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American Paint Horse Association announces appointment of new Executive Director

After a three-month national search that reviewed more than 40 candidates, the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) has named longtime equine association executive Billy Smith as its new Executive Director to lead APHA into its second 50 years of operation.

APHA hired MJM Global Search from Colorado to conduct the nationwide search. MJM Global Search came highly recommended as an executive search firm with extensive experience in Equine Association leadership recruiting.

“Billy’s direct, confident answers to the Search Committee and the Executive Committee proved to be the deciding factor for all of us,” says APHA President Scot Jackson. “After listening to his deep experience with leading efficient operations, directing marketing, and improving member service, the Executive Committee voted unanimously to select him as our next Executive Director.

“Smith, 50, spent the last 13 years with the American Quarter Horse Association in both marketing and information technology positions, ending as Executive Director of Information Technology. Prior to that, Smith was a journalism/advertising professor at West Texas A&M University and freelance writer for various news and corporate publications.

“The whole interview process was refreshing and opened my eyes to the possibilities for APHA’s future,” Smith said. “I’m inspired by the history of the Paint Horse breed and can’t wait for a chance to help craft the Paint Horse story across the globe. I felt a kindness and warmth from the APHA Executive Committee that truly energized me.”

“I am excited to welcome such a consummate professional to APHA,” Jackson said. “Together we will continue to strive to make APHA a progressive and successful breed organization. I look forward to working with Billy, and putting his expertise in member services, marketing, communications and information technology to work for APHA.”

In his role as Executive Director of Information Technology, Smith redesigned the technology arm of the world’s largest breed registry by automating a paperless registration system and architecting a redesign of AQHA’s computing system. Prior to moving into information technology, Smith also initiated various marketing and database mining initiatives.

“I’ve been fortunate to have worked alongside some of the brightest minds in the horse industry,” said Smith. “And I know I’ll have the opportunity to work with similarly talented staff at APHA.”

Smith received a Doctor of Education degree from Texas Tech in 1999 along with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and business from the University of North Texas in 1984.

He will begin his duties at APHA in February.

About APHA
The American Paint Horse Association (APHA), the international breed registry for the American Paint Horse headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. In fulfillment of its mission to collect, record and preserve pedigrees of the breed, APHA recognizes and supports 111 regional and international clubs, produces championship shows, sponsors trail rides and creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses. APHA has registered more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded, and now serves over 64,000 active youth and adult members around the world.