The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) announced Nov. 8 that it has hired James Hastie as its executive director, effective Nov. 18, 2013.

Mike Ziegler, who has served as the TAA’s executive director since March 2012, will remain with the organization through a transition period before returning full-time to his role as executive director of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Safety and Integrity Alliance.

Hastie joins the TAA from Cazenovia, N.Y., and brings to the role 15 years of executive management, fundraising, and communications experience. Most recently he served as major gifts officer for the American Red Cross in Syracuse, N.Y., where his responsibilities included identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, and communications with major donors.

Hastie will be based in the TAA’s Lexington, Ky., office.

Hastie also brings a long history of involvement with equestrian sports. He served as director of communications for the U.S. Equestrian Team from 1997-2000, and as executive director of the Morrisville College Foundation he spearheaded fundraising efforts to build the Morrisville State College Equine Rehabilitation Center. He was also involved in organizing the 2012 American Express Ride for The Red Cross, a trail ride in Wellington, Fla., featuring Olympic riders and benefitting the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund.

"We’re pleased to welcome James to the TAA," said TAA board president Jack Wolf. "His leadership and fundraising experience, combined with his passion and appreciation for horses, make him uniquely qualified to lead the organizati