March 2019 Delegate Report
Don James, Leonberger Club of America Delegate
Things were just a bit different for the March Delegate’s meeting. Two major happenings.
The annual Board of Directors election for the Class of 2023 was held during the general meeting on Tuesday.
A Delegate bus trip into downtown Manhattan for a private party celebrating the opening of the newly relocated Museum of the Dog which now occupies the first 2 floors of the new AKC Headquarters at 101 Park Avenue. The Monday trip necessitated a shortening of the usual 2 ½ hour committee meetings by 1 hour. The Museum is spectacular containing many interactive exhibits for kids of all ages. There are hundreds of oil paintings on display, many from the 17 and 1800s. Fascinating and a must visit for those of you planning a day in NYC. After the party, I attended a great dinner in the city with 3 current AKC Board members and 2 more who were candidates for the election the next day. To refer to it as just interesting conversation would not have done it justice.
Parent Club Committee 3/11/19
The highlight of the Parent Club committee meeting was presentation from AKC’s Vice President of Marketing, Kristen Bahlke.
Much work is being done behind the scenes to improve the customer experience when visiting the AKC’s Marketplace website. Small things that you probably wouldn’t notice have resulted in much higher traffic to the site. One involved clearing up the confusion that was caused by referring to National Breed clubs as ‘Parent Clubs’. Surveys showed the public has little clue what was meant by Parent Clubs so all references to that have now been changed to National Breed Club. And, the tab to connect to the National Breed club’s website has been moved to now occupy the 2nd menu selection tab on the breed page. This has resulted in a 5% increase in the traffic to those National Breed club websites.
An Articles tab is being added that will give a breed club’s designated representative the ability to upload articles and pictures about their breed to the Marketplace pages. This is currently being trialed by 6 pre-selected breeds but eventually will be made available to all clubs.
A 25% discount is now being offered for Marketplace listings placed by breeders who are members of their parent clubs. And, remember, AKC Breeders of Merit have free access to list litters on the Marketplace page.
Lastly, Marketplace Breed Tagging has been added – Breeders must now tag their photos if they breed multiple dogs so that the picture under their marketplace pages only have pictures of that breed and no other breed they may also be advertising. This is been a problem on the Leonberger Marketplace page.
Canine College Update – Canine College is The American Kennel Club’s resource for online education created to serve the broad needs of dog lovers. Over time, AKC will build and provide within the Canine College resource materials and educational courses for the benefit of current and prospective judges for AKC sports, breeders, groomers, trainers and the general dog-owning public.
Each Parent Club Board must decide how they want the CC courses developed. It should be completely up to the club how the CC video is framed. The role of the Parent Club’s Board of Directors needs to be clearly defined and their Board must be given the right of first approval for the final product. I am working with Ashley Jacot, the head of the CC effort to come up with a suitable venue in an acceptable time frame that we can use to complete this project. AKC prefers to shoot these videos during large, multi-day all breed shows because that allows them to do multiple breeds over a weekend, a much better use of available project dollars.
The annual CHF sponsored Parent Club Health Conference will again be held in St. Louis August 9-11, 2019. Early registration ends May 31st. $60 early registration fee. The registration link is now active and, unlike prior years, there will be no limit per club on the number of attendees.
The complete list of seminars and activities is available on the CHF website:
There have been no published updates on the FDA investigation into potential links between certain type of diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy.
As it usually is, the Board election brought a few surprises. There were 5 candidates for the available 3 positions and it took 3 full ballots to determine those elected. Serving in the Class of 2023 will be:
2 new Board members:
Steven Hamblin – Pekingese Club of America
Dan Smyth – Burlington County Kennel Club
1 member returning to the Board after a year off on term limits:
Dr. Charles Garvin – Dalmatian Club of America
Elected Chairman of the Board was William Feeney from The Sir Francis Drake Kennel Club.
Elected Board Vice Chairperson was Pat Cruz from The Heart of the Plains Kennel Club.