Meet Your Candidate: Jim Hollis
Jim Hollis recently announced his candidacy for the Board of Directors opening in Territory VI. Jim is a Non-Pro rider and breeder who lives in Michigan. As not everyone might know Jim, we caught up with him to learn more about his history with the appaloosa and his thoughts on running for the board.
Jim started out in 4-H programs in Michigan. Though he always loved horses, he and his family lived in the city, so he started out by showing nearly all the animals before he convinced his parent to get a horse. By the time he was 18, he had a horse to ride. His first horse was a Quarter Horse named Cutter’s Mac. Jim credits his first 4-H leader with teaching him how to ride the all-around events. He stated that when he was young, he wasn’t the best, but he was out there doing what he loved.
When Jim went to college, he sold his QH to an area family with a youth rider and he was horseless for a while. Jim stated that when he was young, he never thought about owning an Appaloosa. The appaloosas in his area were all very loudly colored. He said he swore he would never own one as they were loud, ugly and crazy. As fate would have it, he had an acquaintance on the local show circuit who had Appaloosas from Best Farms. He ended up buying one of these horses and learned that the stereotypes about appaloosa were wrong. Jim’s first Appaloosa was Charlie’s Skip A Sock.
Jim stated that he has always been active on club boards. When he was showing open circuits, he was always on the boards of those organizations. He served as a superintendent of the fair in his area. When he went to college in Lansing, he met Allen and Kathy Woods and they directed him to the Michigan Appaloosa Club, and he joined the board of this club.
What made you want to run for the ApHC Board of Directors?
Jim has always been active on the Board of the horse associations he has been involved with. Running for the ApHC Board of Directors is a natural extension of this pattern. He shows as a non pro and has bred a few horses. He has gotten to know a lot of members of the breed organization. He feels that there is a great need from the membership to feel heard and for everyone to have a chance to express their opinions. Though he truly believes that everyone does the best they can, he feels that there has been a lot of miscommunication and misrepresentation that has occurred. Jim feels that he is a good candidate because he is always asking questions. He tries to learn everything he can from the office and the board of directors.
What qualifications do you have that make you a good board candidate?
Jim states that he is very personable. He communicates with everyone very well. He asks a lot of questions and tries to learn as much as he can about things. Jim also has a background in Non-Profit work. He has a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Leadership and has taken graduate coursework in organizational development. His current job with the State of Michigan is in workforce development which also involves work with budgeting and grants.
What are your thoughts on some of the issues facing the club?
Jim stated that he knows everyone has dreams and desires for the Appaloosa Horse Club. He believes that you need to start small and deal with immediate issues. Jim believes there are some things that need to be evaluated to see if they need to be changed and this is his chance to be educated on them all. There are certain issues that Jim has some immediate thoughts on.
DNA Testing: Jim finds a few issues with the DNA testing process for registration and breeding. First, he feels that the forms are complicated. It is hard to figure out the different packages. Streamlining the paperwork process will encourage people to do the DNA testing and registration. Additionally, he has concerns that the ApHC only accepts DNA testing from one laboratory, and it is more expensive than other very reputable options.
World Show Qualifications: Jim stated that he is a firm believer in World Show Qualifications. The ApHC has one large show that does not require qualification, the National Show. If someone is seeking to show at that level without qualifying, they can go to the National show. There are many ways to qualify and opportunities to work with regional clubs to get qualified. That being said, Jim does acknowledge that the World Show Qualification process does need to be re-evaluated and changed.
Trainer’s Crisis Fund: This is something that Jim stated he wants to learn more about. He does not necessarily think this is a topic for the board of directors, but he feels strongly that the Trainer’s Crisis fund should be promoted so that there is something to help trainers and breeders who struggle.
The main thing that Jim wants the members of Territory VI to know is that, as a board member, he would focus on the members being heard. He wants to ensure that the appaloosa horse remains a valued breed and the members of the Appaloosa Horse Club are valued.
He also asked that anyone who has any questions please reach out to him. He has created a Facebook page for his candidacy.