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22 August 2019

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2011 Member of the Year

The WDCTA State Board faced a dilemma. How do you decide between two outstanding members who give hours of their time, energy and ideas for WDCTA?

Simple. You don’t.

That’s why, for 2011, the WDCTA state board voted unanimously that both Mary Hanneman and Stephanie Severn deserved to be recognized for their tireless contributions to WDCTA. Read on to understand what they’ve done—and continue to do—for WDCTA, and congratulate them when you see them.


Mary Hanneman

Mary Hannman

An accomplished rider, Mary has a great love of horses and deep passion for our sport. Her leadership in furthering the sport of dressage has far-reaching, positive consequences.

As part of her regular, ongoing volunteer commitment, Mary organizes the SW chapter’s annual five or six clinics with FEI judge Janet Foy. These programs, with their myriad of details, go smoothly, thanks to Mary’s organizational skills and the fairness and tact with which she handles issues. As a past officer for both SW and WDCTA, Mary is right there for advice and help.

The “Dressage Through the Levels” symposium added a level of complexity to the SW chapter undertakings. More than 400 people participated from as far away as New York, Florida and New Mexico. There were 28 horse-rider combinations, a two-day silent auction, multiple sponsors/vendors, and filming by The pressure was enormous, the expectations huge.

Mary chaired the 11-person symposium committee. She estimated she worked on the symposium nearly every day for a year. During committee meetings, in her quiet way she let us express ourselves (often passionately!), gently brought us to consensus (not always easy!) and kept us on task. As Dena Duncan notes, “Mary is a great leader, allowing people to take the reins of individual projects within a large project and somehow managing to make all the ‘horses’ go in the same direction. She does so with patience, humor and a willingness to step in when needed to re-focus.”

Dena describes how patiently and gracefully Mary deals with people and situations: “At one point during the symposium, there were four or five people standing in line around Mary, waiting to ask her their ‘most important, must-ask-Mary’ question. While I watched, she managed to smile and talk with each person, taking the time to think the answer through, and then go on to the next. Her calm, thoughtful replies allowed every last-minute emergency—big or small—to be averted.”

For not only all that she does, but also the style with which she does it, Mary deserves to be Member-of-the-Year.


Stephanie Severn

Stephanie Severn
photo © Shorthorse Studios. Used with permission

Stephanie has done an outstanding job as our website coordinator. Not only did she step in and manage our "old" website and keep it running and up-to-date, but at the same time, she worked diligently to get our new website designed and implemented.

Thanks to Stephanie’s work with Heather McManamy and Anna Goebel, our new website is absolutely fabulous. Its design is beautiful and user-friendly. Recently she worked with Heather to add the PayPal feature! She is making sure we are offering members what we can in technology and customer service.

Stephanie keeps our website up-to-date with the latest news and events. Whenever we need her to make an update, she makes the change, usually within a day or two...if not immediately.

Stephanie is one of those members who has a can-do attitude and is always pushing to provide the best member service we can possibly offer as a non-profit, volunteer-run organization.

The research, planning and revamping of any good website and its continual updates require numerous hours. It isn't a job that only takes an hour or two a week, but she does it. This would be impressive on its own, but it is especially notable because Stephanie has a full-time, non-equine job AND runs a breeding business, Hopeful Farm Sport Horses.

I hope she never quits because we would be in trouble!!!