LINES FROM LINDA: RONALD H. MENAKER
“Ron was a person who inspired others. He set out to transform the AKC and possessed a rare and prized gift called leadership. He had a magical quality that sets some men and women apart so that others will follow them as they conjure up visions and invite others to dreamwith them.” —Dr. Carmen Battaglia
The Menakers sought refuge from Hurricane Irma as guests of the Battaglias; Dr. Carmen Battaglia, Ron Menaker, Nancy Battaglia, and Lorna Menaker.
Ron Menaker and Lee Arnold
“Ron Menaker and I go back many years, first as exhibitors, then as AKC Board members. One might say we became friends from the first time we met. Ron was easy to like, he was positive, a good listener, and always interested in new ideas. We had many years of fun together. We judged in Mexico and all over the US. We spent hours talking about what the future might look like. I recall on the morning of 911, we were in Newark, New Jersey, at the Delegate Meeting. I was on the stage and had just begun to address the Delegate body about how we were going to launch a nationwide effort to use the talk shows on television to get the word out about the value of having a microchipped pet. At that time, I was President and CEO of Companion Animal Recovery (CAR), now called Reunite. I had only made a few remarks, when Ron came on the stage, took the mic, and announced that the twin towers had both been hit by planes. The audience was stunned, people were panicked and began to leave, the airports were shut down and rental cars were taken. Ron said he had a car and would take me and my wife, Nancy, home with him. He also invited Dennis Sprung and David Merriam to stay. After about a week, Ron drove us to a small city in the southern part of the state where we rented a car and drove home to Atlanta. In September of 2017, a massive storm was headed to the east coast of Florida. Officials asked everyone to leave. Most Floridians came to Georgia, and within a few hours all the hotels were filled. Ron and Lorna only found one that had a room, but they would not take people with pets. I invited Ron and Lorna to come with their dogs and stay with us. It rained most of the week, but our dogs and theirs loved
playing together in the mud. We spent the days talking about breeds, AKC, and how to encourage young people to get a dog and enjoy AKC. “That’s Ron.” This became a phrase you would often hear when someone talked about Ron and his ideas. It quickly became the saying. He used to tell me to take the AKC Annual Reports on my trips and give them to people who can help us. That was Ron, always looking for ways to make AKC a better place. Ron was a person who inspired others. He set out to transform the AKC and possessed a rare and prized gift called leadership. He had a magical quality that sets some men and women apart so that others will follow them as they conjure up visions and invite others to dream with them. I always thought that it was his unique understanding of leadership that coincided with his dream for a better world with pure- bred dogs that made the AKC better during his time as chairman. No one could more eloquently summon ideas about a higher pur- pose or bring forth the majesty of leadership and make it glow better than Ron, who often referred to his own position as a board member and CEO as the guy behind the scenes. I have been truly blessed to have been a friend of Ron Menaker and I am grateful that our paths crossed and that our lives touched. I shall always remember him with the deepest admiration and affection. And I will always feel honored by the journey that we traveled together in search of better ways to improve the sport and the AKC. And so, I offer my condolences to his beloved and indispensable Lorna, his children, his friends, and all of us in the American Kennel Club, an organization that he so deeply revered. I say Au Revoir, to a gifted leader, an historic CEO, and a gracious human being.” — Dr. Carmen Battaglia
54 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2022
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