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What Matters: How is an ASHA Board Member Chosen?

Published Date: Aug 08, 2019

While the ASHA fills two vacated positions on the ASHA Board of Directors, and calls for nominations to fill board positions beginning in January 2020, this is a good time to recap how board members are chosen, and what’s expected of them once elected.

The two open positions are due to the resignation of Donna Pettry-Smith, and because board President David Mount has agreed to serve as interim ASHA Executive Director.  The remainder of Mount’s term is through the end of 2019, and the remainder of Pettry-Smith’s term is through 2020.

The process for submitting nominations for positions opening next January is below.

  • Background on the board: There are 18 members of the board selected for a 3-year term. No board member can serve more than two consecutive terms. However, this restriction does not apply if someone is brought on the board to fill an unfinished term. If someone is brought on to fill an unfinished term, a person is brought on the board through the election by the remaining board and will finish the term of the person being replaced.
  • How does someone get nominated? There is a Nominating Committee on the Board of Directors consisting of five members (three board members and two selected by the vote of ASHA members at the annual meeting in January). Their job is to present nine candidates and one alternate to the board from lifetime members, contributing members, and senior members of the ASHA who are in good standing. These people are considered by the Nominating Committee based on written nomination and application. These are what they consider to balance the slate and the board:
    • Geographical Dispersion
    • Representation on the Board of both amateurs and professionals
    • Membership in ASHA, as well as USEF, UPHA, Charter Clubs, or Futurities.  Only membership in ASHA is required but the Nominating Committee wants to see commitment to equine activities and groups.
    • Level of participation in horse activities such as committee participation, youth clubs, futurities, horse show committees, ownership or breeding, current USEF judge or steward, exhibitor, etc.  They want to see that this person is committed and someone who will work for the breed.
    • The Nominating Committee takes special consideration for these things as well:
      • Ten or more years involvement in the breed;
      • High level of expertise in financial, organizational, or communication skills;
      • Experience in innovative programs involving the breed;
      • Financial ability, availability, and desire to attend Board and Committee meetings
      • Significant volunteer activities (in and out of the horse world)
  • How does someone get on the ballot?  After the nine candidates are presented to the board, they can vote for them as a slate; or vote individually if any board member calls for it. A board member can offer an alternative name as well to vote on as long as there is a completed nomination form and the person is in good standing with the ASHA. That’s how the slate gets done.
  • How does someone get elected? The membership does it. They have the opportunity to select up to the number of votes as the number of seats that are open that year (usually six). They don’t have to vote for the max number, but they can. They can vote on line, or by mail (if requested). There is a deadline to get the votes in. And then they are counted by the Executive Director and Controller, and confirmed by an independent accounting firm. Those who receive the most votes are elected to the board.  Once you get elected, you have to attend board meetings in person three times per year; participate in monthly board calls; join and work on at least one committee; give to the Association in any amount; and agree to our Code of Conduct and Confidentiality policies.

That’s it. It’s right there in the bylaws of the ASHA. Part II, Election of Directors. 

So, if you have someone you’d like to nominate, the nominations are open until Aug. 31, 2019, as specified in the email sent out to the members, published in the ASHA eNews, put on social media, and on the ASHA web site. You can send in the form available here to the Nominating Committee for Directors Chair, Joan Lurie, by email to saddlebred@asha.net or fax to 859-259-1628. 

We strive for a great balance geographically, amateur/professional, background (breeder, exhibitor, trainer, instructor, enthusiast), business skills, etc.  But, it’s up to the membership to vote and elect. 


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