Dec 12, 2019

Board of Governors Meeting Opens Business at Convention

By Leslie Mintz - USEA Staff
USEA/Jessica Duffy Photo.

Carol Kozlowski presided over her final Board of Governors meeting as USEA President this afternoon at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. After the meeting was called to order, Kozlowski delivered her President’s Report in which she highlighted the accomplishments of the Association as a whole, but also thanked each of the Vice Presidents and Governors for their contributions to the USEA.

“I want to thank each of you here for your willingness to be a part of the very small group that really does do most of the heavy lifting and makes a very genuine and generous effort to nurture our sport into the future,” said Kozlowski. “It’s a tired phrase but I feel apt here. ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.’ Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being willing to speak up, disagree, discuss, and produce a hybrid vigor that represents the best we all bring to the table.”

Rob Burk gave a brief CEO report which he will expand upon on Saturday at the Annual Meeting of Members, and then the Board got down to business. They approved two incoming Area Chairs:

  • Area II – Melissa Stubenberg (Re-Appointment)
  • Area X – Barb Crabo

Morley Thompson Jr. gave his Treasurers/Vice President of Admin & Finance report which had a much more positive outlook than 2018. The USEA came in within 99% of budget and revenue and while starters revenue was down a bit, several other areas were up including merchandise sales having a large impact. The 12-month net ordinary income was right on track. A few key indicators that Thompson touched on included:

  • The year finished with an increase of 1,600 starters (4% up) with Area II and III being the most ahead. Area VIII was up 400 starters, but Areas I, V, VII, and IX were all down in starters.
  • The majority of the starter increase was in the Beginner Novice to Training levels and Modified starters doubled. Preliminary and Intermediate starters were down a bit, but Advanced has increased.
  • The total number of competitions held was up 10 from 2018.
  • The 2019 membership dues increase resulted in a revenue increase, but there was a decrease in the number of members.
  • The budget for 2020 includes a very small increase in starter fee (from $21 to $25).

Most of the committees will meet during the week and report back to the Board on Sunday, but a few action items were brought forward.

  • The Appreciation Awards Committee asked for a Board member to volunteer to serve on the committee.
  • The USEA Foundation suggested that the Development Committee be dissolved as fundraising is going forward in a different fashion. The Board voted to dissolve the committee.
  • The Equine Medical Research funds were distributed last week among the studies that were chosen in the August board meeting. Denise Dailey-Thomas mentioned that she wants to increase other organizations' contributions, but hasn’t had any luck recruiting other disciplines to join the USEA’s effort to support equine medical research.

Diane Pitts, Chair of the USEA Foundation, gave their report to the Board. Pitts and the Foundation are excited to be focusing on raising money for the Poggio Horsemanship Fund, and over $25,000 has already been raised. The Foundation is looking forward to hearing from the past grant winners at their meeting tomorrow as well as awarding a new group of grants on Saturday night. The Foundation is going to be working on a strategic plan as well as rolling out a Kyra King Stuart Planned Giving Initiative. Tink Eichell gave the Foundation’s financial update which reported that financials are just under $2.8 million and they did 12 percent in asset performance last year.

Jeff Newman and Mary Coldren from the Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill then gave a presentation about next year’s new event. Newman reported that the construction progress is meeting all the deadlines with the arenas completed and all permanent cross-country complexes and paths finished in time for winter. A full presentation about the event will be given tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.

Jenni Autry, the USEF Managing Director of Eventing, gave a brief introduction of her staff to the Board and said that she is looking forward to continuing to work with the USEA to have strong bonds as we work towards mutual goals.

The USEA Board of Governors will reconvene on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. for the final meeting of the weekend.

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About the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention

The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place each December and brings together a large group of dedicated USEA members and supporters to discuss, learn, and enjoy being surrounded by other eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! The 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is taking place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, December 12-15, 2019. Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.

The USEA would like to thank Adequan, Bates, Nutrena, Charles Owen, Standlee Premium Western Forage, SmartPak, Mountain Horse, Parker Equine Insurance, Rebecca Farm, Auburn Laboratories, Stackhouse & Ellis Saddles, Nunn Finer, World Equestrian Brands, Gallops Saddlery, Revitavet, Hylofit, and Tryon International Equestrian Center for sponsoring the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.

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