Quarter horse leader to step down

AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway
AQHA Executive Vice-President Don Treadway is retiring in 2015.

American Quarter Horse Association executive vice-president Don Treadway Jr is to retire next year.

The early announcement allows time for a successor to be appointed and an orderly transition for the association, Treadway said.

“It has been an exceptional 40 years, and I consider myself lucky to have had such a long career with one outstanding organization,” Treadway said. “Even with all of the challenges we have faced recently, together we have accomplished much.”

The next executive vice-president will be named sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

“It is important we take careful steps in succession planning to keep our momentum moving forward,” Treadway said. “I will work with the AQHA Executive Committee to outline a timeline to transition and ultimately retire in 2015. I want to focus on strategic initiatives and projects that are important to making sure the association is well positioned to meet both the financial and member needs as we continue to address the changing dynamics of the equine industry, and what it will take for AQHA to remain the leader in the industry.”

AQHA President Johnny Trotter said the association would miss Treadway’s guidance and leadership.

“The Executive Committee and AQHA Board of Directors are very appreciative of the contributions Don has made to the Association during his career. We look forward to him remaining to help with the transition plan for his successor.”

Treadway’s contributions to AQHA include building a corporate partner portfolio worth more than $7 million, developing several of AQHA’s marketing and membership programs from their infancy, establishing new initiatives that reached into AQHA’s ranching community, working through the American Quarter Horse Foundation to secure gifts that will forever ensure the legacy of the breed and advancing AQHA’s animal welfare and breed integrity efforts.

“I always believed my main purpose at AQHA was to connect people with American Quarter Horses. But after assuming the EVP position, more than anything, I wanted to be an advocate for the horse,” Treadway said. “I wanted to see the American Quarter Horse on a worldwide stage but more importantly, I wanted this great animal treated with dignity, respect and compassion.”

A native of Newkirk, Oklahoma, where his family farmed and ranched, Treadway graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 1974 with a degree in agricultural journalism. He was employed with AQHA in August 1974 as a public relations assistant, was named director of public relations in 1977, senior director of marketing services in 1992, executive director of marketing and membership services in 2000, and was named executive vice-president in March 2009.

Don and his wife, Robbyn, have a son, Jeff, who lives in Houston with his wife, Melissa, and their two children, Connor and Avery; and a daughter, Stacey, who is in nursing school.

“Robbyn and I are looking forward to spending time with our grandchildren and doing some traveling,” Treadway said. “We’re very blessed to have many options to consider but until then, my focus will be to continue doing the best possible job for the Executive Committee, the board of directors, our members and of course, the American Quarter Horse.”

Candidates interested may submit resumes and credentials to evpsearch@aqha.org. The deadline to submit resumes is September 30, 2014.

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