OPINION: The need for a new lead

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A change at the top is coming.

Karl Stressman is leaving the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, retiring at the end of the year as commissioner of the sport’s premier sanctioning body.

Ted Harbin TwisTed Rodeo
Ted Harbin
TwisTed Rodeo

It will conclude his nine years with the PRCA after serving as director of event marketing for Wrangler Jeans and Shirts.

“I sat down in the commissioner’s chair for the first time in September 2008, and I made a promise to myself that I would give my very best efforts each and every day to improve the sport of rodeo,” Stressman said in a PRCA news release. “I made myself another promise that I would stay at the PRCA as long as I enjoyed the job. Well it’s time to say goodbye.”

There has been speculation of Stressman’s departure for a few months, and it seems there was a significant number of board members who had agreed to his ouster. Friday’s retirement announcement now opens the door for the next person to take over the leadership role.

As of Friday, Stressman has placed the PRCA in a solid financial situation, several million dollars in the black. The PRCA has increased its bankroll nearly 10 times of what it was when he began the job in 2008.

Karl Stressman
Karl Stressman

But there is still work to be done, and Stressman’s replacement needs to be the person to handle the heavy lifting that comes with the job. There are tasks that must be implemented to bring together a varied and large membership.

The PRCA board will have the final say, but a workmanlike approach to the tasks at hand will go a long way in defining the association’s next leader and the future of the top organization in the sport. There is a need for a businessman or businesswoman who can handle the finer details of running the day-to-day operation.

As we move forward in such a historically associated sport, we’ll need someone who is tech-savvy and can push the PRCA forward in that regard. The new leader must have a keen understanding of the sport and its legacy.

In a sport that is defined by the passion of its members – contestants, stock contractors, contract personnel and committees – rodeo needs its next leader to not only understand the love affair but is willing to be dedicated to preserving it.


Comments (2)
Dick Flechsig / May 29, 2017

We need someone that can think outside the box, he or she does not need a rodeo background but should be familiar with the sport, Look what Randy Bernard did for the PBR, he worked hard and had new ideas. Rodeo is a hard sell what with all the negative press fro PETA etc. The person needs to try and bring the membership together and work for the greater good. While I am opposed to a two card system that many want it may be time to look at some way to make something like that work. There are rodeos we have had for years that haven’t raised their prize money and a thousand dollar added rodeo is hard to make money at, fifteen hundred added should be the base and team ropers need equal money for headers and heelers, they have the same expenses as Calf ropers etc.
We need to court new sponsors we have had a significant new sponsor in years.

DP / August 31, 2017

One name that fits this job to a tee!! Soon enough his name will surface and I know with out a doubt he could take the reins and go to better places and maybe mend some huge fences that need mending as well look forward for his coming out party!!!


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