Showsight December 2017

Lines From Linda: Candid Candidates Part II


the Dog from St. Louis to New York City, on the ground floor of the building that will house the new offices of the AKC. The museum has spectacular a collection of fine art and artifacts that will attract public attention and many visitors. The Board and AKC staff has already begun to develop a public and community relations pro- gram for this outstanding opportunity. 9. Conformation sport continues to decline. Any thoughts on how to engage more people in breeding and showing purpose bred dogs? I believe recent numbers show the dramatic decline of entries may be stabilizing; it is too soon to conclude that this is a trend. As I point out above, the AKC has estab- lished many programs to support and broaden a breed- ers’ ability to reach its market. I hope we will continue to develop and improve other major efforts like AKC Marketplace, which has information on everything that might be important for a family and their dog. On the sports side of the business, AKC continues to create new conformation classes to broaden the competitive life of purebred dogs in conformation. Meanwhile, the AKC’s new marketing staff has been given broad authority and budget to push ahead with efforts to encourage breeders and potential participants in conformation. In its recent presentation at the September delegates’ meeting, the marketing group delivered a major presentation on its efforts, which are still under way. New sports like Coursing Ability Test (CAT) and AKC Scent Work are the kinds of events that might attract new dog owners to the idea of purpose-bred dogs. Both sports are relatively easy to train for; in addition to hounds, many breeds love to chase a target on a short course in CATS and dogs are naturally interested in nose work (plus, in the latter sport, you can train beginner dogs in a small space!). Hopefully, exposure to these new AKC events may lead to exhibitors becoming inter- ested in conformation as their participation interaction with the AKC broadens. This is where “marketing” is important—connecting all audiences that are in and around the AKC sports and events world and spreading the word about the wonderful world of “The Dog’s Champion.” 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? This is a fundamental issue that I experienced during my four years on the AKC Board (2011-2015). I was fortunate to have worked with large corporations for over 40 years as a senior executive and as a consultant. This issue came up with “public” companies, and I often have had to advise directors on their fiduciary role and responsibilities. The AKC is, however, unique; it is a not-for-profit organi- zation that is a club of clubs; yet it operates under federal, New York State and local laws and regulations; once the

individual club member becomes a member of the Board, the responsibilities of the latter prevails. Every year, after the new Board is elected, the AKC’s external law firm gives a presentation outlining directors’ general responsibilities: to participate actively in pursuit of the company’s mission statement and long- term best interests, “obey” the duty of loyalty, i.e., a director must put the interests of the organization before their personal and professional interests, accept the legal responsibility to oversee that the organization complies with applicable federal, state and local laws. As stated in Article X of the AKC Charter and Bylaws, the Board “shall have supervision of the funds, assets and property of the AKC...” The challenge is to think and act beyond the scope of the delegate’s role. Decisions may require focusing on what is best for the long-term interests of the AKC. Investing the company’s assets, for example, in new areas of business (such as AKC LINK Smart Collars) may require this type of thought process. It “may not please the delegate body,” as the above question asks, but it may be the right decision for the organization. That is why it is so Important for the delegates voting for the Class of 2022 to think carefully about the candidates—can they fulfill this role as a director for the next four years and step beyond their club’s interests to make the right decisions in the best long-term interests of the American Kennel Club? CARL C. ASHBY

1. Please share your back- ground in purebred dogs including breeding and events. Jaimie and I have bred and owner handled Kerry Blue Terriers since graduating from college. Our start was in Obedi- ence completing several titles on a difficult obedience breed. Jaimie taught obedience for sev- eral years for the Winston-Salem Dog Training Club. Thanks to

good early mentoring we have enjoyed success in the conformation ring. We have bred and shown three Best in Show Kerry Blues, many group and specialty winners and all our dogs have finished with multiple Specialty majors. We continue to exhibit and breed today and have bred two litters in the past five years. 2. Please share your participation and leadership experience in dog organizations as well as your involvement as a Delegate (length of service, com- mittee membership, etc.) I have been active in All Breed, Group (including being a founder of the Carolina Terrier Association) and my Parent Club currently holding the position of treasurer for these Clubs. I have successfully chaired over 60 conformation


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