My name is Tish Saare and I would like to be re-elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Akhal-Teke Association of America (ATAA). I have served as a Director at Large and as the Promotions Chair for the past three years. During this time I have enjoyed promoting the breed and the mission of the ATAA and working with the membership. During the past three years, I have facilitated (with a huge amount of help from other board members and the membership) the development of the most recent Akhal-Teke Horseflicks video. This was quite the undertaking, as it involved three different filming locations – Washington, Minnesota, and Kentucky and many hours of collecting donations, organizing volunteers (thank you to everyone that donated and volunteered!), organizing photos, providing script, and reviewing the video. The video turned out great and was well worth the effort. My husband and I also did a demonstration and booth at the Western States Horse Exposition, hosted the 2014 Annual ATAA Conference, had logowear sweatshirts made up, and facilitated the entry of Akhal-Teke participants in the 2015 Kentucky Horse Park Breeds Day during my time on the Board.
For the next few years, I would like to work on facilitating the ATAA’s outreach to children, teenagers, and young adults in order to increase awareness of the breed in the upcoming generations. I would like to set up a program that includes information about the Akhal-Teke and the ATAA that can easily be used for a presentation or information packets to be given to young folks. I would like to set up information that targets different age groups that can be given to groups such as 4-H, FFA, Pony Club, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, agriculture and animal husbandry classes, and college classes. I would also like to work on fundraising ideas for the ATAA and development of a grading system in the U.S.
As for a little bit about me…..my husband and I have a small Akhal-Teke breeding operation in California – Pleasant Grove Akhal-Tekes. We stand two stallions and have a foal or two per year. We have been actively involved with the breed since 2006 when my husband purchased our first Akhal-Teke colt. Before that I primarily worked with Quarter horses, Morgans, Arabians, and Appaloosas and had received my Masters Degree in equine reproduction. Once I was introduced to the Akhal-Teke, the breed switch was easy and obvious. For my day job, I am the senior biologist for the Sierra Nevada Region of the Western Area Power Administration, a division of the Department of Energy. As a regular part of my job, I facilitate large projects and work with diverse individuals, groups, and agencies to reach mutual understandings and achieve common goals or compromises. Skills from my day job can easily be transferred to work within the ATAA, as we work with a diverse group of people that all have a common goal in mind – to preserve, perpetuate, and promote (and enjoy!) the Akhal-Teke. I hope that I can use my skills and experience to serve the ATAA for another term. Thanks!