Executive Committee minutes January 14-15, 2016

The NCHA Executive Committee met on Thursday, January 14, in the NCHA offices. The meeting was called to order at 8:00 a.m. with a quorum of 14 present: President Jo Ellard, President-Elect Chuck Smith, Vice President Lewis Wray, Kathy Daughn, Chris Dublin, Jeff Fisk, Matt Gaines, Jack Holt, Charlie Israel, Seth Kirchner, Jerry Louie, J.B. McLamb, Bill Riddle and Ronnie Smith. Jeff Fisk arrived at 9:00 a.m.

A motion was made by Bill Riddle, seconded by Lewis Wray and passed to accept the minutes from the November 10 & 11, 2015 meeting and the November 24, 2015 conference call. These minutes were previously approved via email.

Finance & Audit Committee/Budget
Chairman Terry Strange of the Finance & Audit Committee and additional committee members Lach Perks, Jimmy Eakin and Tommy Neal were in attendance to report on the current budget and the NCHA’s financial position. Also in attendance for this portion of the meeting were Limited Age Event Committee chair Matt Miller and vice chair Tatum Rice. The audited financial report for the time period of December 31, 2014 to September 30, 2015, was reviewed. It was noted this was a nine-month time period as the association transitions to a fiscal year beginning with October 1 of each year. A motion was made by Bill Riddle, seconded by Chuck Smith and passed to accept the audited financial report for the year ending September 30, 2015.

In reviewing the current financial position, it was noted the State of Texas MERP funds have not yet been received for four Triple Crown events that have already been paid out. These funds are pending approval by the State of Texas. The four show total is in excess of $2.9 million. As a way to stay on top of this situation, a motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by Seth Kirchner and passed to authorize the investment group (Jimmy Eakin, Tommy Neal & Jerry Yelverton),  President Jo Ellard and President Elect Chuck Smith to meet with Frost Bank to discuss a line of credit as a precaution, should it be needed. There are still over $4 million in investment funds for the NCHA.

It was reported the Super Stakes Stallion “rollback” has gone well with additional foals and stallions being subscribed. Staff is also reaching out to stallions that have participated in the past and giving them to opportunity to join in the program again. Since the beginning of the program, more than 10,755 foals have been nominated. A recommendation will be presented at the next meeting regarding how to distribute the awards for the various classes. It was reminded that the Super Stakes program will begin reimbursing the NCHA $250,000/year beginning in 2017 (for six years) for funds that were “loaned” to the program when it was changed.

The Payout Task Force (consisting of Lach Perks, Terry Strange, and Tommy Neal) presented the findings of the group that formed a framework for a larger group to provide input into the guidelines that govern payout distributions at the Triple Crown events. The task force was slated to make a presentation to the membership the following afternoon. The processes that are used for calculating purses for Triple Crown events following the current rules will be explained with various scenarios presented if any of these rules are approved for change. It is hoped that at the conclusion of tomorrow’s meeting, a sub group consisting of five to seven members of the LAE Committee and the Chairs (or other representatives) from the Amateur, Non Pro, Professional Trainers and Stallion Owners will be selected to work further on the concepts brought up during the open forum meeting. A motion was made by Seth Kirchner, seconded by Bill Riddle and passed to approve this process with the proposals brought back to the Executive Committee for approval before the second payment for the Super Stakes.

A motion was made by Chris Dublin, seconded by J.B. McLamb and passed for the committee to go into Executive Session to discuss the current budget and ask questions on the detail. A motion was made by Jeff Fisk, seconded by Jerry Louie and passed to close the Executive Session and go back into regular session.

The committee was presented with two budget versions for the fiscal year of 2015-2016, with the difference between the two being an increase in the office charge for the Super Stakes and Summer Cutting Spectacular (an increase of $200 for each show, $325 to $525 for open and non pro classes). There were other specific items affecting the budget that were discussed and approved during the November meeting. A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by Chris Dublin and passed to approve the 2015/2016 budget with the office fee increase as presented.

NCHA Charities Foundation Update
At the first of January, a group of individuals (Jo Ellard, Jim Bret Campbell, Jerry Ward, Jack Holt, Frank & Robin Merrill, Chris & Jan Dublin, Charlie & Linda Israel, Joey & Laurie Miller) participated in a retreat in Tampa Bay, Florida for a four day meeting to discuss the NCHA Charities Foundation. It was reported the existing Foundation board must approve the required by-laws change, then those bylaws must be approved by the entire NCHA Board of Directors and then the Executive Committee. With this timeline and meeting schedules, the Foundation by-laws change will be delayed until later in the year.

Promotion & Development Committee
Committee members Chuck Smith and Constance Jaeggi gave an update on the Promotion & Development Committee’s latest initiatives. The “two cow/two minute” class which was approved for the grassroots level shows, is being utilized in several locations. It is noted these shows are quicker and the cattle remain fresher with this approach.

The new Achievement Buckle with the associated levels approved last year has generated lots of interest and calls to the office. The new buckle has places for seven stones as earnings increase with an earnings medallion added at the same time. A higher end achievement buckle has also been designed for members that would like to purchase a buckle.

There was discussion of creating a brochure or other materials containing information about the grassroots cuttings, the achievement buckle and the corresponding earnings levels that could be provided to affiliates, show secretaries, and club cuttings. It was also mentioned providing a list with short biography for those that qualify for the achievement buckle in the Chatter or on the NCHA website.

Western Bloodstock Contract
The Western Bloodstock sale contract is due for renewal. A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by Chris Dublin and passed for the contract to be updated and continued with Western Bloodstock.

Officer Candidate and Members Hall of Fame Timeline
An update was given on two of the committees that will meet in the next few months. The Officer Nominating Committee has been selected and information distributed to the Board of Directors. This committee is scheduled to meet on February 8th and must provide two candidates by February 23rd. The ballots will be sent to all members with email addresses by the middle of April with paper ballots following approximately two weeks later.

Nominations to the Members Hall of Fame can be made at any time but the deadline each year is March 1. A notice was recently sent to the Board of Directors and information placed in the NCHA website asking for nominations. The Hall of Fame selection committee will meet the first part of March to select this year’s recipients.

Executive Director’s Report
Executive Director Jim Bret Campbell provided an update to the committee. It was noted there were 150,000 unique viewers to the Futurity webcast. The open finals were a sell out in the coliseum with positive comments about the opening ceremonies this year. During the World Finals webcast, it was presented similar to a TV broadcast with a play-by-play person and color analyst.

A search firm will be utilized in securing a director of marketing. It is also anticipated that various specialized marketing agencies may be utilized to handle portions of the marketing area.

It was decided to tentatively set the next Executive Committee meeting for Monday, March 21.

Being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.