Elected in April, Jimmie Gibbs Munroe is the new president of the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA), but the role is anything but new to her. She is in familiar territory after being elected back to the position that she held from 1978 to 1993. Her choice to run for president of the WPRA was one that was decided upon shortly before the election. About a month prior to the vote, Munroe was approached by several women who encouraged her to run. Munroe chose to accept their nomination after finding out the incumbent, Kathi Myers, was not running for reelection.
Jimmie Munroe's long history as a member of the WPRA made her a clear choice for many of the voters. Since the 1970s, she has been competing as a professional barrel racer, and her great success is no secret. Munroe qualified 11 times for the National finals Rodeo, and won the title of WPRA World Champion three times, with her first coming in 1975. Due to her extensive involvement, she decided that this opportunity would allow her to give back to the rodeo community and truly make a difference.
During her last tenure as president, Jimmie Munroe was a part of many great changes for the organization. One of the most important was working to achieve equal prize money payouts for women as compared to men in the sport. Now, she plans to help the WPRA continue in its success. One of her major goals is to grow membership through increased opportunities for members. This includes utilizing the organizations futurity/derby program and junior program along with helping to grow the number of sponsors and increase the sponsorship program for existing sponsors. Equally as important to Munroe is building the relationship between the WPRA and its members. She is determined to improve communication with members by sharing news, meeting agendas, and updates through their website and social media.
Jimmie Munroe is also working to repair the relationship between the WPRA and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), which suffered a setback in 2007 when the WPRA filed a lawsuit against the PRCA over their attempt to form their own barrel racing association. The relationship between the two organizations is a long and rich one, as the first agreement was signed in January of 1955 between Jackie Worthington, president of the then Girls Rodeo Association, and Bill Linderman, president of the PRCA. Both organizations now work every day to support and grow the sport of the rodeo, and Munroe believes that is important that the two work together.
According to Munroe, "anytime that there is a lawsuit between two organizations that have worked together as long as the WPRA and PRCA have, it is going to take time and effort to rebuild that relationship and the trust between the two, but I think both the WPRA and PRCA are both committed to doing this."
For more information on the Women's Professional Rodeo Association, visit their website or Facebook page.