Lines from Linda: Candid Candidates—AKC Board of Directors

From the December Issue of Showsight. Click to subscribe.

Class of 2023 Questionnaire

December is a month of meaningful celebrations. Our American Kennel Club and Royal Canin come together in Orlando for our Nation’s largest celebration of dogs. The AKC National Championship Dog Show presented by Royal Canin takes place at the Orange County Convention Center on December 15 and 16 this year.

AKC Delegates meetings will take place two days before the Canine Extravanganza begins. With candidates for the AKC Board of Directors Class of 2023 recently named, political campaigning will be in full swing.

Last year we published photos and interviews for each candidate in our November and December issues. The December issue devoted 17 pages to candidate’s credentials and views. Response was tremendous from the grateful candidates for having the early opportunity to be heard, from the AKC Delegates who could then follow up on the details, from the club’s and from our readers.

I was hoping for you to learn here how those vying for a seat at the big table responded to the questions I posed to them this year. However, late on the evening before 
the requested deadline I received an email from Dr. Thomas M. Davies stating that 
the candidates had decided together not to participate. “We feel that we will have 
ample time to present our individual messages to the fancy as election time approaches.” Davies, said and signed the names of each candidate.

The following are the candidates not participating and the questionnaire 
presented to each of them.

Nominating Committee Candidates

Dr. Thomas M. Davies, Springfield Kennel Club, Inc.

Dr. Charles Garvin, Dalmatian Club of America

Daniel J. Smyth, Esq., Burlington County Kennel Club, Inc.

Petition Candidates

Karen J. Burgess, Greater Clark County Kennel Club, Inc.

Steven Hamblin, Pekingese Club of America

AKC Board Candidate Class of 2023 Questionnaire

  1. Please share your background in purebred dogs including breeding and events.
  2. Please share your participation and leadership experience in dog 
    organizations as well as your involvement as a Delegate 
    (length of service committee membership, etc.)
  3. Please share any leadership experience in other non-dog activities that 
    will prepare you for AKC Board service.
  4. Please share significant highlights of your professional career and 
    how that will compliment your AKC Board Service.
  5. AKC events compete for discretionary spending (time and money) of dog 
    owners who have other recreational options. In this context, what should 
    AKC sports do to attract new dog owners?
  6. There are many canine related businesses that are profitable. Should AKC 
    diversify its business activities in an attempt to earn a profit that can be 
    used to subsidize its mission driven functions? Recent examples are the 
    LINK Collar and the doggie day care business.
  7. AKC activities are open to all dog owners yet the minority segments of the 
    population appear to be underrepresented. Has this been a lost opportunity 
    and if so, what can be done about it?
  8. Based on your experience with clubs, what ideas have worked to grow 
    membership and/or increase participation in club activities?
  9. There are many dedicated dog owners who want their sports to thrive and grow. They have a wide variety of opinions regarding the best way forward. 
    What can AKC do to tap into this knowledge and then reach a consensus 
    across such a diverse audience?
  10. What is your motivation for wishing to serve on the AKC Board of Directors 
    and what difference do you hope to make?

How disappointing that the candidates passed on this opportunity to have their information and views known prior to the Orlando Delegates’ meetings. As a former candidate myself I was very dismayed that the other very formidable questionnaires were not published until the the middle of February and even early March not giving the Delegates time to even present the information to the clubs they represent. Since this year’s candidates felt it not necessary to present their views early, it would have been nice had they let me know before our publishing deadline.

The contributions of each of these candidates have made our sport better for each one of us. We owe them a great deal of gratitude for their service to our AKC Delegate body and the 
activities of our American Kennel Club.

Early this month menorahs will be lighted, children will play with dreidels and many latkes will be enjoyed! HAPPY HANUKKAH!

For my family Christmas is the most meaningful time of year. We celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Wise men still 
follow him!


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