On May 10-11, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) board of directors met in Oklahoma City to discuss business and identify opportunities to advance the sport of reining. Among those discussions was a follow-up item related to the association’s certificate of incorporation (COI), in addition to changes to the bylaw amendment process and governance structure.
The board reviewed and unanimously approved proposed changes to the NRHA Bylaws (Article XV. Amendments). The approved changes kept in place a member’s ability to submit bylaw amendment proposals. The approval process for bylaw amendment proposals was modified to comply with Oklahoma state statutes officially giving the board the authority to adopt, amend or repeal the bylaws of the association.
In June 2014, the NRHA convened its first long range planning committee in Columbus, Ohio. The group agreed on four areas that needed considerable effort and focus, one of which was the NRHA’s governance structure. Subsequently in May 2016, the board received and approved a proposal to streamline the structure, including the creation of regional councils, adjustment of regional director allocations and establishment of term limits.
NRHA President Rick Clark commented, “NRHA governance has unique challenges. These include a complex, far-flung operation with a global board; maintaining engagement of a board separated by geography, local issues, language, culture and customs; communicating in a timely manner with a large group that cannot meet face-to-face; and finally, volunteer time commitment. Many boards face some of these challenges; the NRHA faces them all.
“In August of 2014, the NRHA board of directors approved a global governance task force to tackle these issues and to create a global governance structure and process that optimizes growth of the sport. Since that time, this task force has had several conference calls and at least four in person meetings. All of these issues received considerable attention and deliberation.”
On May 10, 2016, the task force presented two options to the board. The options tackled the previously mentioned topics as well as addressing board size to have members that are fully engaged, well qualified, effective and focused on the strategy and direction of the NRHA. The board approved one of the options by a vote of 27-1. They instructed the bylaw committee to develop proposed bylaws to implement this structure. The board will review and vote on proposed bylaws in August 2016.