of Secretary this year when the Board needed to fill that position. In 2017, I volunteered as Show Chair and with a small but dedicated committee, organized the United States’ first National Championship Working Equitation competition.

The flexibility of my job (Research Associate Professor at the University of Oregon) enables me to devote many hours to non-profit service. For the past 13 years, in fact, I have spent an average of 20 hours a week volunteering for horse-related non-profits (the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association from 2005 to the present, the Oregon Horse Rescue from 2013 to the present, and WE United). It will likely come as no surprise, though, to hear that WE United has been my priority since its inception.

Eventually, the organization will grow to the point where we will be able to hire people to assist with the day-to-day work involved with keeping things running smoothly. In the meantime, I fill in the gaps: processing memberships and horse recording cards; responding to emails or forwarding them to the appropriate committees/people within the organization; keeping the website and Facebook pages current; processing show results; maintaining the databases of competition results, points earned toward mandatory advancement, and Regional and National Leaderboard standings; and writing monthly newsletters and articles for the online We Ride Sport & Trail Magazine to celebrate our members’ accomplishments all across the country.

When my schedule will allow, I also donate my time to teach introductory clinics and organize WE shows. This past year, I’ve had the ultimate joy of teaching clinics in Alaska, California, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New York, and Oregon as well as Canada and Australia. Along with some other amazing members, I’ve organized WE United competitions in Illinois, Michigan, Texas, and Oregon, including the first Cross-National WE Camp and Cup, with over 130 participants who gathered in Oregon to learn and laugh for a week this past July.

It has been a pleasure to serve under President Barbara Price this year, and I look forward to 2019 as well, when Polly Limond rotates into that role while Barbara stays on as Past President.

WE United already has a number of exciting events on the horizon for the coming year: a Licensed Officials Seminar taught by International WAWE Judge Antonio Vicente in April of 2019, the Cross-National WE Camp and Cup being held this year in Alberta, Canada, and our 2nd National Championship the first weekend in November. I look forward to working with the rest of the volunteers on the WE United Board and Committees to ensure that 2019 is just as positive as 2018 has been and to lay the foundation for an even better 2020!

Nominee:  Doreen Atkinson

I am honored to accept the nomination for President-Elect of WE United.
If elected, I promise to be committed to WE United, enthusiastic in representing WE United, and passionate and supportive of the members of WE United.

I have been involved with horse for almost 50 years. In competing I have several regional and national championships. I earned my USDF bronze and silver medal and am working on my gold medal. I am a recognized platinum medalist in WE.

My 40 + years of managing several businesses and my experiences of being a club treasurer(DDC) and regional director have helped me develop strong organizational skills, be dependable and manage financial dealings of business.

I am a time oriented, loyal, honest, trustworthy, and fun loving person.
My goals for WE are to continue to help WE grow bigger and better, help to strengthen the WE body, keep communicating and listening,  and work on giving back to the members.

I would like to see each region hold regionals and allow the organization to financially support these regionals.

WE is a sport I believe in and would like the US become known for our quality of competitors in WE.  Also I hope one day to see the US have a team in the world WE championships.

Thank you for considering me for President-Elect of WE United.

SECRETARY

Nominee:  Donna Luoma

Hello everyone!

I am looking forward to the upcoming year, connecting with our great members and developing more of a partnership with my horse in our wonderful discipline.

I nominated myself for Secretary 🙂

In 2016 when the board was first formed, I wanted to fill this position as the duties of Secretary, but did not pursue that as Bruce, who has tons of Secretary and Board experience, was interested in that position. I ended up Treasurer with a huge learning curve. Thank you Erin O and Black Morgan Accounting for your support and encouragement.  I value that year tremendously!  Being a part of the Board and being involved with the behind-the-scenes activities solidified my appreciation for all those who support and work tirelessly for the members and for the advancement of the sport.

I feel I will be able to manage the position of Secretary.  I can type over 70 words a minute on a good day.  Maybe 50 on a tired day.  We all have those!  I am a writer, so I have a good command of the English language and hate typos.  Being an RN in my day job, I have extreme attention to detail and have practiced the art of recording and reporting facts – leaving the emotion and/or bias out – for my entire 24 years in the medical field.  If elected, will be reaching out to Julie (our current Secretary and former President) and to Bruce for guidance, at first, to learn the duties to do the very best I can.

On a personal note, I have been told I tend to “look through rose colored glasses”.  Yep, I sure do.  Life is much better understanding everyone is doing the absolute best they can and are well meaning at the heart of all actions whether I agree with them or not.  Disagreements are not personal to me, and much of the time encourage looking at something from a different perspective.  Inevitably there is growth, new knowledge, and joy in that process. I appreciate the opportunity to serve in a capacity that I think will benefit our organization.

With warm regards,

Donna Luoma

(and Leelu)

REGION 2 DIRECTOR

Nominee:  Sarah Pinney

I am honored to accept the nomination for Region 2 Director.

As an active competitor, trainer, clinician and general ambassador for Working Equitation in my Region, I know my experience and dedication can be of great value to our sport.

I am committed to helping this sport grow and flourish!

Sarah Pinney

REGION 4 DIRECTOR

Nominee:  Caroline Holloway

Hi all, I’m Caroline Holloway, a proud working equitation competitor and member of the United States Confederation for Working Equitation and WE United, along with Working Equitation Oklahoma and Working Equitation of Kansas. I would like to formally accept my nomination for the position of Region 4 Director for WE United! It would be my honor and my pleasure to serve this organization!

I think most of you have met me at our local events, but here’s a little about me: I live in Northwest Oklahoma where my husband and I run Black Angus pairs, and I’m a mail carrier as well. I grew up on a family farm and always had a horse to use for cattle work. I competed in every local horse event I could including 4-H and FFA shows, and youth rodeo. I continued to rodeo through college where I received my degree in Farm and Ranch Management specializing in Equine Reproduction from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. From there I worked full time in the horse industry including a six year stint working my way to Yearling Manager position at Oklahoma’s leading Thoroughbred facility, Center Hills Farm.

I was first introduced to the sport of Working Equitation in the fall of 2016 and immediately became obsessed with it! What a perfect way for all equine enthusiasts to come together and test our horsemanship skills!! Since then I have been studying at clinics and competing at licensed competitions here in Oklahoma and in Kansas as well. Moving forward into 2019 I have plans to attend even more working equitation events, and travel to other states as well. I’m so excited to watch this sport grow and to share it with all of you!

Thank you for your consideration and please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns, or just to chat! Shoot me an email at skybleuranch@gmail.com.

REGION 6 DIRECTOR

No Region 6 members returned their candidate acceptance forms by the deadline, so the Board of Directors will be considering requests for appointments to the Board in December of 2018, after this election cycle has ended.

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