Her responsibilities as the secretary for the Wisconsin Horse Council don’t keep Jill Feller from making time to trail ride on her 13-year-old Arabian mare, Harmony. For her dedication to the state horse council, Feller has been named the organization’s Director of the Year.

Recognizing the various skills and responsibilities good secretaries bring to their organizations, Pat Miller of Stoughton nominated Jill Feller of Mayville for the Wisconsin Horse Council’s Director of the Year Award.

“Being a good secretary for volunteer groups comes with the need for special patience,” said Miller. “Jill has shown commitment to the WSHC and the equine industry through her hard work as a volunteer. I believe Jill is a great candidate for the Director of the Year Award for the Wisconsin Horse Council.”

As a WHC director, Feller served as the council’s secretary for the past 10 years, recording both the monthly council and Executive Board of Directors’ meetings. She’s also chaired the Scholarship Committee and the Ride Wisconsin Trails program.

“It is appreciated to be recognized for my service, but I don’t feel I am doing anything out of the ordinary.” said Feller. “I do appreciate the recognition.”

In nominating Feller, Miller detailed some of the frustrations secretaries encounter while executing their duties.

“You must be focused when the group occasionally gets off track,” said Miller. “Being secretary means you are willing to subject yourself to being corrected for every comma or spelling mistake, every wording that isn’t exactly the same as the various memories of those people who attended the meeting. Usually, there aren’t many names on a ballot for this job because most people want it done correctly — by someone else.”

In addition, Feller was elected to the Midwest Horse Fair Board and immediately volunteered to become the secretary for the annual event.

Miller noted that during the past year the council and the Midwest Horse Fair Board had to deal with a lot of unknowns, which required special expertise above and beyond recording meeting minutes.

“Jill has been a great resource for the Midwest Horse Fair Board with the human resource knowledge,” said Miller. “She has helped the board deal with maternity-leave questions, furlough questions and unemployment questions. She has given the Midwest Horse Fair Board a very small but valuable short course on some of these issues — all the while taking minutes.”

On top of her contributions to WHC, Feller has been active in the equine industry as an endurance rider. Although now retired from 24 and a half years of competition, since 2017, Feller and her horse Harmony are now enjoying more leisurely trail rides.

The Director of the Year Award is based on the participation and contributions of a WHC Director to the Board of Directors as a whole in any area of youth activities, education, research, industry promotion, related legislation and regulation, trails, other equine events or activities.

Award recipients are nominated by the public and voted on by the WHC Board of Directors. Nominees must be a resident of Wisconsin, be a current, active director in good standing on the Wisconsin Horse Council Board of Directors. In addition to the Director of the Year Award, WHC accepts nominations for Horseperson of the Year, Show Judge of the Year, Special Achievement Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award and Equine of the Year.

When held, the awards are presented at the Midwest Horse Fair. The MHF wasn’t held last year because of the pandemic and this year because the Alliant Energy Center wasn’t available.

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