nycha restructures officers
NYCHA members will soon be led by a leadership structure similar to the NCHA, one of several changes officials hope will bring stability to the organization and empower members. • Photo by Molly Montag.

NYCHA Changes Officer Format, Plans New Programs

The National Youth Cutting Horse Association (NYCHA) is going to look a little different this time next year, officials say.

The recently approved NYCHA restructure, which was unveiled during Youth Week at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular, would change the organization’s youth officer format, a move officials believe will empower participants with more responsibility and provide continuity of leadership within the organization.

The plan was approved last month by the NCHA Executive Committee.

NYCHA Executive Director Mike Simmons said organization for young cutters will be restructured to mimic the that of the NCHA Executive Committee; which has an elected vice president who moves on to the position of president elect, and then onto the position of president. Currently, NYCHA’s officers are all elected each year.

“Five officers leave the board and then we bring five new officers in,” Simmons explained during an NYCHA meeting at the Summer Spectacular. “And, what happens? We can’t grow them.”

The NYCHA restructure of officers will feature Senior Youth Officers – a president, president elect and vice president, among others – who along with senior regional representatives will make up a Youth Executive Committee. There also will be Junior Youth officers. Plans also call for Youth Week to be rebranded as the NYCHA Convention.

Simmons wants the senior members of the Youth Executive Committee to learn from the NCHA Executive Committee, hopefully shadowing the adults on the NCHA Executive Committee during the association’s annual convention. In turn, the older youth officers can provide mentorship to the Junior Youth Officers.

Plans also call for youth in leadership positions to be eligible for scholarships, which would be distributed based on whether the youth participated and performed his or her office’s roles in the association. There also will be a concerted effort not only to recruit youth to serve as NYCHA area directors – the majority of which are currently vacant – but to make those area directors part of the decision-making process, Simmons said.

“This program can’t work unless you guys all get involved,” he said during the NYCHA meeting. “And, I guarantee you I will change the way the area directors are treated and you’ll be more involved in the decision-making of what’s going on.”

As for educational programming, Simmons wants to create board-certified NYCHA curriculum youth could complete for high school or college credit. He believes NCHA members who have teaching or educational administrative backgrounds would be great partners to help shape such programs.

Plans also call for creation of an NYCHA Triple Crown. The NCHA Executive Committee passed a proposal about the concept, in which riders would earn points riding the same horse in three or four shows, during its two-day meeting Aug. 5-7 in Fort Worth, Texas.

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