SARATOGA SPRINGS- The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF) Board of Directors announces the appointment of Kelly Armer as Executive Director following the forthcoming retirement of Pat Stickney. She will assume her new role on March 1 and be based in the TRF administrative offices in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Kelly Armer brings many years of experience in an executive role with multiple successful non-profit organizations, including 24 years at the Saratoga YMCA where she served as chief operating officer for 15 years. More recently, she held the position of Development and Foundation Director for Saratoga Bridges, the largest nonprofit organization in New York State serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
“The TRF is fortunate to have someone with Kelly’s breadth and depth of experience with such strong ties to our community, as well as a great passion for our horses and our mission,” stated outgoing executive director Pat Stickney.
After having retired twice, Stickney accepted the position of TRF’s Executive Director in 2019 and is now stepping down to return to her previous role as TRF’s Chief Financial Officer in a part-time capacity.
Armer was born in Newburgh, New York and spent her younger years in Gardiner. In 1980, her family moved to Saratoga Springs so that her father could follow his dream of training and driving standardbred horses. His dream soon became a family venture where Kelly, her mother, and siblings spent years caring for the stable of horses her father trained and raced. Armer currently lives with her family in Ballston Spa. She first became involved with the TRF when her son signed her up for the TRF’s 5K Run for the Horses several years ago.
Armer and her husband support the community by serving on local boards, volunteering their time with civic organizations, and participating in local galas and events. Until recently, Armer served for more than a decade with the local Soroptimist organization, a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.
Regarding her new role as Executive Director of TRF, Kelly Armer stated, “I am excited to step into this role as Executive Director for the TRF as it is a perfect fit with my past career with the Saratoga YMCA and Saratoga Bridges. I look forward to capitalizing on the momentum that Pat Stickney has built, and to continue to develop relationships, resources, and awareness of the organization and its mission and programs throughout all the states where TRF provides services.”
Patrick H. Mackay, TRF’s Board Chair, noted his excitement about the appointment: “Kelly is an ideal fit to lead the TRF, possessing strong leadership, marketing, and development experience to help us achieve our mission of saving retired racehorses from possible neglect, abuse and slaughter. Her powerful community involvement with disadvantaged populations models the compassion of our Second Chances Programs which provide vocational training to incarcerated individuals in caring for retired racehorses, allowing them to go on to careers as farriers, vet assistants, and caretakers after their release.”
Regarding outgoing TRF Executive Director Pat Stickney, Mackay noted, “TRF has thrived in every aspect under Pat’s strong leadership, guiding us through the pandemic, working with our staff and volunteers to expand our financial support and activities, and growing our Second Chances Programs to impact more people. She has continually had a significant positive impact that has put us in an extremely strong position for which we are unendingly appreciative.”
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