Certified Horsemanship Association Announces 2017 Executive Committee

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The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) announced the 2017 CHA Executive Committee at the 2016 CHA International Conference in mid-October. The CHA Executive Committee consists of: President Beth Powers, Bellefontaine, OH; President Elect Tammi Gainer, Pegasus Farm, Alliance, OH; Vice President of Regional Relations Anne Brzezicki, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN; Vice President of New Initiatives Dr. Bob Coleman, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY; Secretary Julie Fischer, Allenspark, CO; Treasurer Terry Williams, Blanchester, OH; and Immediate Past President Peggy Adams, Greensboro, GA.

President Beth Powers, of Bellefontaine, Ohio, is a CHA Certified Instructor and a CHA Certified Overnight Guide, as well as a Site Trainer and Visitor. She was the Equestrian Director for the Bar W Ranch at YMCA Camp Willson in Bellefontaine where she oversaw a herd of 50+ horses, a staff, and all of the lesson programs, trail rides, summer camps, and overnight events. Powers has shared her knowledge on teaching techniques and the process in which people learn different skills as a presenter at the CHA International Conference and at CHA regional conferences, the American Youth Horse Council Symposium, and at Equine Affaire in Ohio. She has also been the keynote at the Wisconsin State 4-H Conference and a Volunteer of the Year for CHA. Powers has been published in the American Camping Association magazine and Stable Management magazine. She is an American Quarter Horse Professional Horseman. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University in Ohio.

“I am looking forward to working with the CHA staff and our diverse equine industry board of directors in developing relationships that will benefit the horse industry as a whole,” said Powers. “I have always had a passion for the development of memberships, benefits, and retention. I want to support the role of our certified instructors in fulfilling CHA’s Why statement, which is, ‘CHA Changes Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses.’ I would like to increase CHA’s presence on social media to gather youth into the fold. CHA is in agreement with other equine organization, such as AQHA, AHA and APHA, that everyone needs to be actively engaging youth in the world of horses.”

President Elect Tammi Gainer first discovered CHA in 1990 and achieved her CHA Master Level Instructor status in 2000. She has also earned Clinic Instructor status in the Instructors of Riders with Disabilities (IRD) and Vaulting Coach programs through CHA. In addition, she is a CHA Certified Trail Instructor, Trail Guide, and Accredited Site Visitor. She joined the CHA Board in 2007 and has chaired the Education and Training Committee. In 2011, she was honored as CHA Volunteer of the Year. She has been the Equestrian Director at Pegasus Farm, a therapeutic equestrian center in Hartville, Ohio, since 2005, and has worked there since 1995. She manages all aspects of the program that serves more than 250 students each week who participate in horsemanship, riding, driving, and vaulting, along with veteran and youth-at-risk programs. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor and has achieved Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning certification through PATH International. Gainer is also an AQHA Professional Horseman. Her professional career around horses began in 1989 when she became a trail guide at a large ranch camp. She has worked under several national trainers in reining and dressage.

Vice President of Regional Relations Anne Brzezicki is a CHA Master Instructor and a CHA Assistant Clinic Instructor with a lifetime full of accomplishments. In 2015, she was honored with the CHA Instructor of the Year. In 2003, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), and in 2004 she was the IHSA Regional Coach of the Year. She is currently the Director of the Equestrian Program at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and coach of MTSU’s IHSA equestrian team, which she founded in 1977. She also founded an IHSA team at Virginia Tech, where she worked and coached from 1979 to 1981. Over the years, Brzezicki has coached many youth, amateur, and IHSA national champions. In addition, her background also includes teaching at 4-H horse camps in Connecticut and Tennessee. Brzezicki is Zone 5 Chair for the IHSA Board of Directors, is an AQHA Director, and a big supporter of 4-H. While attending UConn as an undergrad, she co-coached the team to the IHSA National Hunter Seat Championship in 1972. Brzezicki has also successfully competed in USEF and AQHA shows, and her students have won at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and the AQHYA and AQHA World Championships.

This year the vice president position is split according to CHA bylaws due to the interest of two great candidates for the position. “Normally our vice president is in charge of regional relations,” said Christy Landwehr Chief Executive Officer of CHA. “That person is in charge of helping to lead our regional representatives and our state/provincial reps and guiding the grassroots efforts that CHA does. And the new position that we created on the Executive Committee is the Vice President of New Initiatives, and that person’s responsibility is to make sure we are up to date with our strategic plan and keeping everything in our strategic plan moving forward.”

Vice President of New Initiatives Dr. Bob Coleman, of Lexington, KY, has been with the University of Kentucky since 1998 as the Equine Extension Specialist. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Animal and Food Sciences. In addition, he serves as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Equine Science and Management degree program. Dr. Coleman has been on the CHA Board of Directors since 2011 and is also a Lead Site Visitor/Trainer. He is the Past President of the Kentucky Quarter Horse Association and has served on the Kentucky Horse Council Board of Directors. In addition, he has served on a host of committees, such as the American Quarter Horse Foundation Research Committee, the Kentucky Farm Bureau Equine Advisory Committee, and many others. Dr. Coleman is also a member and the current Executive Director of the Equine Science Society, and a member of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists and the American Society of Animal Scientists. This native of western Canada graduated from the University of Manitoba with a bachelor’s in Agriculture and later received his Master of Science degree. His career began in the Canadian feed industry as a nutritionist for two major feed companies before he moved to Alberta to be the Extension Horse Specialist for Alberta Agriculture for 18 years. There he finished his PhD in Equine Nutrition. His work has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals, equine magazines, and other publications.

“I hope to work on specific areas of the strategic plan that will be developed by the Board in the spring,” said Coleman. “We have a great organization and need to keep members connected to aid the industry and CHA.”

Secretary Julie Fischer is a CHA Certified Instructor in western disciplines from Allenspark, Colorado. She was previously the Statewide Horseback Director and the Riding Programs Director for Girl Scouts of Colorado (GSCO), and currently is a Horse Advocate volunteer, with GSCO, helping to develop horse programs away from GSCO properties. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Management in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. She has an MBA with a concentration in Accounting; a Bachelor of Science with a major in Accounting and a minor in Management, and a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology and a minor in Premed-Equine Science. Fischer was first introduced to CHA when she learned to ride at a CHA summer camp program as a child. She has many years of experience with scouts and summer riding programs, as well as year-round school and private riding programs, wilderness outfitting, and horse packing.

Treasurer Terry Williams has been a CHA Certified Master Instructor since 1985 and is also a CHA Clinic Instructor in CHA’s Standard and Equine Facility Manager Programs, CHA Certified Overnight Guide, and a CHA Site Accreditation Visitor. She joined the CHA Board in 2011, and her service on the Research and Development Committee includes most recently overseeing the production of The Equine Professional’s Manual: The Art of Teaching Riding. Williams was honored in 2015 as the CHA Volunteer of the Year and in 2011 as the CHA Clinic Instructor of the Year. She has managed dozens of certification clinics and has worked in the thoroughbred breeding industry, camping industry, taught lessons, and managed large equine operations. She served as CHA’s Region 4 Director for more than a dozen years. Terry has a Bachelor’s degree in Equine Science and Stable Management from Otterbein College and then went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Ohio University to become a practicing nurse at hospitals in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Immediate Past President Peggy Adams is now retired from teaching and coaching riding from her farm, PLA HorsePlay, but has remained very active as the CHA President, now ceding the reins to Powers. Over the years, she has served as a camp director, riding director, and camp administrator. She is a CHA Master Instructor and a Certified Overnight Guide, a Clinic Instructor, and has been on the board of directors for going on 10 years. Adams worked for close to 30 years with Girl Scouts in Atlanta in a variety of managerial positions, and she was instrumental in starting three large, year-round equine programs, in which she helped with fundraising, design, and construction of facilities. Adams embraced the CHA Certification Program and required instructors under her to become certified.

CHA would also like to welcome the following board members to the 2017 board: Elizabeth Duffy, Camp America, Douglasville, GA; Jennifer Eaton, Interscholastic Equestrian Association, Groveland, MA; Hayley Eberle, National Reining Horse Association, Oklahoma City, OK Tara Gamble, TG Horsemanship, Ardrossan, Alberta, Canada; Christine Henry, American Paint Horse Association, Fort Worth, TX; Shellie Hensley, Macksburg, IA; Kathi Jogan, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR; Amanda Love, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX; Jim McGarvey, Back Country Horsemen of America, Calhoun, GA; James Rickner, Camp Chippewa, Ottawa, KS; and Lauren Walsh, American Quarter Horse Association, Amarillo, TX.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA-ahse.org or call 859-259-3399. To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHAinstructors.com.