Showsight December 2017

Lines From Linda: Candid Candidates Part II


events and currently serve as Cluster Chair for the Caro- lina Cluster, co-chair of Kerryfest, and Show Chair for the Carolina Kennel Club. I have served as Delegate for the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club for 28 years. My past Delegate Committee memberships include the All-Breed Committee, the Delegate Advocacy and Advancement Committee and the Perspectives Committee. I am immediate past Vice Chair of the American Kennel Club having completed eight years of service as a mem- ber of the AKC Board of Directors in March of 2017. As Chair of the AKC Political Action Committee a new fund- raising record in 2016 to support legislative activities. I currently serve as Vice Chair of AKC Reunite, Execu- tive Committee Member of the AKC Canine Health Foundation, the AKC Detector Dog Committee, and as a Director on the Board of Managers for AKC Link. 3. Please share any leadership experience in other non-dog activities that will prepare you for Board service. I retired as President of AT&T Custom Manufacturing Services one of 23 AT&T Business Units. This position included full profit and loss responsibility and the busi- ness assets required to run a $200 million business. Previ- ously I held business and technology leadership positions in AT&T. Upon my retirement I became an entrepreneur and built a retail chain to 14 stores and sold all but two in 2015. In addition to my professional experience I have been actively involved in the Greensboro community serving in many leadership positions. These positions all required working with a diverse group of people bringing them together around shared goals. These organizations include: Chair-National Conference for Community and Justice (formerly National Conference of Christians and Jews); Chair of Leadership, Greensboro; Fund Rais- ing Chair and Board Chair of Arts, Greensboro; Board Member of United Way and Finance Committee Member/ Building Committee; Vice Chair of Leadership for the Greater Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, the Pied- mont Triad Partnership and member of their respective Executive Committees; Chair of Music for a Great Space; Current Member-Guilford County Animal Advisory Board Founding chair of Other Voices (a diversity leadership pro- gram in Greensboro) and Member of the Board of Trustees of North Carolina A&T State University, an HBCU. 4. Please share significant highlights of your profes- sional career and how they will complement your AKC Board service. My professional career began as an engineer with AT&T where I became the youngest Senior Engineer in AT&T, then moved into management, and retiring as the President of a business unit. Significant accomplish- ments included: Engineering assignments of progres- sive complexity; Named Executive Potential during first management assignment; Oversaw multiple organization “turnarounds” and founded a business unit inside of AT&T, named its President and grew it to a $200 million manufacturing business.

Upon retirement from AT&T I became an entrepreneur growing a retail business to 14 stores in two states. In this business success was squarely on the shoulders of the owner. The business quickly grew to 14 stores and was recognized as one of the top chains winning awards whenever they were offered. These leadership experiences, my large and small business experience, extensive leadership in non-profits coupled with my deep background in dogs gives me a unique set of skills to contribute to the success of AKC and its many constituents. Those skills were demonstrat- ed during my first 8 years and are just as relevant today. 5. What role should AKC play in the years ahead and do you believe AKC is on track to accomplish it? The American Kennel Club must be the voice of all dogs in America with focus on building interest and demand for purebred dogs as the preferred choice as family compan- ions. Only by casting a broad net can we bring in poten- tial purebred dog owners and assure the preservation of purebred dogs and dog sports. AKC, through its digital presence, has significantly repositioned itself in the mind of the average dog owner but that effort will never be done. AKC must continue to build a strong brand pres- ence, continue to raise our visibility to a broad cross section of current and potential dog owners, find ways, such as the AKC Detector Dog initiative, to position AKC as the “go to” organization for all things dogs. I would work 24/7 to build consensus and support around this role. 6. What is your motivation for wishing to serve on the AKC Board of Directors? What difference do you hope to make? To continue to make a difference. I believe I made a positive difference on the Board of Directors during my eight years of service. I believe a majority of those I served with would agree. I worked tirelessly and brought unique skills that were lost when I termed off the Board. My business and analytical background coupled with my current active involvement with Club’s and the sport pro- vides a perspective which allow me serve AKC in a posi- tive way should the Delegates allow me to again serve. My leadership experience on the Board including my experience working with many on the current Board will allow me to hit the ground running to make a difference. I worked closely with staff and built strong relationships with senior management. This gives me insight as to their goals and objectives. I understand the role of the AKC Board of Directors. This background will permit me to build the consensus necessary, with the help of other Board and staff members, to continue to move AKC forward. 7. Bringing and retaining new people into AKC sports is essential if our sports are to survive. How would you address this challenge? First, continue to work with local 4-H groups, local Boy and Girl Scout troops and use character education cours- es in elementary schools to reach children at a young age.


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