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“From the Desk of Marty Schaffel”: Building Bridges

When I was building my company in Tampa, Fla., I got a call from The Tampa Tribune. The paper wanted to write an article about my up-and-coming business as a community interest story. I was more than happy to oblige! 

During the interview, the reporter asked me: “What keeps you awake at night? What do you worry about most?”

I answered faster than he expected.  “Complacency!” I blurted out. “I worry that we get lazy and comfortable with the status quo and we lose our sense of urgency. And that we might forget about our mission and our customers.”

As I assume the role as your interim president of ASHA, I bring that same fear with me. We MUST not lose our sense of urgency. We have to get things done. We need to be proactive every day.

I am eager to hear what members feel they need, and what members identify as problems to solve. That is our job! 

I am clear that we have many issues to address. I believe we all will be successful if our trainers and breeders are successful. We need quality facilities in areas across the country, where people can learn to ride Saddlebreds – and then have shows close by where they can have fun. The more Saddlebred barns there are, the better our odds of growing demand for our breed. I am focused on our horse shows and horse show management. We need to provide support to our show managers, who are working hard to attract and retain exhibitors. And, I believe can expand our market by promoting a variety of disciplines and uses for our breed, even as we continue to strive for our outstanding breed standard.

I come into this role with 40 years of business experience but only a few years of experience in the Saddlebred world -- so I need your help. I have to know what our members think. I need to know what you feel. And most of all, it is imperative that I learn about what keeps you awake at night!

So please help me be as effective as possible. My email address is If we can help each and every member of our association be successful, we will all be successful!

Marty Schaffel, ASHA Interim President

 “From the Desk of Marty Schaffel” will be a regular correspondence to our membership, bringing the thoughts, purpose and perspective of ASHA interim president. Schaffel comes to this position from more than 40 years’ experience as a self-made entrepreneur in the audio-visual industry. He has served on the Board of Directors for Berkley Prep, Performing Arts Center of Tampa, Northstar Bank, Prepared Insurance, AVISPL, University of Florida Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and VOALTE, among others. He graduated from the University of Florida with bachelor’s degrees in political science and business. Schaffel continues his dedication to a better future and the “pay it forward” mentality by serving as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Florida Warrington Business School, on courses in entrepreneurship, leadership and business ethics. Schaffel looks forward to sharing with our members the passion and perspective he is bringing to the ASHA with this weekly communication.

To learn more about Marty’s work visit his website here.

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