During the past couple of weeks, I've enjoyed having follow-up phone calls with new PATH Intl. Board of Trustees members Lili Kellogg, Brandan Montminy and Ed Milford. I wanted to touch base with each of them, hear their initial impressions as a new board member and answer any questions they might have. Two of the three, Brandan and Ed, have limited equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) experience, having been recruited through LinkedIn for their skills and experience (lawyer and CPA respectively) that had been identified as needed by the board. They both served on a PATH Intl. committee for more than a year before being recommended for board service. Lili brings extensive EAAT experience with more than 30 years as a PATH Intl. member, extensive committee service, and she's currently the CEO of PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center EQUEST in Texas. All three of them bring incredible perspective and commitment to the board. (To read more about them, visit the board of trustees page on the website.)
The common thread through each of these conversations was how impressed they were by the professionalism they experienced at the PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting--with fellow board members, and from members talking about your work. Ed and Brandan in particular spoke about how much they learned about the level of commitment members demonstrate, as well as the diversity of services and the large number of people involved. They were both excited to learn more about EAAT and have each reached out to centers in their areas to visit. All of them were also impressed with how much we have accomplished in the last year and how clear the direction and vision is for PATH Intl. and the membership to be a global resource and advocate for EAAT.
The accomplishments they referenced can be found in the update that was given at the annual meeting. Some of the highlights include the creation of the credentialing council, changes to our educational offerings to make them more accessible, the grievance review process, special education outreach campaign, the financial report, data collection and trends, center sustainability initiative, veteran's programing and global news. For details, click
to see the presentation slides and read the updates in the notes.
Another big accomplishment that took place at the annual meeting was the passing of the bylaws amendment to allow for electronic voting for future bylaws amendments. We are very excited that now every member will have equal opportunity for their voice to be heard on any proposed bylaws change.
Immediately following the conference, I flew to the Netherlands to present on the state of EAAT at a bio symposium. I was once again honored to represent all of you and the wonderful work you do. Talking about therapeutic riding, utilizing hippotherapy as a treatment strategy, equine-facilitated psychotherapy and equine-assisted learning (those were the four "umbrella" areas) provided the audience with a great overview of the depth and breadth of EAAT. It provided me with an even deeper respect for the work each of you does on a regular basis.
Wishing you the best during this holiday season,