WE United is a member-led, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the sport of Working Equitation throughout the United States of America. We were officially incorporated in the state of Oregon as a member-based nonprofit in early February, 2016. We formed:
- For the integrity of the sport.
- For the benefit of competitors.
- For the strength of a united team.
We hope you will join us in promoting and supporting this exciting and growing sport!
Our purpose is to promote the sport of Working Equitation through educational initiatives, community outreach, and the organization of Working Equitation competitions throughout the United States in a way that promotes the welfare of the horse and the practice of good horsemanship.
WE United is sustained financially by membership dues, proceeds from our Judge Video Feedback Program, and our generous sponsors. Donations to WE United are tax-deductible.
The first election for the Board of Directors took place in the fall of 2016. Over 68% of Adult US members participated in the election, and the first elected Board of Directors officially took office on October 16, 2016.
The current Board includes
President: Julie Alonzo
Past President:Polly Limond
President Elect: Trisha Kiefer-Reed
Secretary: Tracey Erway
Treasurer: Erin O’Shaughnessy
Region 1 Director: Kristine Strasburger
Region 2 Director: Sarah Pinney
Region 3 Director: Cindy Branham
Region 4 Director: Kiki Pantaze
Region 5 Director: Emily Kemp
Region 6 Director: Barry Dornon
Region 7 Director: Heather Walters
As a 501(c)(3) public benefit charity, WE United is committed to transparent and ethical governance. We were granted our 501(c)(3) status by the IRS on August 16, 2016 and the WE United Bylaws: Approved Oct 20 2016 were formally adopted by the elected Board of Directors on October 20, 2016.
WE United is structured into distinct geographical Regions. The purpose of Regions is to provide geographically-based representation in the governance of the Association.
Regions are defined as:
- Region 1: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.
- Region 2: California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, and U.S. territories in the Pacific.
- Region 3: Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado.
- Region 4: New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
- Region 5: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
- Region 6: New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
- Region 7: Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and US territories in the Atlantic.
- International: All locations outside the United States of America.
QUALIFICATIONS OF DIRECTORS
Nominees for positions on the Board of Directors must have demonstrated a commitment to the mission and purposes of WE United. They must be U.S. Adult members in good standing at the time of nomination and must maintain their membership in good standing throughout their term of office. A Director representing a geographic region must maintain his or her residency in a state within that region, as defined by state law of said Director, in the region for which he or she was elected or appointed. At any time that a Director representing a geographic region changes his or her residency from outside the region, as defined by the law of the states where said Director resides, he or she must resign his/her position. If he/she does not resign, he/she is subject to removal by the Board of Directors. The vacancy shall be filled as provided by the Bylaws.
NUMBER OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors must consist of no fewer than seven (7) and no more than thirteen (13) members, consisting of:
- Not more than one (1) member representing each of the following geographic regions:
- Region 1
- Region 2
- Region 3
- Region 4
- Region 5
- Region 6
- Region 7
- The following officers:
- President Elect
- Past President
IMPORTANT NOTE: On September 2, 2020, the boards of both WE United and the Confederation for Working Equitation unanimously voted to consolidate into a single WE organization for the United States. That organization, USA Working Equitation (USAWE) is holding its first election for the Board of Directors in the fall of 2020. Thus, the WE United Board voted to suspend WE United elections in 2020. All voting members of both WE United and the Confederation for Working Equitation will be given the opportunity to vote in the USAWE elections. For more information about the election, please visit www.usawe.org .
Election Process for Regional Directors: Directors representing geographic regions shall be elected by a plurality of votes cast by the U. S. Adult Members residing in their respective regions. Each U. S. Adult Member may cast one vote for each Regional Director position being voted on in their region.
Terms of Service: Each Director shall serve a two-year term. Expiration of Directors’ terms shall be staggered so that Regional Director seats from odd-numbered regions are up for election on odd-numbered years and Regional Director seats from even-numbered regions are up for election on even-numbered years. In the initial year of election, Director seats from Region 1, 3, 5, and 7 will be elected to 1-year terms and Director seats from Region 2, 4, and 6 will be elected to two-year terms.
In subsequent years, the following election pattern will prevail:
Year Regional Director Seats To Be Filled
2017 1, 3, 5, 7
2018 2, 4, 6
2019 1, 3, 5, 7
2020 2, 4, 6
2021 1, 3, 5, 7
2022 2, 4, 6
Election Process for Officers: When such positions are open, each voting member will have the right to vote for one candidate for the office of President, President Elect, and Secretary. The President, President Elect, and Past President will each serve one-year terms, in a three-year rotation. The Secretary and Treasurer will each serve one-year terms.
In the initial election, the President, President Elect, and Secretary will be elected by a plurality of votes cast by the U. S. Adult Members at the time of election. In subsequent years, the President Elect will rotate into the role of President upon completion of the second term in office and the President will rotate into the role of Past President, so the office of President will not be on the ballot except in years when there is no President Elect to rotate into the office of President.
The Treasurer is appointed by the Board of Directors from current WE United U.S. Adult Members. The Treasurer is a full voting member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee for the term of that office.
Unless they formally resign or are removed from office, Officers will remain in office until their successors are properly elected, designated, or appointed. There is no limit to the number of terms, successive or otherwise, an Officer may serve. However, the President Elect is required to rotate into the role of President after having served one year as President Elect and the President rotates into the office of Past President following the completion of their term as President. The Past President is eligible to run for any open position on the Board of Directors in the year in which he or she will rotate out of the office of Past President.
The Board of Directors formally adopted the WE United Elections Policy on June 21, 2017.
Important Elections Timelines
The timelines above coincide with the membership and competition year, to avoid a situation in which people are members (and eligible to vote) at the start of the election process but their membership expires while the election is being conducted, and they therefore lose their legal right to participate in the election. The timeline for elections conducted by paper ballots is extended one month, when compared to the timeline for elections conducted by online ballots to account for the time needed to print, assemble, and mail ballots, and for ballots to be returned in the mail.
Anyone interested in Working Equitation is invited to join WE United to help grow and support the sport in the United States.
Elected Board of Directors (2020)
President: Julie Alonzo (Oregon)
Past President: Polly Limond (California)
President Elect: Trisha Kiefer-Reed (Montana)
Treasurer: Erin O’Shaughnessy (Washington)
Secretary: Tracey Erway (Oregon)
Region 1 Director: Sheila Mealey (Montana)
Region 2 Director: Sarah Pinney (California)
Region 3 Director: Cindy Branham (Kansas)
Region 4 Director: Kiki Pantaze (Texas)
Region 5 Director: Emily Kemp (Wisconsin)
Region 6 Director: Barry Dornon (Maryland)
Region 7 Director: Heather Walters (Florida)
WE United encourages all of our members to help support the sport of Working Equitation by hosting or getting involved in local Working Equitation events. To run effectively and affordably, most Working Equitation competitions and events in the United States depend on volunteers. Volunteering at such competitions is also an excellent way to learn more about the sport. Typical volunteer positions at Working Equitation competitions may include:
- Course setters/resetters/take-down crew
- Timers to manually time the Speed and/or Cow trials
- Scribes to notate the judge’s scores and comments during the Dressage and EOH trials
- Gate stewards to let horses in and out of the competition arena(s)
Click here to see WE United’s calendar of working Equitation events in your area. Please reach out to the event organizers to discuss their need for volunteers.
Within WE United, the following volunteer opportunities are available:
- Performance Breed Award Coordinator – WE United wishes to partner with breed organizations. We are seeking a volunteer to coordinate the efforts of additional volunteers providing outreach to breed organizations that might be interested in sponsoring year end high point awards to recognize the outstanding achievements of horses in their registry.
- National Championship Committee – WE United plans to host our first Working Equtiation National championship in the summer or fall 0f 2017. We are seeking a group of 3-5 volunteers to help plan all aspects of this competition. This position will require volunteers to meet via teleconference bimonthly and communicate via email.
- Events Calendar Management – Search various Facebook and website listings for Working Equitation events across the country that might be of interest to our members and add them to the Events calendar.
In addition, WE United is accepting Working Equitation photos to be included on the WE United website. If you have photos that you would like to have considered for publication on our website, please email them to WorkingEquitationUnited@gmail.com.