The Pendleton Round-Up Association has installed four new Directors to the Official Board of this 105 year old iconic Oregon event. The new directors join a sixteen member board with wide-ranging separate assignments encompassing responsibilities from publicity to hay and barns.
New director Tiah DeGrofft will be the 2016 Sponsors Director. She has a notable history of organizing and promoting sporting events, including working with Oregon Sports Authority, Peter Jacobsen Productions, as well as former owner, Vice President of Client Relations for Eident Sports Marketing in Providence, Rhode Island. She is currently employed as Community Relations Administrator for Wildhorse Foundation, Pendleton, Oregon. DeGrofft has extensive involvement in the Round-Up, including Grand Entry rides in 1999 as Round-Up Princess, and 2001 as Round-Up Queen. She has painted, cleaned stock pens, driven shuttles, and saddled-up countless horses for their “victory lap” by Round-Up Champions. In 2015 she served as President of the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. “Being born and raised in Pendleton, I have a vested interest,” DeGrofft stated. “The betterment of the Pendleton Round-Up is vital to our community’s success.”
Rob Burnside will serve as the 2016 Programs and Ushers Director. Burnside is employed as the Fire Chief for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, where he previously has served as Vice Chairman of the Tribal Board of Trustees. He has been an active lifetime community volunteer, currently serving on the boards of the Rollin Schimmel Memorial Wrestling Foundation, the Happy Canyon Foundation (Vice President), and the Washington Cutting Horse Association Board. His Round-Up participation began at the age of five months old, when he was carried into the arena to dance in regalia. Since that time he has moved cattle, water and fed livestock, untied calves and steers for slack, been a dignitary tour guide, installed arena signage, and served eight years as a Happy Canyon Director. “I believe in honoring the history and culture of the old west.” said Burnside, “and Round-Up honors both the Indian and Cowboy way of life. It brings thousands of people to our town and is both a portrayal of our regional history and source of revenue for our community.”
Dr. Bradley Adams joins the Round-Up Board as the 2016 Room 17/Medical Director. Dr. Adams’ joined the Eastern Oregon Orthopedic Surgery & Fracture Clinic in 2001. He is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedics, and Orthopedic Trauma Association. He has worked fifteen years on the Pendleton Round-Up’s medical team, assisting both competitors and patrons. He looks forward to strengthening the relationship between the rodeo and community health care providers. “I think Round-Up has evolved from a local get-together in the fall, to a major sporting event that is critical to many of our town’s businesses,” stated Adams. “It provides a sense of identity for Pendleton.”
Tim Bennett, of Walla Walla, Washington, will take over as the 2016 Security Director. Bennett is employed as the Public Communications Officer for the Walla Walla Police Department. His career has provided many community service opportunities, including DARE officer, serving as a board member of the Walla Walla Crime Watch, Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (Executive Board), and the local SWAT Team’s Crisis Negotiations Unit. “I still consider Pendleton my home,” reflected Bennett, “although I moved away to start my career.” His Round-Up connection is a long one, including working the Arena Fence Crew for 35 years, beginning at age fifteen alongside his father. For the last three years he has volunteered to assist with Round-Up’s Security. He has also covered night shifts as a Umatilla County Reserve Deputy for twenty-five years. “It will be an honor to serve the Round-Up Board,” said Bennett. “The tourism dollars brought in to my hometown are vitally important to the community that raised me.”
Pendleton Round-Up Directors may serve two four-year terms. This year retiring Pendleton Round-Up Directors include Troy LeGore (Room 17/Medical), Tygh Campbell (Competitive Events), John Trumbo (Security), and ten-year Round-Up Board veteran and 2015 Association President, Bill Quesenberry.
Pendleton Round-Up began in 1910 as “an exhibition of frontier past-times.” Since that time it has continued as America’s classic presentation of rodeo and authentic western lifestyle. Contestants compete on a unique grass infield and ride from historic colorful wooden bucking chutes. Always held during the second full week of September, the 106th Pendleton Round-Up will be held September 14 – 17, 2016, in Pendleton Oregon. More event information is available at pendletonroundup.com