2016 LCA Awards

2016 LCA Awards
April 29, 2016

In recognition of their contributions to the club, the following people have been selected for special recognition by the club, as follows:


The Heinrich Essig Award is the LCA’s highest honor. It is named after the man that tradition holds created the Leonberger breed in 1846; Heinrich Essig, a town counselor in the town of Leonberg, in what is modern day Germany. Originally presented to the LCA’s founders in 1994, the Heinrich Essig Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to the club sustained over the course of many years. This award comes with a life-long LCA membership.

Ann Rogers

Language on Award Certificate: “For sustained perseverance and excellence over many years working to raise awareness and educate Leo owners about important health issues affecting the breed.”

Ann Rogers for an HEA. Ann has been an active breeder and contributor to the Leonberger breed for nearly three decades, and has bred more Grey Muzzle recipients than any other active breeder. Over the years Ann has worked in a variety of areas. She served on the Board of Directors in the early 1990s, with exemplary service on the Breeding and Governance Committees in the 2000s. As a co-chair of the Governance Committee in the mid-2000’s she was instrumental in the creation of our current Member Practices document, adopted in 2007, the centerpiece of which is public posting of health testing results on the Canine Health Information Center database. Ann has worked to raise awareness for Leonberger Polyneuropathy, and co-creating Harvey’s List to support owners of affected Leos, for which she and Judy Johnston received Leo Awards in 2007. Her tireless work on LPN has contributed to the welfare of Leonbergers around the world, and she continues to work on this and other health issues. Ann co-founded Leonberger University to help educate future breeders and owners. This was a natural extension of the mentoring that she has done for so many in our club. Often people’s interests will wax and wane, but Ann’s passion has been consistent and impactful. In 2015 Ann authored a thoughtful paper regarding Thyroid and LPN2 testing that eventually formed the basis for a change in health testing policy by the Board of Directors this year. In the process Ann also took on the role of being front person for the club relating to discussion of the topic on the Members’ List.

For all of this and more, a grateful club presents Ann Rogers with the Heinrich Essig Award.


The Leo Award is given for exceptional work on a particular project, or for body of work on behalf of the breed or the club that takes place over the course of a year. It can be awarded for a particularly well-done individual project, or for more generally applied excellence.

Astrid Robitaille

Language on Award Certificate: “For excellence as the voice of the LCA and the breed in the AKC Gazette.”

In addition to many years of service to the club on the Board of Directors, and as President, and on the LCA Show Committee, Astrid has most recently taken on the task of writing our breed articles for the AKC Gazette. In this role she has been the voice of the LCA and the Leonberger Breed in the AKC Gazette. It is a voice that we have grown to rely upon, presenting compelling and well-written material that has reflected well on the LCA and the breed. It is a steady voice, and whether writing about life span, showing, or trimming of fur, it is a voice that we can all be proud of. It is easy to take for granted such reliability and excellence, but those of use who work as volunteers know that it is a truly remarkable thing when a volunteer takes on a role and fulfills it with in a seamless and transparent fashion year-after-year.

For all of this and more, and with profound thanks, a grateful club presents Astrid Robitaille with the LeoAward.


Certificates of Appreciation are awarded to anyone who has done any type of work for which the Club should express special appreciation. It generally refers to work over the past year, but is not limited to any particular time period.

Standard Committee – Agi Hejja, Harry Austin, Alida Greendyk, Ginny Bartholomay, Mary Decher and Connie Kent (Chair).

Governance Committee – Jim Henshaw, Linda Gagnon, Judy Johnston, Ray Robitaille, Jim Walker, and Glen Ferguson (Chair).

Language on face of Award Certificates:

“To the Standard Committee for invaluable service to the LCA through years of dedication and hard work managing the review process for the proposed changes to the AKC Standard.”

“To the Governance Committee for invaluable service to the LCA through years of dedication and hard work managing the review process for the proposed changes to the LCA Constitution & Bylaws.”

The work of these committees has been entirely separate, but has followed parallel courses. For the past two years these two committees have drafted and re-drafted proposed changes to the Constitution & Bylaws and Standard, posted their work on the LCA website, collected member comments, worked with the AKC and the LCA Board of Directors, and then dug right back in to start the process all over again, as needed, to move these projects forward in a fair, open, and democratic fashion. The Governance Committee also did considerable work researching not-for-profit law and AKC guidelines regarding electronic communication and voting, and prepared what will very likely be the first fully formed Bylaw provisions applicable to those topics for any Parent Club. The amount of work and dedication to task exhibited by these committees has been remarkable.

Thank you to all of our 2016 award recipients. Volunteerism is the heart of our club, and we also wish to thank not only the award recipients, but those who submitted names in nomination for the various awards. If your nominee was not recognized this year, please re-submit next year!

The LCA Awards Committee
Yves Parent, Linda Mullins-Spirio, Carin Shadwick, Glen Ferguson and Mary Decher (Chair)