Guest Speakers Announced For American Horse Council’s National Issues Forum

The forum will feature four presentations, given virtually.

Join professionals from all facets of the equine industry to learn and explore current issues facing the horse community. On Wednesday, October 28th, The American Horse Council (AHC) National Issues Forum will feature four outstanding presentations, all given in Eastern Standard Time:

The AHC 2020 Conference will be a virtual event.

At 11 a.m., AHC staff, and possibly a guest staffer from the Senate, will provide a legislative and regulatory update and overview of numerous industry initiatives underway to help position the equine industry for the future. In advance of the November election, AHC will share insights into a first-time list of “top ten” congressional incumbents whose success would bode well for the industry moving forward. Horse enthusiasts will learn how COVID-19 restrictions have impacted this year’s agenda, including advocating for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and tax flexibility to provide relief for equine business. On the labor front, horsemen and women will also learn more about the continuing need for guest worker visa flexibility. While the pandemic has added items to the agenda, it has also given new “urgency” to other priorities, including passage of the “Great American Outdoors Act of 2020.” Pushing this landmark trails bill over the finish line serves as a “text book” example of putting “horsepower” into the industry’s grassroots network.

At 1 p.m., join David Fuscus, CEO of Xenophon Strategies, to hear about best practices for crisis management. The number and severity of crisis situations that now confront companies and organizations–and put their reputation, profits, and future at risk – underscore the importance of knowing how to communicate about and deal with a crisis. David has been heavily involved in crisis communications and has worked with the media on major national and international crises, including representing the airline industry following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and playing a key communications role in eleven major airline accidents.

At 2 p.m., look for an exciting and entertaining presentation by American Dude Ranch Association members on outdoor riding destinations featuring Russell True of the White Stallion Ranch and Cheri Amos-Helmicki of the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch.

Russell, his brother Michael and their families own the White Stallion and under their management the ranch is consistently recognized as an award-winning property locally, nationally and internationally. The ranch has been ranked No. 1 on TripAdvisor of 130 hotels in Tucson for 8 consecutive years and has received numerous TripAdvisor certificates and awards, including Certificates of Excellence, top customer service rankings and Hall of Fame honors. Additionally, the ranch was named “Best Family Resort” in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards in 2018.

Cheri and her husband, Jerry, have owned the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch in Parshall, Colorado for 25+ years. An all-inclusive Colorado Dude Ranch vacation free of crowds, lines and stress. In addition to great lodging, you’ll also enjoy exceptional meals and on-ranch activities including: horseback rides, Gold Medal fly fishing, trap shooting, Colorado River zip-line, guided hikes, mountain bikes, heated pool and hot tub, Kids’ Program, unforgettable evening entertainment and much more.

At 3 p.m., join Dr. Veronica Lac of the HERD Institute to learn about expanding Diversity, and Inclusion in the equine industry. A diverse industry (in age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, and gender) brings diverse viewpoints and perspectives; these elements can help develop new approaches and great new ways to appeal to participants, fans and new customers.

However, diversity does not necessarily mean inclusivity. Yes, making diversity a priority is important; but so is the next logical step: creating a culture where people from all backgrounds feel included. Inclusivity is the key to actually maintaining (not just creating) diversity.

Dr. Lac has over 20 years of experience as a corporate trainer and mental health professional, as well as a certified therapeutic riding instructor through PATH Intl. Her academic background includes a Masters in Training & Performance Management, a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy, and a PhD in Psychology.

And join us at 5 p.m. for our Annual Awards Cocktail Party honoring Rolapp, Hickey and Van Ness Award Winners.

The AHC is known for convening the equine industry’s visionaries and leaders in an intimate three days of informative and innovative discussion on some of the most relevant challenges and initiatives facing the industry. Attendees get to participate in discussions that help shape the industry and optimize existing and emerging legislative and regulatory issues.

Registration is open and video conference logistics will be sent to registered participants along with committee meeting agendas. Learn more here.




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