Leadership Structure

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!

PURPOSE
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 Board of Directors officially took office on October 16, 2016.

Nominations for the 2017 elections closed August 15th. Ballots were sent out on October 1, 2017 to all US adult members with active email addresses, and results were announced October 16.

The current Board includes

President: Barbara Price
President Elect: Polly Limond
Secretary: Julie Alonzo
Treasurer: Erin O’Shaughnessy
Region 1 Director: Cari Schwartz
Region 2 Director: Sarah Pinney
Region 3 Director: Leslie Martien
Region 4 Director: Doreen Atkinson
Region 5 Director: Kris Blacklock
Region 6 Director: Kimberly da Silva
Region 7 Director: Ruth Perez

Click HERE to download a copy of the 2017 Candidate Statements

GOVERNING DOCUMENTS
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.

MEMBERSHIP REGIONS
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
    • President Elect
    • Past President
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer

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
etc.

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.

Elections Policy

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 (2018)

President: Barbara Price (California)

Barbara
Barbara Price, President

President Elect: Polly Limond (California)

Polly Limond, Region 2
Polly Limond, President Elect

Secretary: Julie Alonzo (Oregon)

Julie Alonzo, Past President

Treasurer: Erin O’Shaughnessy (Washington)

Erin O’Shaughnessy, Treasurer

Region 1 Director: Cari Schwartz (Oregon)

Cari Schwartz, Region 1
Cari Schwartz, Region 1

Region 2 Director: Sarah Pinney (California)

Sarah Pinney, Region 2 Director

Region 3 Director: Leslie Martien (Colorado)

Leslie Martien, Region 3

Region 4 Director: Doreen Atkinson (Texas)

Doreen Atkinson, Region 4

Region 5 Director: Kris Blacklock (Wisconsin)

Kris Blacklock, Region 5 Director

Region 6 Director: Kimberly da Silva (Virginia)

Kimberly da Silva, Region 6 Director
Kimberly da Silva, Region 6

Region 7 Director: Ruth Perez (Florida)

Ruth Perez, Region 7
Ruth Perez, Region 7

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). I 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 2ndNational 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.

Volunteer Opportunities

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.

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