September 2017 - Collegiate Equestrian Update
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 August 2017 21:21
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National Advisory Board of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association announces leadership changes & new member.

The National Collegiate Equestrian’s Association’s National Advisory Board announces the new leadership structure approved this summer. Tom O’Mara and John Hull will assume the position as co-chairs of the NAB for the next two years. Ongoing support from past co-chair Kelly Chapman will provide for an effective transition as she will remain as a member of the NAB. David May’s term on the NAB expires after serving as one of the primary architects of the NAB. Chapman and May were integral in the establishment of the NAB and provided the structure and network to support the growth of NCAA Equestrian toward championship status. “The NCEA truly appreciates the early efforts of David May and Kelly Chapman in building the NAB into a recognized entity. We are excited about the leadership transition and look forward to working closely with John Hull and Tom O’Mara,” said Dr. Leah Fiorentino, Executive Director of the NCEA.

In addition to the new leadership team, the NAB also welcomes a new member, Rebekah Farber of Los Angeles. Ms. Farber’s career began as a leader in the development of corporate training programs but she has spent the last 25 years as a leader of non-profit boards of trustees specializing in governance and advancement both in her local community as well as nationally. She has been active in the equestrian community as both an owner, parent, and competitor. Her daughter, Emma Farber, rides on the hunt seat team at the University of South Carolina. “I look forward to the opportunity to support and promote young women through collegiate athletics to become both professional and amateur equestrians with strong academic foundations,” said Ms. Farber of her upcoming position on the NAB.  She replaces Chuck Fry as the University of South Carolina liaison. Mr. Fry was a founding member of the NAB and provided a strong connection to the West Coast equestrian community.

“The NCEA and NAB are unwavering in our commitment to the nation’s leading collegiate equestrian athletes. By increasing investment in a ripple effect, we can improve the sport, give voice to the athletes and coaches, and cultivate women leaders for the future. I’ve enjoyed my time and investment with the NCEA and see a very bright future. Our new members have a recognizable passion for the sport and will continue the positive movement started two years ago,” said John Hull, NAB co-chair.

“The NAB continues to be the external strength of collegiate equestrian efforts. Our current financial stability can be connected directly to their guidance on several important items. The idea to bridge the corporate leaders with the collegiate sport leadership is an innovative approach to stabilizing non-revenue generating sports on the college campus,” said Dr. Leah Fiorentino.

The NCEA will continue to provide guidance to the oversight of the sport of collegiate riding, while the NAB will focus on raising awareness and building cohesive industry support on the relevance and value of women’s equestrian. The NAB is committed to elevate and advance equestrian to the most sustainable and strongest of all NCAA women’s sports. The NAB has recommitted to its strategic plan focused on the development of financial stability in the form of effective marketing of Equestrian to provide revenue streams for three distinct efforts, 1) the NCEA national championship event, 2) the development of grants for current and new collegiate equestrian teams, and 3) the expenses associated with operating the NCEA. “I look forward to working with John Hull as co-chair and all the other members of the NAB towards the continued successful growth of Equestrian as an NCAA sport,” said Tom O’Mara, NAB co-chair.

NCEA NAB members include:

•    John Hull (Co-chair), Owner and Vice President, Emergency Radio Service, Inc.
•    Tom O’Mara, Corporate Leadership, Finance
•    Kelly Boles Chapman, Equine Industry, AQHA/APHA
•    Pat Boyle, Owner, Show Place Productions
•    Elizabeth Cordia, Corporate Leadership
•    Daniel Dienst, Founder, D2QUARED
•    Rebekah Farber, Owner, Farber Farm, LLC
•    Jim Heird, AQHA Leadership
•    Todd Neiberger, CFO, Magpul Industries
•    Sue Padilla, Owner, MSPadilla Consulting, LLC
•    Sara Stumberg, Owner, Sara Walker Private Events
•    Karen Willis, Corporate Leadership, Equestrian
•    Larry Sanchez, VP Finance, NCEA
•    Leah Fiorentino, Executive Director, NCEA


The National Collegiate Equestrian Association, a non-profit corporation, was created as a governing body to advance the sport of Equestrian for women at the collegiate level. In 1998, Equestrian was identified and adopted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Committee of Women’s Athletics (CWA) as an emerging sport for women at the Division I and II levels. The NCEA, in concert with the mission and vision of the NCAA, is committed to providing collegiate opportunities for female equestrian student-athletes to compete at the highest level, while embracing equity, diversity and promoting academic and competitive excellence.