U.S. Equestrian Federation Hires Olympic Marketer Chris Welton As New CEO
Olympic marketer CHRIS WELTON has been hired as the CEO of the U.S. Equestrian Federation. He will take the helm at the organization June 1. Welton replaces JOHN LONG, who announced his plans to retire last year after 10 years overseeing the federation. Welton said, "It turned out to be good timing and I'm really excited about it. While it's a (national governing body) and we have to do the functions that go along with that, I'm especially excited about growing the grassroots side and the national side and the media opportunities. From what I can see there's really an opportunity to grow the sport and increase access to it." Welton, a safety on the Univ. of Georgia’s '80 national championship football team, began talking with the equestrian federation in late January. The organization was looking for an experienced sports exec with knowledge of the Olympics. Welton worked on the organizing committee for the '96 Atlanta Games and later founded Meridian Management, which sold Olympic sponsorships for the IOC from '96-'04. He went on to become the CEO of Helios Partners, which was founded by TERRENCE BURNS. Welton will relocate from Atlanta to Lexington for the job. He plans to keep his farm in Georgia. JOE BAILEY of RSR Partners out of Greenwich, Conn., led the search effort to fill the equestrian vacancy.