From the Office of Craig Huffhines

Pillars of Excellence

AQHA Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines shares some highlights on AQHA’s strategic operating plan.

American Quarter Horse Association

All high-quality companies and organizations operate with a purpose, and we at AQHA are committed to being not just a good organization, but an excellent one.

In May, your staff at the American Quarter Horse Association worked in departmental teams to develop an action plan for 2016-17. These departmental action plans revolve around the 2020 AQHA Strategic Vision, a very comprehensive and high-level strategic plan that was developed in 2012. With the specific business objectives we have developed and prioritized, we are focused on becoming a better, more high-functioning and more successful membership organization.

AQHA staff met May 23-25 to further fine tune these business objectives, establishing timelines for completion, ranking them in priority and assigning a manager or management team responsible for delivering the objectives. The Association is so vast and deep that our three-day planning sessions covered a multitude of important topics and priorities. While it was difficult to narrow them down, the AQHA senior leadership team and our consultant, Jodi Sullivan, who brings years of business and equine industry experience to the table, created a concise list of priorities that we’re using as a navigation tool.

In developing our business plans, the AQHA leadership team came up with five key areas to make AQHA the service and membership organization that will best advance the equine industry and ensure superior service for our members and owners.

We call these five areas our “Pillars of Excellence”:

  1. Animal welfare
  2. Customer satisfaction
  3. Communication
  4. Association culture
  5. Education and development

Within these five pillars, here are a few key areas I want you to be aware of that we'll be focusing on this year:

  1. Youth Development and Strategic Planning – to have an Association in the future, we need to nurture the love of American Quarter Horses in our youth and provide programs for them that will help them discover career path interests that will support our great industry.
  2. Technology enhancements – continue website improvements and create additional opportunities for enhancements in technology that will allow us to expand AQHA business and services and improve customer service in the future.
  3. Increased opportunities with our alliance partners – we know there are a lot of people riding American Quarter Horses in non-AQHA events; what can we do to get them to become AQHA members?
  4. Reinvigorate affiliate programs – reach our grassroots member around the world by listening to the needs of the states, provinces and international affiliates.

I want you all to be aware that these are not the only key areas that we are focusing on as an Association. This is just the beginning. We will keep you updated on additional key areas we are focusing on throughout the year.

All high-quality companies and organizations operate with a purpose, and we at AQHA are committed to being not just a good organization, but an excellent one.

The Dalai Lama once said, “In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.”

Our AQHA vision is most certainly taking form. Thank you for trusting me and your dedicated AQHA leadership team to steer our great Association into a bright future. As always, we will keep you updated on this important journey.

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