Meet Your AQHYA Officers and Directors!


AQHYA Executive Committee


Ty Cornelius is a college freshman from Mt. Pleasant, Arkansas, serving as the current AQHYA president. Ty has previously been the AQHYA second vice president and is the current president of the Arkansas Quarter Horse Association. Ty is a third-generation American Quarter Horse enthusiast and hopes to work to increase membership and share the experiences AQHYA can offer with new members. Ty also hopes to provide more incentive to show AQHYA and get more people involved in that aspect of the organization. Ty is ready to work hard to promote and protect the American Quarter Horse and the members of AQHYA



Kylie Good of East Berlin, Pennsylvania, is a high school senior and is serving as the AQHYA first vice president. Kylie believes in revitalizing current members, as well as engaging prospective members for AQHYA. Kylie wants to highlight the big picture of AQHYA and engage members by involving them and sharing her passion for AQHYA. Kylie looks to unite directors and build a strong leadership and encourage them all to lead with passion among their groups.



Caleb Sturgeon, a high school junior from Beloit, Ohio, is serving as the AQHYA second vice president. Caleb would like to set up monthly regional conference calls to allow more open communication among the regions. He believes this would improve shows, fundraising and membership promotion across the board. Caleb has served as the vice president of OQHYA and believes he can help improve communication in the youth Quarter Horse world and bring in new membership.



Alan Hinds, a high school junior from Lawrence, Kansas, is serving as an AQHYA executive member. Alan has served the past year as a director from Region 8 and would like to continue his work in growing AQHYA membership. Alan hopes to advocate different ways that AQHYA members can be involved in the Association through other programs and reach out to youth associations, such as 4-H, FFA, Pony Club, National Reining Horse Association and National Reined Cow Horse Association. Alan would like to reconnect with AQHYA members that have become inactive and encourage them to participate and take advantage of all of the resources and tools that AQHYA provides its members.




Olivia Tordoff, a high school sophomore from Powell, Ohio, is serving as an AQHYA executive member. Olivia hopes to continue to grow the Association through the use of technology. She feels a need to reach out to AQHYA members worldwide and expand the potential of individuals to create a strong future for the Association. Olivia is active in her community and serves her Association through AQHYA committees, as well as being the president of OQHYA.



AQHYA Directors 


Anwyn Deeks, a high school senior from Snohomish, Washington, is a Region 1 director. Anwyn hopes to build on her previous year as a director and gain more members for the Association. As a Snohomish County 4-H member, Anwyn has the opportunity to be a speaker, educator and advocate for AQHYA. Anwyn also looks to build educational programs about American Quarter Horses tailored to non-equine-based audiences so she can share information and build membership.




Isabella Laguna, an eighth grader from Snoqualmie, Washington, is a Region 1 director. Isabella hopes to add ranch riding and Versatility Ranch Horse events to every show circuit in her region. As a member of her state affiliate, Isabella plans to work with other affiliates in the region to grow the AQHYA community and bring more youth to ranch riding and VRH competitions.




Elsie Naruszewicz, a high school sophomore from Monroe, Washington, is a Region 1 director. Elsie plans to work to increase AQHYA membership through targeting youth ages 5 to 12 that are already involved with other organizations, such as Girl Scouts or the YMCA. Elsie would also work with other states in her region to create a uniform effort in reaching out to these youth to increase membership and participation.



Delaney Dickens, a high school sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, is a Region 2 director. Delaney hopes to bridge the gap between disciplines within AQHYA, as well as provide resources and promote high scholarships as AQHYA members travel to shows and miss school for American Quarter Horse related activities.





Shelby Cochran, a high school sophomore from Oxford, Iowa, is a Region 3 director. Shelby’s goals as a director is to gain more involvement in AQHYA and promote her love of the American Quarter Horse. Shelby also hopes to reach youth in her region who own other breeds of horses and provide opportunities for involvement for those who do not own a horse at all. Shelby intends to carry out her goals by speaking to local 4-H and FFA clubs, as well as hosting her own judging clinic.




Justin Eddy, an eighth grader from Rocheport, Missouri, is a Region 3 director. One of Justin’s goals as a director is to increase membership and provide other youth with the same memorable experiences he has had with his American Quarter Horse and within AQHYA. As the president of the Missouri Quarter Horse Youth Association and a member of 4-H, Justin has the opportunity to get more youth involved in events such as the Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar and the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.




Gabrielle Marty, a high school junior from Solon, Iowa, is Region 3 director. Gabrielle hopes to improve the AQHYA show schedule to prevent youth members from missing such long periods of school and academic work in order to show their American Quarter Horse. Gabrielle realizes that young riders are key to the Association’s future and wants to work to make AQHYA and the show schedule accessible to more members.




Lily Atkinson, a freshman in college from Spring Lake, Michigan, is a Region 4 director. Lily is excited to use the opportunity to reach out and bring youth together to attract new members to AQHYA. Lily plans to stick to the 2017 YES theme and “reach out” to riders of every discipline, as well as promote excitement around AQHYA events and resources by working hand in hand with other AQHYA leaders.




Ellexxah Maxwell, a high school sophomore from West Mansfield, Ohio, is serving her second year as a Region 4 director. Ellexxah plans to promote new membership by sharing what the organization is truly about, love for the American Quarter Horse. She also plans to get younger age groups actively involved with all things AQHYA and taking advantage of the resources available to them. Ellexxah believes that older AQHYA members lead by example and are a great recruiting tool that can help to shape the future of the organization.





Margaret Sever of Hebron, Indiana, is a high school freshman and Region 4 director. Margaret would like to start a small-fry and new-member mentoring program. Margaret believes that if she can help bridge the gap in the new member process and provide young members with a role model, it will result in a membership increase. Margaret also hopes to use social media to engage members and keep them actively involved with what is going on in AQHYA.



Trinity Packard, of Slatington, Pennsylvania, is a Region 5 director. Trinity participates in AQHA-approved shows and holds a board position for the New Jersey Quarter Horse Association. Her main platform for this year is to " Make the Best Better" for the Association. She wants to make AQHYA better than it ever was before. One of her goals is to reach out to fellow associations and get AQHYA membership back up to where it should be. She also plans to get more youth from other clubs and associations to join AQHA.






Austin Rallsa senior from Catlett, Virginia, is a Region 5 director. Austin wants to continue his work and build on what he has done the past two years as a director in Region 5. He intends to unite members and increase membership involvement by bringing together competitors of different disciplines and showcasing the leadership opportunities AQHYA has to offer. Austin plans to partner with state and local clubs, such as 4-H and FFA. Austin hopes to focus on communication and views it as the key to boosting membership involvement and potentially attracting new members.




Morgan Farrell, of Mesa, Arizona, is a Region 7 director. She is a junior at AAEC Red Mountain High School. Morgan grew up on the back of a horse, and her passion for the American Quarter Horse only grew stronger with time. She is vice president of her state affiliate. Morgan plans on reaching out to the youth involved in 4-H, FFA, Jr. Rodeo and anyone interested in horses. She wants to inform both members and non-members about AQHA programs and scholarships. Morgan believes that AQHYA will only grow stronger when the horse industry comes together as one. 




Mackenzie Wachtel of Deeth, Nevada, is a Region 7 director. Mackenzie has served as the president and treasurer of Nevada Quarter Horse Youth Association and has been involved in fundraising and event planning efforts. Mackenzie feels that her experience with NQHYA and her passion for AQHYA will help her serve the organization. 






Charles Lee, a junior from McAllen, Texas, is a Region 8 director. Charles hopes to increase AQHYA membership by increasing communication and finding new ways to reach youth and educate them about becoming a member of AQHYA. Charles suggests reaching out to potential members by writing letters and endorsing various AQHYA events and tools available to them. Charles believes that with better communication, AQHYA will have no problem seeing an increase in membership.




Sierra Walter, a junior from Hydro, Oklahoma, is a Region 8 director. Sierra would like to work to bring new members to the Association by organizing events within her region that not only appeal to AQHYA members, but also to members of other clubs and groups in the area. Sierra also believes that if a regional meeting was held at region championship shows, it would encourage involvement in the youth program. Sierra hopes to work hard to bring new members to AQHYA and show people that there are endless opportunities within the organization.





Madison Alford, a senior from Philadelphia, Mississippi, is a Region 9 director. Madison plans to showcase the unique opportunities that AQHYA offers and work hard to increase membership within her region.




Bailey Carwile of Kilmichael, Mississippi, is a high school junior and Region 9 director. Bailey plans to work to reach out to youth who show American Quarter Horses in discipline specific shows, but perhaps don’t know that they can show AQHYA, as well. He also plans to bring in new members by promoting the benefits of AQHYA in and out of the saddle to potential members and their parents. Bailey believes that getting involved with AQHYA early in life allows you to grow within the organization.




Taylor Leone, of Raleigh, North Carolina, is a Region 10 director. She is currently a sophomore at Wake Christian Academy. Taylor competes at AQHA-approved shows with her American Quarter Horse Sleepin In On Sunday. Her main goal for this year is to increase membership numbers in AQHA and AQHYA. Taylor has been a member of her local 4-H team and horsebowl team and is working on starting an FFA club at her school. 






Nicole Williams, of St. Augustine, Florida, is a Region 10 director. She competes in AQHA-approved shows with her two American Quarter Horses, Good As Lazy Gets and Red Hot Anticipation. Her main goal this year is to reach out to her region and community to let others know about all the benefits and programs the Association has to offer for its youth. Nicole has been a member of AQHA and AQHYA for 3 years and is the Florida Quarter Horse Youth Association treasurer.



Become an AQHYA Officer or Director

Each year elections are held for the AQHYA officers and directors at the Bank of America Youth Excellence Seminar. If you would like to throw your hat into the race for a national officer or regional director position, download the Guide to Campaigning below.

Guide to Campaigning for AQHYA Officer or Director

Download the Guide to Campaigning for campaign tips and application materials.