New York, NY – The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs is proud to announce the winners of the 2020 AKC Lifetime Achievement Award: Ronald H. Menaker (Conformation), Dr. Charles ‘Bud’ Kramer (Companion Events) and Lynn Worth Smith (Performance).
The Awards, created by AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung, are presented in recognition of exceptional participation and achievement within the dog sport. The finalists and winners are nominated by AKC member clubs and have impacted the sport on a national level through club involvement, judging, exhibiting, breeding and teaching.
2020 Lifetime Achievement Award – Conformation
Ronald H. Menaker has been actively involved in the sport of purebred dogs for over 52 years. He has bred and exhibited Giant Schnauzers, Bedlington Terriers, and Norfolk Terriers, owned Border Terriers, and is deeply involved in many breed and all-breed clubs, dedicating his time in various capacities.
Mr. Menaker served on the AKC Board from 1996 to 1998, 2000 to 2012 and 2014 to 2019.
During his Board terms he had the position of Vice Chairman from 2001 to 2002 followed by that of Chairman from 2002 to 2012 and 2015 to 2019. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the AKC and the Delegate of the Memphis Kennel Club. His extensive business experience, operational and financial management expertise throughout the philanthropic and corporate communities and universally acknowledged leadership style proved to be invaluable assets to the Board and the organization.
He is the past show chairman for the AKC National Championship and Westminster Kennel Club and is an Honorary Member of The Kennel Club (England).
Mr. Menaker was instrumental in the planning and relocation of the AKC Headquarters and the AKC Museum of the Dog in 2018.
As a member of the Bedlington Terrier Club of America, Mr. Menaker has held positions as President, Director, AKC Delegate, and Show Chairman. Additionally, he is a past member of the Giant Schnauzer Club of America and a current member of the Border Terrier Club of America. A judge since 1994, Mr. Menaker has judged at more than 300 AKC conformation shows.
Mr. Menaker’s judging assignments have taken him across the country and around the world, including to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. He is approved to judge Best in Show, all Sporting, Working, Terrier, Toy and Non-Sporting breeds, and multiple other breeds.
His career has been dedicated to the care, welfare, growth and future of the Sport of purebred dogs.
2020 Lifetime Achievement Award – Companion Events
Dr. Charles ‘Bud’ Kramer (Posthumous)
Dr. Charles ‘Bud’ Kramer was a professor emeritus at Kansas State University, who contributed to dog companion sports for over 60 years before his passing in June 2019. His contributions were many, but his proudest achievement was his involvement with the development of RALLY for the American Kennel Club.
Since 1971, Bud and his wife Vel have been members of the Manhattan Kansas Kennel Club in Manhattan, Kansas. Bud served as Training Director and was active in training, showing, teaching and judging. He had numerous CD, CDX and UD champions, and helped thousands train their own dogs for home and competition. He believed dog training should be available to all breeds and handlers regardless of their physical abilities.
In January 1987, Bud wrote and published the first complete book on dog Agility entitled, “Dog Agility- For All Dogs” which was awarded “Best Book, On Training and Care” by the Dog Writers Association of America. He also wrote many articles on the development of Agility for Front & Finish, The Courier and his own monthly publication, The Contact Line. Bud established the National Club for Dog Agility (NCDA) and served on the first AKC Agility advisory committee.
Bud decided to create a new sport that would bridge the gap between traditional obedience and Agility. He spent several years developing the concept, writing regulations, designing courses and signs, and conferring with companion sport enthusiasts and AKC representatives. In February 2005, Bud wrote and published, “An Introduction to the Style of Rally Obedience” and published the original signs for Rally trials.
2020 Lifetime Achievement Award – Performance
Lynn Worth Smith got her first Vizsla in 1969 and started on the road in the dog world that created an adventurous life for nearly 50 years. Lynn’s kennel name is Melto that means “worthy” in Hungarian. A Breeder of Merit, Lynn has bred Best in Show, National Specialty Best of Breeds, Top Ten Sporting Dog, sire of the first Vizsla bitch to go Best in Show, Vizsla Club of America Hall of Fame dogs and Dual Champions.
Lynn is a licensed field trial and hunting test judge and has judged and competed in pointing dog events and field championships across the United States and in Canada. She has served as Chairman of three VCA National field events. She was the founder and President of the Connecticut Valley Vizsla Club and President of the Vizsla Club of Greater New York. Lynn served on the VCA Board of Directors from 1979 until 2017 as Vice-President, Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Director and AKC Delegate. She served as Chairman of Public Education, Nominating Committee, By-Laws and Founder and former President of the VCA Welfare Foundation that handles breed rescue and health studies and a committed donor to AKC’s Health projects.
As AKC Delegate from 1993 to 2017, Lynn served as Secretary of AKC’s Field Trial and Hunting Test Committee and on the editorial staff of Perspectives. As a professional writer, Lynn has had articles published in numerous magazines relating to many performance fields, including falconry, and many canine issues in the world of dogs. She lives in Virginia and presently serves as editor of the Virginia Hunting Preserve Association publication.
Lynn says that her commitment to canine performance has been the most important aspect of her dog career. She has mentored as much as possible and was the recipient of the Vizsla Club of America Outstanding Sportsmanship Award in 2015.
The honorees, who were selected from votes cast by AKC member clubs, will receive engraved Revere bowls on Friday, December 13, 2019 at the Delegates luncheon held in conjunction with the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin in Orlando, Florida. A sterling silver Tiffany and Co. bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, is on permanent display at AKC headquarters in New York City.