NRHA team members might be working remotely, but we’re still here to serve you. Take a glimpse into how a few of us have adapted to the new remote working lifestyle.
By Kaycie Timm, Reiner Associate Editor
On March 16, just as the effects of COVID-19 reached Oklahoma, NRHA office staff began conducting business remotely. During the last few weeks, we’ve maintained normal business hours and continue to provide the customer service, while taking extra safety precautions in line with local and nationwide mandates.
Although, like many of you, we’re anxious to return to our regularly scheduled show season, we’ve begun to develop a new normal in our remote-working lifestyle. Here’s a peek behind the curtain at how a few NRHA team members have handled the changes—with the help of our four-legged friends.
Christa Morris-Stone, Assistant Commissioner
“In my role, I’m not always involved in the core processes of membership-related paperwork. Now, I’m helping with daily processing of all the paperwork that comes in, as part of our team’s goal to prevent any interruption in service for our members during this time. My kitchen table has become my station for proofing, labeling, and packing competition licenses.
“Making time to open mail and scan forms and handle other day-to-day processing like that allows the rest of our team to focus on answering calls and responding to emails. We really appreciate the patience of our members who know we aren’t in the office right now, but we’re doing everything we can to address needs as they arise.”
Fun Fact: “What’s helping keep me sane during this time is that both my husband, Brian, and I have 3-year-old horses to ride. They were both started in reining programs, and they’re great projects for us to enjoy.”
Least Favorite Remote Coworker: “That would have to be Frosty the donkey. He tends to bray when he gets hungry during the day.”
Favorite Remote Coworker: “Probably Penny, my 6-year-old Blue Heeler. She lays under my desk at home, except when she’s begging to be outside. When she was about 8 weeks old, we took her to the Futurity. That’s where she got socialized—she lived underneath my table in the press room and got introduced to horse-show life right from the beginning.”
Bucky Harris, Senior Director of Advertising Sales & Design
“The Reiner team is still plugging away, producing a good product for our membership. I’ve been working with a lot of our corporate partners, ranches, and breeders to keep their advertising on track. We all know this will end eventually, so we’re trying to continue on as best as possible.”
Fun Fact: “I’m a competitive shooter, and I collect guns.”
Favorite Remote Coworker: “My favorite would have to be one of the wolves, Spirit. He’s 7-year-old.”
Least Favorite Remote Coworker: “One of our horses, Dolly, can be a bit of a turd. She’s a 3-year-old, palomino Quarter Horse.”
Samantha Oldfield, Director of Competition & Education
“Reining in Europe was affected by COVID before we were hit in the States, which means all of their events—horse-related or otherwise—have come to a standstill, and all three of our European major events have been postponed. Our European members have been very communicative about the importance of staying inside and following guidelines to save lives.
“At the same time, companies all over have stepped up to make hand sanitizer, masks, and other supplies—it’s incredible to see our world step up to help each other and get through this together.”
Fun Fact: “I’m an avid Crossfitter. Lately, I’ve been doing Crossfit at home or going to an open field away from everyone else when I can.”
Favorite Remote Coworker: “I’d have to say my coffee pot. It’s been working pretty hard since I’ve been home!”
Least Favorite Remote Coworker: “That would probably be the loud neighbors in my apartment complex.”
Sierra Canfield, Member & Show Services Representative
“I appreciate the fact that we get to work remotely and keep doing our jobs during this time. We’re still able to answer phone calls and emails when people have questions, and we have everything we need to keep up with what we usually do in the office right at our fingertips.”
Fun Fact: “Most people don’t know that I’m originally from California. I moved to Oklahoma when I was 20 to go to veterinary school, but I chose not to pursue that after working at a veterinary hospital. Now, I’m really glad to be at NRHA.”
Favorite Remote Coworker: “We recently got six baby chicks, so they’d have to be my favorite. My 8-year-old step-daughter named three of them: Vanilla Bunny, Elvis, and Fluffy.”
Least Favorite Remote Coworker: “That would be Bear, my husband’s dog. She’s a 7-year-old mixed breed. She sleeps all the time, and her favorite sleeping spot is on top of my stack of paperwork.”
Sandy Cochran, Art Director
“I work remotely in Fort Collins, Colorado, all the time, so I’m used to the remote-work lifestyle. Now, my husband has been sent home, too. He set up his office in the bedroom where the dogs and I don’t cause quite as much of a ruckus. He’s been trying to get used to us—I’ve been working from home for 27 years, and the dogs are used to it, but he’s not.”
Fun Fact: “I’m quite crafty and sitting in my office right now is a doll house that I’m building. My inner child has always wanted to get it done, and I’ve been carrying a box of doll house parts around through several moves. Now I’m finally taking time to finish it!”
Favorite Remote Coworker: “My favorite is Lexi, my 8-year-old Quarter Horse reiner, who stands out in the paddock and nickers at me when I come outside.”
Least Favorite Remote Coworker: “That’d be Stanley. We tease that he’s a Jack Russel Terrorist. He thinks that every time a door is shut, it needs to be opened.”