Showsight December 2017

Lines From Linda: Candid Candidates Part II


ANN WALLIN continued

proposals so we can all work together to accomplish our goals and continued growth. AKC needs to always strive to provide communication that allows as much transparency as possible and in a timely manner. Communicating why certain decisions are made is very important. The more information that flows between all parties allows for everyone to feel like they are part of the process. We are all the AKC and we must work together to promote and protect the best interest of pure bred dogs and our sport. 9) The conformation sport continues to decline. Do you have any thoughts on how to engage more people in breeding and showing purpose bred dogs? . I do believe that mentoring is a key element in engaging more people to breed and show their dogs. The average exhibitor participates in 6 shows and then is gone. Many do not see conformation as a fun wel- coming experience. The National Owner Handler Series has been very successful in keeping owner handlers in the sport longer. The goal of the new Achiever Dog and Puppy of Achievement will hopefully keep exhibitors engaged even though they might be winning the blue ribbon each time. I feel we need to pay more attention to the new exhibitor. All Breed Clubs need to consider a special class for new ex- hibitors as a special attraction to help educate them and intro- duce them to the sport. Parent Clubs need to be sure the new puppy owners have a strong mentor guiding them thru this new and sometimes daunting process. Breeding should have a positive connotation. There are breeds that are on the verge of becoming extinct. 10) How do you reconcile the fact that often the AKC Board of Directors must make decisions that may not please the Dele- gate body yet may be necessary to fulfill their fiduciary respon- sibility to AKC? The Board of Directors of the AKC has their general duties specifically outlined in the Charter and By Laws of the American Kennel Club. As with all corporations and governing boards there is privileged information available to the Board that is not available to the general body. Boards must make timely decisions to fulfill their obligations to the corporation in order to make the best decisions for the man- agement of the affairs of the AKC. Transparency is important to ensure continuing communication to all constituents and provide the rational when needed for decisions that are made by the Board. There will be times that Directors may not make decisions that all constituents will be in agreement with but those decisions still need to be made by the Directors chosen to fulfill their duties. Communication and transfer of information is the key to a successful relationship between the governing board and the general body. ■ WE ARE BLESSED TO HAVE THESE SPECIAL INDIVIDUALS as members of our AKC Delegate body. Thanks to each can- didate for their years of devotion to the American Kennel Club. Always remember the reasons we celebrate this holy time of year. From all of us at ShowSight , MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HANUKKAH!

• Be the strongest and most influential voice for responsible dog ownership. • Effectively combat anti dog legislation. I feel we are definitely moving in the right direction but I be- lieve AKC is at a critical juncture and needs to focus on initia- tives to carry us forward even further to achieve these goals. We cannot forget our history but we now live in a completely different age and must embrace new initiatives needed to en- sure our continued success. 6) What is your motivation for wishing to serve on the AKC Board of Directors? What difference do you hope to make? . My only motivation as a board member is to make the best decisions to protect the interests of our sport and The Ameri- can Kennel Club, and to always hold true to our mission state- ment. I have no personal or political agenda. I have a proven track record as a valuable board member. I am able to hold a divergent opinion while accepting that others might have dif- fering opinions, goals or ideas. I am able to focus on the de- tails while keeping the larger goal in mind. I believe I am a good facilitator in a board setting and can offer a positive ap- proach to solving problems. I have a “get it done” attitude and am not afraid to ask the hard questions in order to achieve the best decisions possible for The American Kennel Club. 7) Bringing and retaining new people into AKC sports is essen- tial if our sports are to survive. How would you address this challenge? As the past chair of the All-Breed Clubs Committee I brought the idea to the committee for formulating best prac- tices that could help clubs to remain strong and viable. A great subcommittee was formed with Cathy Rubens as chair, Nancy Fisk, Margaret DiCorleto, John Roland and Mike Houchard, who took our beloved Peggy Wampold’s place, and me. Because of their dedication and hard work there are now suggested best practices on the All-Breed Clubs Resource site on Membership, Events and Finance. Clubs should find this information very helpful in dealing with membership issues. Most important new members need to feel welcome and need mentoring in order to keep them engaged. Clubs need a good website to reach potential new members and have an active social media presence. Also offering dog training classes is a great way to attract new dog owners. People want to have FUN with their dogs. AKC needs to con- tinue to add these new fun events that are attracting more and more participants in our sport. As a Board member I will sup- port initiatives that help our clubs learn how they can incor- porate these new special attractions or events into their club activities so as to engage new potential members and increase their revenue as well. I support the Club Development initiative headed up by Glen Lycan and Guy Fisher that are actively reaching out to clubs to help them find solutions to current problems. 8) How can we improve AKC’s image among its core con- stituents and owners of AKC registered dogs? I believe Com- munication is the key. We must listen to the needs of our core constituency and be responsive to their concerns. I be- lieve the Delegate body has made many important contribu- tions and we must all continue to offer our ideas and


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