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AHP Champion Award 2015


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American Horse Publications honors two past presidents as AHP Champions on June 20, 2015 during annual seminar in San Antonio.

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AHP Champion Award 2015

  1. 1. What makes an AHP Champion? Dedication Service Passion The 2015 honorees have them all.
  2. 2. Deborah Taylor 2004-2005 AHP President
  3. 3. Deb’s initial involvement in AHP was a bit of a happy accident. “I was attending the American Horse Council meeting in Washington, DC, back in the mid-eighties when both organizations met at the same time at different hotels. I started noticing that all the fun folks were going across the street from the AHC hotel to another hotel for a meeting about horse publications. I had to check it out.”
  4. 4. What happened next left an indelible mark on Deb’s career and her memories of AHP. “Two amazing days later, after soaking in about as much as I could learn in that time period, I was cracking crab with some of the most incredible minds in the industry and having one of the best times of my life. Though all I did was write and edit a newsletter as a part of my job as Executive Director of the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Foundation, they embraced me and made me a part of their merry little band, American Horse Publications.”
  5. 5. A social, fun-loving person by nature, Deb dived right into being an active AHP member. “AHP seminars were one of the professional highlights of my year. They were always extremely well done. Many of the things I learned have been critical to my success in my field and have provided me the opportunity to help other non- profits within the horse industry.”
  6. 6. “It is all about the ability to tell a story in the vein that is needed. From writing, to photography, to layout, graphics and art, and even ad sales…they all combine to create and publish stories for our intended audiences. I got to learn from the best, make helpful contacts, make amazing friends and have a really great time.” About the horse publishing industry, Deb says,
  7. 7. By 1998, Deb had joined the AHP Board of Directors. A year later, she had made herself famous. “For those of you who can remember, think Rob Banner’s Elvis to my Wynonna in Nashville! “Sure, sometimes we were goofy, but we always had AHP at heart and we always had fun. I wish the same for each of you.”
  8. 8. The concept of the AHP Spirit Award was her idea. She was instrumental in developing several time- saving methods of processing the awards entries that are still being used today. “I have many wonderful memories of Deb; however, her contributions to AHP go far beyond her social skills and great smile.” Chris Brune
  9. 9. Never one to mince words, Deb has this advice for AHP members. “What I want all of you young, fresh professionals to know is this – AHP is what you make of it. Organizations don’t grow alone, seminars don’t plan themselves, contests don’t process themselves and AHP can’t exist without members stepping up to join committees and the Board of Directors.
  10. 10. “Participate with an open hand, an open heart and a sense of humor. In doing so, you will enrich your profession and you’ll carry the memories with you for your lifetime.”
  11. 11. “It was a touching moment to receive the phone call from Chris Brune informing me that the AHP Board had awarded me with the 2015 AHP Champion Award. When I look at the list of recipients and remember the incredible individuals already in this Circle of Champions, I am honored and even more humbled.” With deep regret, Deb was unable to attend due to a previously scheduled major fundraising event for Central Kentucky Riding for Hope on Saturday, June 20, where she is the Development Director.
  12. 12. “It has been my pleasure to be involved with such an outstanding organization. I will always treasure American Horse Publications and the impact it had on my life.”
  13. 13. Connie Lechleitner 2005-2006 AHP President
  14. 14. Connie Lechleitner was another member who like Deb discovered AHP when we met in Washington, DC with the American Horse Council. Despite being intimidated by the large number of AHC members and the imposingly formal setting at that first meeting, this quiet and shy Ohio girl, who was in her first years of her very first job working at the Ohio Quarter Horse Association took a deep breath, put her best foot forward, and walked into that meeting room.
  15. 15. She was glad she did. “I remember feeling such a kindred spirit with the other horse publication representatives who attended that year, and I was hooked. Even though I was a one- woman staff on a small state association magazine, I was welcomed by everyone from the biggest players in equine publishing to the other one- person staffs just like me.”
  16. 16. Connie joined AHP in 1985 and knew she had found her AHP family. “The encouragement I received and the many lessons I've learned from other members and the many wonderful presenters over the years have helped shape me into the person and the professional I am today. Although my career has sometimes taken me outside the equine publishing arena over the years, I tried to always pay my AHP dues and attend as many of the annual seminars as I could. AHP is the one organization that always calls me back to it. It is family to me.”
  17. 17. Connie has always loved horses and continues to own and show horses today. She has even been known to wear a queen’s crown.
  18. 18. For more than 20 years, she served as editor of publications and website for the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. Her duties there included media relations and promotion of the world's largest single breed horse show, The All American Quarter Horse Congress. She has also worked in communications and marketing departments in the accounting and healthcare industries, but her passion has always been with the equine community.
  19. 19. Currently, Connie serves as executive editor of the National Snaffle Bit Association's The Way To Go magazine and also provides social media and website content for NSBA. In addition, she owns Sharon Valley Communications, a freelance writing business, where she writes content for a number of equine and agricultural publications.
  20. 20. Connie joined the AHP Board of Directors in 2000 and became AHP President for 2005-2006. She has recently served on the AHP board as a Past President Advisory Council Director. “AHP is by far the best group to which I belong,” she says. “It is one of the few places where competitors can converse and share common issues and work together to resolve them. Plus the people in this organization are just fun to be around!”
  21. 21. “Connie and I were kindred spirits as both editors of Quarter Horse magazines and we share the same passion for AHP. “Connie has been a contributing AHP member in so many ways, participating on multiple committees over the years. She was instrumental in developing the student mentoring program that AHP offered for several years. Her contributions to the association helped to shape the strong identity that AHP has today.” Chris Brune
  22. 22. “I have met so many wonderful and talented individuals in our industry - and I was fortunate to work with so many of them in board positions. It has been a wonderful experience to watch our association grow and thrive in spite of the changes and challenges in our publishing world, and to welcome the next generation of members into our family.”
  23. 23. Connie and her husband, Mark, raise registered Quarter Horse and Buckskin horses.
  24. 24. “I’m just one member, but I do everything I can to help AHP. After all, we’re family!”
  25. 25. Deborah Taylor (UK Equine Research & Service Report) Connie Lechleitner (Ohio Quarter Horse Journal) Warren Wilson (California Horsetrader) Barrie Reightler (The Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred) Frank Lessiter (American Farriers Journal) Doug Hayes (The American Quarter Horse Journal)
  26. 26. Lua Oas Southard (EquiSource) Stacy V. Bearse (Blood-Horse Publications) Robert Banner (The Chronicle of the Horse) Kathy Mezick (Horsemen’s Corral) Jim Jennings (The Quarter Horse Journal) Susan Harding (Fleet Street Publishing) Darrell Dodds (Paint Horse Journal)
  27. 27. Walt Wiggins (Quarter Racing World) Erbert Eades (The Blood-Horse) Don Price (Michigan Harness Horseman) Les Ford (The Harness Horse) Thom Mezick (Horsemen’s Corral) Peter Winants (The Chronicle of the Horse) Tracy Gantz (The Thoroughbred of California) Chris Brune (Eastern/Western Quarter Horse Journal) Bill Shepard (Paint Horse Journal) Nancy Lee Comer (The Chronicle of the Horse) Karl Little (Cutting Horse Chatter) Jennifer Forsberg Meyer (California Horse Review)
  28. 28. Stanley F. Bergstein (Hoof Beats) Bob Gray (Horseman) Audie Rackley (The Quarter Horse Journal) Tony Chamblin (The Horsemen’s Journal) Ruth Brown (Eastern/Western Quarter Horse Journal)
  29. 29. Arnold Kirkpatrick (Thoroughbred Record) Lucille Shuler (Arabian Horse World) Melvin Peavey (Horse World) Don Valliere (Turf & Sport Digest) Alexander Mackay-Smith (The Chronicle of the Horse) Snowden Carter (Maryland Horse)