Showsight December 2017

Lines From Linda: Candid Candidates Part II


AKC web site will contemporize our brand and commu- nicate the fact that AKC is authoritative yet still approach- able. The creation of the Committees and the inclusion of delegate feedback in projects like the new web site should reassure core constituents that AKC values and listens to its stakeholders more than ever. 9. The conformation sport continues to decline. Do you have any thoughts on how to engage more peo- ple in breeding and showing purpose bred dogs? Breeding and showing dogs are not hobbies that one can decide to pick up quickly, like cooking or jogging. We have to create a path for people to develop an interest in breeding and showing dogs. It’s a slow build. Creating demand for purebred dogs is a long-term goal that we are addressing now through a new department at AKC and initiatives that will be announced before the new year. Mentorship is another key ingredient. We need to encour- age and reward our veterans of the fancy when they share their knowledge and foster growth in others. From a tactical perspective, increasing exhibitors requires getting people to show up. It is becoming more and more apparent that e-mail marketing is a powerful tool that gets results. It’s not enough to create more opportuni- ties for new dog owners to come try out AKC events. We have to tell them about these opportunities in a strategic fashion. We should leverage e-mail marketing tools to educate the public about our programs and events and measure the results. 10. How do you reconcile the fact that often the AKC Board of Directors must make decisions that may not please the Delegate body yet may be necessary to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to AKC? Certainly, each Director represents a member club. But in the Board Room, our first responsibility is to advance the interests of the American Kennel Club. We must assume that our clubs have faith in their delegates to strike a balance between the needs of clubs and those of the broader organization. Decisions that may seem unpopu- lar to some in the short term must be understood for their intention to further the Sport in the long run. ROBERT AMEN

ago, when I began planning for retirement. I acquired an Australian Shepherd bitch from a breeder in Texas and decided to take her to an obedience class; four years later she became my first Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH)—from both AKC and the Australian Shepherd Club of America. I then earned OTCH titles on two more Aussies—including a male that also was a conformation champion and a female that qualified for the National Obedience Championship for seven years in a row. I then moved on to a Golden Retriever bitch that went on to garner my fourth OTCH title; she also earned a new AKC title, “Obedience Grand Master”; achieved recogni- tion from the Golden Retriever Club of America when she was named to its Obedience Hall of Fame and quali- fied for the National Obedience Championship for three years in succession. In addition to these events, I competed in Lure Coursing with an Afghan Hound and earned a Senior Coursing title on her while showing in conformation. I have also com- peted with two of my Golden Retrievers in dock diving and one of them achieved a “Master Jumper” title. I currently compete with a five-year old Golden Retriever bitch in obedience. In the past year she has earned her UDX (Utility Dog Excellent) and OM1 (Obedience Master) title, as well as recognition from the Golden Retriever Club of America by being named to their Obedience Hall of Fame. She has qualified for the AKC Obedience Classic in Orlando, Florida for the past three years. I’m an AKC obedience judge and in 2014 was on the judg- es panel for the AKC National Obedience Championship. 2. Please share your participation and leadership experience in dog organizations and as a delegate. I was a Delegate for 12 years, 11 of them for Port Chester Obedience Training Club, White Plains, New York; now representing Greater St. Louis Training Club. Former (2005-2011, when I was elected to AKC board) and current member, Delegates Companion Events Commit- tee. I was on the Board of Directors (2011-2015): Board liaison with Companion Events Committee, (2012-2015); member AKC Board’s Pension Committee (2011/12.; Chairman, AKC Audit Committee, (2013-2015) and Port Chester Obedience Training Club (2015), Obedience Training Director at PCOTC. I was a member of the United States Australian Shep- herd Association; former Obedience Editor for USASA “Journal” and former member of Board of Directors I was also a member for the AKC Nominating Committee for Class of 2021. I was Contributing Editor, “Front and Finish” magazine (obedience and agility subscribers), the “Maxwell Award winner” in 2013, from Dog Writers of America for magazine article that appeared in AKC “Fam- ily Dog” magazine and a member of the AKC Task Force, selected by AKC staff, to review Group Exercises (Novice and Open Obedience Regulations) and make recommen- dations for any changes due to safety concerns, 2017.

1. Please share your back- ground in purebred dogs including breeding and events. We bought our first purebred dog—a Scottish Terrier—as a pet. I trained him in obedience, but my career left me no time to compete. We then owned a series of purebred Golden Retrievers. But my serious activity with purebred dogs began about twenty-five years

3. Share any leadership experience in other non-dog activities that will prepare you for Board service.


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