In the spring of 2020, the Boards of WE United and the Confederation for Working Equitation began work to consolidate to a single WE organization for the United States.
As part of the process of working toward a single Working Equitation organization for the United States, the boards of both WE United and the Confederation for Working Equitation have divided into work teams to analyze the programs and structures offered by the two organizations.
This is a multi-step process.
PHASE 1 (May – August, 2020)
Step 1 – Members of both boards, as well as committee volunteers from both organizations divided into work teams, with each team focused on a different program/structure.
Work Teams * = Chair
Awards: Kris Blacklock, *Sarah Pinney
Competitions: Jeanne Bond, Heather Walters, *Emily Kemp
Licensed Officials: Doreen Atksinson, Polly Limond, Maria Blackstone, *Kat Waters
Membership: Olga Hendrickson, Tracey Erway, Eleanor Thomas, *Chris Stanko
WE Coaches Network: Cindy Branham, Trisha Kiefer-Reed, Chris Stanko, *Kat Waters
Ethics: Heather Walters, Cindy Branham, Doreen Atkinson, Jeanne Bond, Kat Waters, *Leslie Martien
Governance: Barry Dornon, Karen Burch, Eleanor Thomas, Kiki Pantaze, *Kristine Strasburger
Finance: Kim McBroom, *Erin O’Shaughnessy
Website: Melanie O’Rorke, Kristine Strasburger, *Julie Alonzo
Step 2 – The work teams analyze the programs/structures of both organizations for similarities and differences and come up with a proposal for a unified program/structure and provided a written rationale for their recommendations.
Step 3 – The boards of both organizations review the work team’s proposal and vote on sending it to members for their feedback.
Step 4 – Members of both organizations will have a minimum of 5 days to review the proposals and provide commentary/feedback. To ensure that the work team members can follow up if they have any questions about suggestions/ feedback, we’re collecting email addresses in this process.
Step 5 – Once member feedback has been received, the work teams review the feedback and modify as needed before sharing their final recommendations with the combined boards. Please remember that the documents we are sharing represent a work in progress, not the final proposals. That’s why your input is so important.
Step 6 – The combined boards will vote on the revised proposal for each program/structure in a non-binding vote of support (the final binding resolution will come after all work teams have completed this process, to ensure that the proposed changes do not conflict with one another).
The following proposals have been through Steps 1-6.
Minutes from the combined board meetings can be downloaded here:
Phase 2 (September – November, 2020)
On August 26, 2020, the Boards of WE United and the Confederation for Working Equitation formally voted to approve the merger.
Now that the basic structures and roles have been approved by the full Boards of Directors of both WE United and the Confederation, we will move into Phase 2, a focus on implementation.
During Phase 2, small work teams will create the various forms, policies, and procedures needed to move the new, consolidated organization from concept to reality. Each work team will be overseen by a lead — a member who has demonstrated their capacity to complete tasks by agreed-upon deadlines and has indicated that they will devote the time needed to accomplish their team’s work.
Phase 2 will be overseen by an expanded Merge Management Team with an equal number of representatives from both WE United and the Confederation for Working Equitation. During Phase 2, the Board of both organizations will be kept apprised of the progress the different work teams are making and given the opportunity to review and provide feedback on all materials created.
Phase 2 work will include: finalizing the Bylaws (with guidance from attorneys); filing all required paperwork with state and federal agencies to ensure 501(c)(3) status is maintained; creating all the necessary forms and infrastructure to track membership, horses, competitions, and awards; creating a new website.
The combined boards of WE United (WEU) and the Confederation for Working Equitation (CWE) unanimously voted to merge into one national organization and subsequently voted to select the name USA Working Equitation (USAWE) for the new national WE organization.
USAWE will hold elections in October to select the Executive Committee to consist of President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and two At Large Directors. Seven Regional Director positions will also be elected. (Regional Directors will be part of the full board.)
Only active individual adult members of either CWE or WEU will be eligible to run for an USAWE office. If you are not currently an individual member of CWE or WEU, become one so you can help shape the leadership of USAWE going forward.
Three important deadlines:
- September 11, 2020: Last day to join either organization to run for an office.
- September 25, 2020: Last day to join either organization to make a nomination for an office.
- October 9, 2020: Last day to join either organization to receive a ballot to vote in this election.
The adult membership fee for joining either organization currently is only $25. Go to http://www.weunited.us/ and click on the red button, “JOIN THE TEAM”, or go to https://www.confederationwe.us/members-1 and select the blue button, “INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP FORM.”
If your email with your organization (either WEU or CWE) is not correct, please contact the organization and provide an update so you will receive a ballot on October 16, 2020.
The following link provides a PDF of the USAWE Election Policy in effect for the initial election (2020).
USAWE Elections Update – October 9, 2020
As previously shared, it has always been the intention of the combined board of the Confederation for Working Equitation and WE United to have the USAWE Bylaws, properly vetted by a Colorado law firm, available for viewing prior to holding the first USAWE election.
Originally, we were hopeful that the law firm would be able to complete their review of our governing documents by October 5, providing those nominated for office a week to become familiar with their contents prior to the published date for Candidate Statements and Candidate Acceptances to be submitted (midnight, October 9).
Unfortunately, the review has taken longer than we’d anticipated.
Thus, the combined Boards have adjusted the timeframe for the election slightly.
The Colorado attorney’s office completed their review mid-day on Friday, October 9, making only minor suggestions for revision. Once those suggestions have been incorporated, the combined Boards will be able to formally adopt the Bylaws, and we will publish them on the USAWE.org website. At that time, our Elections Team will also send a copy of the approved Bylaws to each person who accepted a nomination by the October 9 deadline, along with a request to inform Elections Team Lead Biddie Lowry if they would like to withdraw their acceptance of their nomination by October 19 and a reassurance that a decision to withdraw from the election shall not incur any penalty (e.g., no loss of ability to run in future elections or participate in other roles within USAWE).
|Elections Timeline, *Revised – USA Working Equitation Inaugural Election – 2020|
|Last date to join either WE United or the Confederation for Working Equitation as an individual adult member in order to run for a seat on the Board.||September 11, 2020|
|Nomination announcement sent out to all voting members (with link to online nominations form).||September 15, 2020|
|Nominations window closed.||September 25, 2020|
|Last date to join either WE United or the Confederation for Working Equitation as an individual adult member in order to receive a ballot (vote). Also, Candidate acceptances/statements due.||October 9, 2020|
|USAWE Bylaws published & shared with candidates.||*October 14, 2020|
|Any candidate wishing to withdraw their acceptance of their nomination contact Election Team Lead Biddie Lowry.||*October 19, 2020|
|List of all candidates and candidate statements posted on the WE United and Confederation for Working Equitation websites and provided to an independent elections firm for distribution to voting members.||*October 20, 2020|
|Ballots sent out to all voting members.||*October 23, 2020|
|Voting closes.||October 30, 2020|
|Results announced, and those elected take office.||November 2, 2020|
Phase 3 (November 1, 2020)
The merger will be complete once the people elected to the new Board take office in November, 2020.