AFA Committees -Busier than Ever!
Executive Director’s Report
Since the AFA maintains a July-June fiscal year, this is the time of year for those of us in leadership roles to review, reflect, and consider options moving forward. I would like to take this opportunity to informally salute the amazing work of our committees over the past year.
Everyone likes receiving awards, and Tim Koelln and his
committee members deserve one for their work on the
Achievement Awards committee this past year. They started
the year off right with the idea to design an online nominations
form to make it faster and easier for members to nominate
deserving volunteers. And it worked really, really well.
Tom Trosin chairs the AFA By-Laws Committee which is
responsible for the serious topics of policy and, yes, by-laws.
That may seem boring compared with the work of some
committees, but without oversight from this group it would
be infinitely more difficult to manage the association and
support our members and the work of our committees. We
all owe him a big note of thanks for bringing our policy and
by-laws up to date, especially since he accomplished all of
this while working full time AND volunteering for the AFA as
Secretary, and again as lecture moderator at convention.
The Certification Committee under the leadership of
Dusty Franklin has been very productive in holding Tester
and Examiner Standardizations and meeting to carefully
review and revise the AFA Certification Study Guide for
which we have just issued the updated reprint. The number
of candidates taking certification tests has significantly
increased, and hoof templates are flying off the office shelves.
A big shout out
to Convention Coordinating Chairman, Jon Johnson, and
his committee for planning and executing a nearly flawless
convention in Arlington. As a member of this committee, I
can attest that the hours are long, the headaches sometimes
intense, and the challenges great in preparation for launching
this event each year. And Jon managed it all while also
serving as AFA President!
Our Cultural Exchange committee continues to do what
it does best, which is bring farriers together from the UK,
Canada, and the US. Under the passionate chairmanship of
Vern Powell the program provides a means for farriers to learn
from and work beside some great farriers in a country other
than his or her own while also enjoying some time to “be a
tourist.” This program presents an invaluable opportunity to
those lucky enough to be chosen to participate.
Travis Burns, as Chairman of the Education Committee,
provided excellent input on the content for the new vet-farrier-
horse owner “team approach” brochure— the 4th in the Purina
sponsored series. He also very capably represented us
at the annual conference of the Florida Association of Equine
Practitioners, and he and his committee members have
continued to actively support joint vet-farrier educational
Doug Russo and his Equine Research Committee members
selected the stem cell research project for funding under the
aegis of the Morris Animal Foundation, prepared an outline
for an intriguing proposal to begin funding farrier-driven
research, and investigated the steps required to set up an
endowment for the Equine Research fund. Look for more from
this group in 2017-2018.
Eric Gilleland and the Finance Committee made sure that we
managed the association’s finances in a fiscally responsible manner so
that all of the other committees could do their wonderful work
in support of our members. Eric and his team may work behind
the scenes, but their work makes everything else we do possible.
HORSE OWNER EDUCATION
The newly reactivated Horse Owner Education Committee
under Brian Byrd has been hard at work on a plan that would
enable replicating the huge success of the horse owner clinic
held in Dothan, Alabama last August.
Kudos to Margie Lee-Gustafson, AFA Member
Communications Chairman, and her committee members
for producing e-blasts that earned a “top 10” recognition
from Constant Contact and heavily supporting me in the
creation of the 4 new brochures that Purina Animal Nutrition
sponsored. This was a hugely time consuming project that
never could have been completed without their assistance.
In addition, we now have a newly designed No Foot, No Horse
newsletter to take pride in.
Donnie Perkinson chaired the Member Services committee.
He personally attended every one of the 5 AFA-Purina
Regional Clinics and absorbed most of the expense to do so.
Steve Eastman, who was in his last year of his term as a Region
1 Director, did a great job supporting this committee by
calling lapsed members and encouraging them to renew. The
committee also made recommendations for improvements to
our online store.
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
The Nominations and Elections committee continues to
run smoothly under the knowledgeable direction of Don
Gustafson. He had a bit of a challenge this year because we
had a brand new staff member, Shelby Habe, working with
him. Gentleman and professional that he is, he gave Shelby the
confidence she needed to do the job right. Thank you, Don.
Ken Lyons has been the driving force behind the Pre-
Certification committee. He has already trained several of
our members as instructors for these courses and has plans
that will continue to lay the groundwork for this critically
important component of farrier education.
PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING
Sean Lorenzana chaired Public Relations and Marketing this
past year. He teamed up with Doug Hogue for a second year
and represented the AFA in our booth at Summit. Their effort
resulted in many on-site new member registrations, as well as
the sale of a significant number of Certification Study Guides
and hoof templates. Many thanks to them for taking days off
from work and suffering the woes of delayed and cancelled
flights in service to the AFA.
The Rules Committee is a bit like By-Laws: you know it’s there
but you don’t ever think about it until you really need it. And
we really need a functioning committee and chairman when
convention and the National Forging and Horseshoeing
Competition rolls around. Justin Fry and his team members
admirably kept their cool when things got hot in Texas while
putting on one heck of a competition.
The AFA Sponsorship Committee and its Chairman, Tom
Saunders, had a very busy year reaching out to potential and
current sponsors at clinics and our annual convention and
providing valuable counsel to me as we moved forward with
a number of new sponsorship agreements. We are currently in
talks with several exciting new prospects.
It is an honor working with all of you. Thank you.
Beth Daniels, AFA Executive Director