From: Karen Robinson

To: Board of Directors of Equine Canada (especially El Presidente  )

Regarding: Position of CEO of Equine Canada

Dear Sirs and Madams:

Please accept this letter and enclosed CV as my application for the position of CEO of Equine Canada. I know that I am two hours past the  deadline for receiving the applications by today at 5 pm Eastern, but I’m hoping you will cut me some slack because I am in the Pacific time zone where we are all, well, slackers.

I realize this application will come as a surprise to some of you, and indeed I surprise even myself by deciding to throw my hat into the ring.  For starters, I am not sure you even need a CEO at this point. I mean, EC has been operating like a well oiled machine for the past eleven months since Akaash packed it in way back in January (as I have written so glowingly in many, many blogs this year).  I won’t bother listing EC’s many impressive achievements of 2012, since presumably you Board members are well acquainted with the details of every one of them – just as you all kept informed (well in advance – or at least 48 hours) of the resignation of the man I seek to replace. That’s your first responsibility as Board members, after all.  But to illustrate an example of what EC has managed to churn out with no Chief in the Executive Office, I’d like to direct your attention toward the groundbreaking six year strategic plan that goes by the high falutin’ name of One Vision (you’ll find it on page 9).  Who needs a visionary leader when you can produce that kind of fortune cookie gold on your own?

Just in case you really do plan on filling the CEO position in spite of this apparent lack of need (surely if you needed a CEO that badly you wouldn’t have waited several months to hire an outside consultant to review the job description and then half a year longer to get the job posting out), I would like to now present the case for ME as CEO.

Based on the Education and Experience guidelines on the job posting, I am pretty sure I am at least as qualified for the job as your least qualified applicant. If you count being the sole proprietor of a small business, then you can say that I have twelve years of experience at the senior executive level, bossing myself around. You also specify that I should have experience dealing with a variety of stakeholders with diverse priorities, and that is something I have in spades. I’ve been interviewing all stakeholder groups in Canadian equestrian sport on a frequent basis for over a decade – including EC Board members and President – in order to do my small part to bridge the yawning abyss between federation and members in my articles and blogs. I am also quite familiar with the role played by the EC CEO, having spent many linguistically enlightening hours conversing with the CEO you are currently seeking to replace.  You list media as one of the important stakeholder groups with which I should have experience, and of course I know plenty  about dealing with the media. I am even familiar with the most personal and private aspects of the journalist lifestyle.  As for understanding the needs of members, I would say that after 35 years of EC membership (correction: that’s 14 years of membership in CHSA, followed by a decade with CEF, and finally the last 11 or so years’ slide to home plate with the presently named institution), I am intimately acquainted with the member needs that have not been met by EC thus far. And of course, it goes without saying that I easily fulfill the requirement of having experience in the industry.

As for my credentials, I fulfill the very rigorous criterion of being in possession of an undergraduate degree. Frankly, I’m a bit surprised that you require only a bachelor’s degree, but on the other hand I am delighted to be qualified.With a double major in English and Spanish, I can talk circles around anyone by simply changing languages. Based on the public image of your previous CEO, my skills as a communicator would seem to hold very high value for this position.

Of the five listed ‘Assets’ you are looking for, I have greater offerings in some than others, but they are so great that I believe they eclipse any shortcomings with the others. I am not only bilingual; I am trilingual (see above) and can order beer in at least five more languages. While the job posting doesn’t specify that the languages desired are English and French, I suspect you won’t be wanting to test my ability to say ‘good evening’ in Czech (dobry Večer). My greatest ‘asset’ would be that I amply fulfill your desire to hire someone with ‘excellent communication skills with high level of writing and presentation’. I would like to prove my abilities in that regard by pointing out that the second half of the phrase I just quoted from the job description makes no sense.

I realize that I will never be as impressive a candidate as your previous CEO was, with his awesome experience ‘solving armed conflict’ that, in the words of previous EC President Al Patterson, made him a perfect fit for the job.  But it would be an understatement to say that I have a good working knowledge of EC’s relationship to the Canadian equestrian community. In fact, I would dare to go so far as to claim that I am one of the few Canadians who has a deep understanding of what EC could improve in its responsibilities as Canada’s national federation for equestrian sport. I know exactly what I would do on my first day of work, to put it another way.

So, dear esteemed Board Members (and especially you-know-who), I hope you will assess my application with the same seriousness that it has been tendered. I can be reached at the following email address to arrange my job interview: