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Source: American Quarter Horse Association press release

Don Treadway Jr., the executive vice president of the American Quarter Horse Association, has announced his intent to retire in 2015. In making the announcement, Treadway wants to allow ample time to appoint a successor and ensure an orderly transition to not interrupt Association business and member needs.

"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."

A search committee has been named and will manage the process for selection of the next executive vice president, who will be named sometime in the first quarter of 2015. Candidates interested may submit resumes and credentials to evpsearch@aqha.org. The deadline to submit resumes and credentials is September 30, 2014, after which time the screening process will be initiated.

"It is important we take careful steps in succession planning to keep our momentum moving forward," Treadway added. "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."

"When Don officially retires in 2015, we will certainly miss his guidance and leadership," said AQHA President Johnny Trotter of Hereford, Texas. "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 but are not limited to 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 vital ranching community, working through the American Quarter Horse Foundation to secure gifts that will forever ensure the legacy of the American Quarter Horse 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, Don graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 1974 with a degree in agricultural journalism. He became 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 currently 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."