Well, it’s been a very quick two years, but my term as National President will end at the meetings in Orlando next month. It’s been an honor for me to serve in this capacity for this organization, and I hope the things we have done during my time in office have positioned us well to move forward in the years to come.

That being said, there is still a lot to do and a lot going on in these final two months and here’s a quick synopsis of what you need to know.

1) A notice of 2018 dues should accompany this newsletter. Dues are $60 for active members and $40 for associate members. Active members who are retired or are Life members (Article III, 1, a, i and ii) do not have to pay dues, although a $15 “assessment” for communications expenses is appreciated.

2) Nominations for the Communicators Hall of Fame are due by Thursday (Jan. 25 — 30 days before the national meetings) – maximum two candidates per chapter. Each nominee must have a 350 to 700-word biography submitted, or the candidate will be disqualified from consideration.

3) Thursday (Jan. 25) is also the date that all By-Law Change Proposals must be submitted to both the President and the Secretary. See Article XIV, 1b for what must accompany these proposals (new after 2017 meeting). It is also requested that any R&R Change Proposals be submitted at this time, for the consideration of the Directors, but R&R change proposals can also be made from the floor.

4) Minutes from a 2017 Chapter Meeting must be submitted to the secretary by Thursday (Feb. 1).

5) Committee reports must also be submitted to the secretary by Friday (Feb. 9). In Orlando, if the committee Chair will not be present, she or he should designate an attendee to amplify on the committee report if needed, or to answer any questions from the gathered.

6) And 2018 membership dues are, well, due by Saturday (Mar. 31).

The USHWA National meetings and Dan Patch Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday (Feb. 24)

and Sunday (Feb. 25) at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Here is a schedule of times of the meetings that will be held during the weekend.

Friday (Feb. 23)          Executive Board Meeting           7 p.m.

Saturday (Feb. 24)     Director’s Meeting                        Noon

Sunday (Feb. 25)        General Membership Meeting   9 a.m.

The Dan Patch Awards Banquet is also on Sunday (Feb. 25) and it starts with cocktails at 6 p.m. The presentations will start sharply at 7 p.m. with dinner to be served at approximately 8:15 p.m.

This year’s event will be hosted by Roger Huston and Jason Settlemoir. Heather Vitale and Heather Wilder will be roving reporters doing Facebook Live from the Red Carpet and interviewing the winners after they come off stage to get their candid comments and reactions.

The entire event will be streamed via Facebook Live on the USHWA Facebook page.

We are still looking for ALL MEMBERS’ HELP in two areas.

First, we are still looking for auction items to benefit the Harness Horse Youth Foundation and USHWA. Please do your part and solicit for items, gift certificates or services that we can auction off during the night. All the proceeds go towards the HHYF and USHWA, to help both organizations continue to promote our sport.

Second, please sell some Journal ads! We are attaching a price sheet for your convenience. Ask your fellow horsemen or businesses that support the sport to take an ad and congratulate the winners. Chances are you know someone who knows an award winner and they are likely candidates to buy an ad — but they won’t if you don’t ask them!

There is a small percentage of this organization’s membership doing the bulk of the work putting this awards banquet on each year, and by getting a donation or selling an ad, you can help the success of the event immensely.

Once again I thank you for your work for USHWA. I look forward to working with my successor and the Officers as Chairman of the Board – but there is plenty of work to be done before then.

Tim Bojarski

President of USHWA