Showsight - March 2022


Ron Menaker with Carmen and Nancy Battaglia, celebrating the wedding of the late Steve Gladstone and Jan Ritchie Gladstone.

Lorna Menaker, Nancy Battaglia, Lee Arnold, Dr. Carmen Battaglia, and Carl Ashby

RON MENAKER, FRIEND AND MENTOR “Writing about a person who meant so much to so many is not an easy task. When that person is Ron Menaker it is even more difficult. Ron was a dear friend whom I was privileged to know both profession- ally and, most importantly, personally. He meant so much to me as he did so many others. I remember so well when Ron rose to the dais at the Delegate Meet- ing on September 11, 2001 to share ‘the tower is down’ and went on to adjourn the meeting. The rest of the story is that he took several stranded delegates to his home so that they had a place to stay as they figured out how to get home. I remember the dog people with serious medical issues whom he paired with some of the best doctors in the world to assure they received the best care possible and have access to innovative treatment. People knew, no matter who they were, they could call Ron and he would help. I remember his terrific sense of humor. He had great stories and could make the ordinary hilarious. No one told a better story than Ron nor enjoyed it more. His philanthropy was legendary. He chaired many fundraisers, both inside and outside the dog world, with his generosity leading the way. The Theater Benefit held for years prior to Westminster was a not to miss event which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for dog- related charities. His commitment to the AKC Museum of the Dog is the reason we have this incredible tribute to purebred dogs today in New York City where it is accessible to the world. Without his leader- ship, that wonderful collection would be out of view for most people. Most of all, I remember his love of dogs and his unwavering com- mitment to the sport and the American Kennel Club. Ron was a mentor to me as well as great friend. There was no greater honor than Ron asking me to serve as his Vice Chair on the AKC Board of Directors. Always one step ahead, Ron had an uncanny ability to size up a situation, find a path forward that would satisfy most, and work to get it implemented. He never gave up! I learned much from him, and I will miss not having him to share ideas and notions with to better purebred dogs. He has left this earth, but his rich legacy will live on forever. Ron… I will never forget you and the impact you had on my life.” — Carl C. Ashby

Ron and Lorna Menaker, Lee and Romana Arnold, Car- men and Nancy Battaglia, Carl and Jaimie Ashby, and I spent a wonderful weekend in the Florida Keys for the wedding of our friends, the late Steve Gladstone and Jan Ritchie Gladstone. Jan shares the following about her memories of Ron: “Malcolm Forbes is credited with the wisdom that ‘[c]ontrary to the cliche, genuinely nice guys most often finish first...’ Ron Menaker always did. I met Ron many years ago at the International Kennel Club Show. Ron was judging. I was his steward. I was impressed by his courtesy to exhibitors and his ready wit. His sheer joy in judging and his love for the fancy were infectious. I came to know Ron better over the years, first as an AKC Del- egate and later as a judge. As a Delegate, I came to value Ron’s visionary leadership and business acumen on the Board. Even more vital to the fancy, how- ever, was Ron’s sheer availability in his role as Chairman. He took phone calls on everything from club issues to medical ones. The time and kindness he devoted to members of the sport was extraordinary. Ron inspired tremendous loyalty by this selfless dedication to dogs and their people. His assistance was, in many cases, literally life-saving. As a judge, when I began traveling outside the US with my late husband, I learned that Ron was held in equally high regard outside this country. His innate goodness, intelligence, and integrity won fans around the globe. Through the years, I was fortunate as our friendship further developed. As I spent more time with Ron and Lorna, my initial impression of Ron was only reinforced. Through good times and bad, Ron was a constant. As busy as he was, even as he battled illness, Ron somehow found time for friendship, counsel, and advice. Ron has left a lasting legacy to the fancy with his service as Chair- man of the AKC Board, his work as Show Chair of the National Championship, and his work with the AKC Museum of the Dog. Ron also lives on in the hearts of the many who felt the difference his kindness made. May his memory truly be a blessing.” — Jan Ritchie Gladstone


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