The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) announced the hiring of Leslie Baker, of Edmond, Oklahoma, to serve as the first executive director of its charitable arm, the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF). In addition, she will work on special NRHA communications projects.
Baker has been serving as a consultant for the Foundation since 2015, producing the Fifty for Fifty fundraising concert and dinner in conjunction with the NRHA Futurity’s 50th anniversary. In addition, she has helped guide the RHF through strategic planning, governance updates and rebranding. She has overseen the launch of the Reiners Club, a new annual giving program, and Reining Boot Camps, a major annual fundraising event series that supports the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund.
“Leslie has demonstrated the ability to work closely with our committed volunteers to help the Reining Horse Foundation establish goals and work to achieve them,” said NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter. “We have a high regard for the professionalism and leadership she brings to NRHA and the Foundation.”
Baker has a long history of working with nonprofit organizations, including several in the equine and western lifestyle industry. In 2016, she obtained her Certification in Nonprofit Management from the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. She is a graduate of Iowa State University.
The mission of the Reining Horse Foundation is caring for the reining community and honoring the sport’s legacy. Core programs include the Crisis Fund benefiting reiners enduring medical hardships, accidents and disasters; youth scholarships; and the NRHA Hall of Fame.