affiliatesLeft to right: AJ Mangum, Domingo Hernadez, Don Bellamy, J. Kent McCorkle, Mike Nicola
and (not pictured) Steve Bell.

[vision_divider style=”hr-solid”]

Art Begins with Craft

Speech by Mike Nicola at the 2011 Cowboy Crossings

The TCAA Affiliate Bios In Brief

[vision_divider style=”hr-solid”]
Don R. Bellamy

Founding TCAA Secretary/Treasurer.  Affiliate volunteer since the founding in 1998.  35 years in Agricultural Lending and Commercial Banking.   Lives on his ranch in North Fork, Idaho.   The concept and origin of the TCAA was first formally discussed and conceptualized at this location in 1998.  Interests include all things about the North American West and its history.

[vision_divider style=”hr-solid”]
Mike Nicola

Mike grew up on a small ranch outside Scottsbluff, Nebraska. His dad was a well know independent cattle buyer throughout Nebraska, Wyoming and the Dakotas. His grandfather had one of the big commission companies in the Omaha Stockyards. Even though Mike grew up working as a cowboy, his dad insisted that he and his brother go to college and stay out of the cattle business. Mike graduated from the University of Wyoming and has been in the financial services business most of his adult life.

Mike became interested in the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association through long time friend Kent McCorkle and was eventually asked to join the TCAA as an Associate Board member. Due to his upbringing Mike had an immediate appreciation for both the function and the artistic quality of the TCAA’s work. Over the years through the TCAA’s close association with the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Mike became more and more involved with the Museum and in 2007 was asked to serve on the NCWHM’s Board of Directors. Mike is also past President of the National Little Britches Rodeo Association.

Mike and his family reside outside of Parker, Colorado on a small place and he still likes to rope and help friends gather and brand cattle as time permits.

[vision_divider style=”hr-solid”]
Kent McCorkle

Kent was introduced to the CSU college room mate and T.C.A.A. Secretary Don Bellamy at the association’s first organizational meeting in Elko, NV. From the very start he recognized the fire, passion, and artisanship that each of these master craftsmen brought to their respective disciplines and wanted to be a part of it. That desire remains today and he fervently continues to embrace the mission and purpose of the association.

Growing up in a 4th generation Colorado family at the edge of the Wet Mountains, Kent was raised to love and appreciate all aspects of the western culture and lifestyle. This deep seated love of the West naturally lead to cowboying jobs on historic local ranches in addition to his responsibilities at home. Love of his country and an appreciation for the privilege of living in it lead to 4 years of active service in the USN. After regaining his sea legs Kent went on to study economics and business at Colorado State University.

In 1978 he embarked on a career in the investment business joining the top drawer Denver based investment banking firm of Boettcher & Company. Growth in the economy, the region and the firm propelled the young banker up through the ranks resulting ultimately in his selection as a partner, then SVP and head of the futures and options trading department. While a Wall Street career beckoned, Kent never lost sight of his roots nor his home in Colorado, choosing instead to balance his life style with the allure of the corporate world. He currently works for a large multi-national investment company responsible for some of the company’s strategic relations.

Kent is an avid outdoorsman and horseman. He is happiest enjoying a warm afternoon horseback with one or two close friends and a loyal dog, maybe combing the eastern edge of the Wet Mountains for the lost traces of the local Spanish desperado Juan Mace.

[vision_divider style=”hr-solid”]
Domingo E. Hernandez

Born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba and grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Always has been passionate about the horse since childhood. The great western actors and films of the 20th Century ignited his interest in the American West. He served in the U.S. Air Force and the Air National Guard, and received a B.S. from the University of Puerto Rico. In 1987 joined the United States Secret Service as a Special Agent, assigned to the Miami Field Office. A veteran responsible for protecting U.S. Presidents, Vice Presidents and their families, as well as numerous foreign heads of state.  Also, accountable for safeguarding Americans at major events and for securing America’s financial system.

Since 1992 has owned and ridden American Quarter Horses and participated in performance events. Furthermore, has participated in several historical rides across the State of Florida and earned the status of “Honorary Florida Cracker.” Through his extensive travel he has assisted several rawhide braiders from the United States in their quest for information regarding rawhide braiding in Argentina and the Gaucho’s cultural legacy.  As a TCAA affiliate member and “Ambassador of the TCAA” has frequently participated as interpreter/translator during rawhide seminars and workshops, as well as exhibits in furtherance of public education. Furthermore, he has assisted in the translation of articles published by Range Magazine, Ranch & Reata and Western Horseman.

[vision_divider style=”hr-solid”]
A.J. Mangum

A.J. is a writer and photographer, and has worked as a magazine journalist for more than 20 years, including 10 years spent as the editor of Western Horseman. He is the editor of Ranch & Reata, the founder of the publishing venture The Frontier Project Inc., and a contributor to such publications as Eclectic Horseman and Persimmon Hill. A native of Oregon, he has lived in Colorado for 15 years. Learn more at

[vision_divider style=”hr-solid”]
Steven A. Bell

Steve grew up living between cities and towns on the Central Coast of California, the San Joaquin Valley, and the Front Range of Colorado where he learned to love the vast American West. He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1992, where he pursued a degree in communication with an emphasis on media. In August of 2001, he and his wife Emily Kitching  began Eclectic Horseman Communications, a small business that specializes in publishing horsemanship educational material that draws from a variety of great resources, including articles some by members of the TCAA — Chuck Stormes and Cary Schwarz. He has more than 25 years of professional graphic experience; designing and developing everything from complex interactive media at the high-end on down to simple logos for the local mom and pop shops. His experience is rooted in advertising, animation, product marketing, videography, post editing, e-commerce and IT. His career portfolio includes graphic works for clients including NASA, Sony, Motorola, HP, and Nike to name a few of the familiar, adding to a long list of diverse small businesses and organizations he has done business with. Steve is also the designer and developer for the current TCAA site. He considers all the TCAA members friends, and feels privileged to throw in his two cents in support of their mission.