Minutes -- Executive Board Meeting, 8-31-07

EB members present:
Anne Camper - President
Christopher Smith - Vice President
Marina Shukh - Treasurer
Mike Baker - DAL
Warren Jones - DAL
Ivan Balabanov - DAL (by conference call after 6:20).
Desiree Shaw - Secretary (by conference call after 6:20).

Absent:
David Dembouski -- DAL
Membership Chair (vacant position, Cele Danner resigned).

Guests:
Glenn Stephenson - Director of Judges (for first portion of discussion)
Mike Morgan, Joey Leigh (last portion of discussion)

Call to order approx. 6:10 pm.

There were two major issues before the Executive Board.

1) What position should the EB support (if any) and what are the issues to consider in discussion of the status of allowing other breeds to compete at the National Championship? The possibilities range from allowing only dogs to compete that possess an FCI-recognized registration to allowing any dog to compete that can produce a scorebook (and a handler with AWMA membership). Anne asked Warren to present the concept they had discussed, which required FCI-recognized registration for all team members to the AWDF, FCI or FMBB, but would allow any dog to complete with a scorebook listing the dog as a malinois with tattoo or other identifying characteristic. The next issue that impinges on this question is also how to incorporate agility, and whether the agility program would send other BSD varieties or only malinois to the FMBB. Finally, how does this decision affect our ability to coordinate and cooperate with the ABMC? Glenn was invited to participate in the discussion as the DOJ, and as he had met with FCI judges in Europe and could provide that perspective. His opinion was that it should be limited to malinois. Ivan's input by conference call was emphatically that it should be by FCI-recognized registration alone. The question of how to incorporate competitors like Wilson Rosa and his dog Azorro was brought up, as he has no papers, and the suggestion of a sunset clause eliminating the opening for non-FCI after some years was made. Christopher discussed how the requirement of FCI papers would lead to continued and increased fraud. Ivan made the point about Europe requiring FCI registration. Anne asked the question of what does it benefit AWMA to allow only registered versus non-malinois in our Nat'l? Glenn made the point that the Europeans do watch our behavior and successes, so when we let anyone enter the Nationals, we do appear somewhat less prestigious. At the conclusion of this discussion, Ivan and Desiree hung up, with the good wishes of the Board for Ivan at the FCI worlds.

2) A brief discussion was held regarding the window for the National Championships, and it was agreed to hold this item for the GB meeting.

3) World Team organization and captaincy.

Mike and Joey came to the Board to describe the poor state of organization and communication in setting up the entries of the World Team in 2007. There were many problems. The team did not arrive together, and several registration and practice times were not attended by all team members or some of them arrived late. There were problems with communications between team members in France. For example, Mike and Carrie had to get information on locations and times from other teams, rather than from the team captain.

Joey then spoke about his elimination as the front half helper in this year's Nationals. Anne apologized to Joey and Mike for their experience in France, and Mike apologized several times for the way the helper replacement went.

The Executive Board meeting was adjourned as it was time for the GB meeting.


General Board meeting, American Working Malinois Association.
August 31, 2007
Flint, MI

In attendance: voting
Anne Camper, President
Christopher Smith, VP
Marina Shukh, Treasurer
Warren Jones, EB at large
Mike Baker, EB at large
Glenn Stephenson, DOJ
Rosellen Westerhoff, YRDC
James Downey, SDWMC
Joey Leigh, Atlanta WDC

General membership:
Shari Lipsky
Bob Miller
Lynnea Gillett
Brittany Laramore
Dana Miller
Dana Williams
Kristina Carmody
Steve Gregalunas
Greg Doud
Danny Craig
Mike Morgan



Call to Order

A few minutes were required to procure access to the 2006 minutes, which were summarized by Warren.

Anne Camper gave a President's report, emphasizing the need for continued cooperation among all members, particularly as it relates to supporting the status of the Belgian Malinois as a working dog, and the need to defend against BSL. She also briefly talked about the connections and growth potential of the organization with regard to agility, the FMBB and the ABMC, which she said would be covered in more detail later.

No specific report from the Vice President.

No report from the Secretary.
No report from the Treasurer. Marina indicated that she would have a treasurer's report and summary of the financial status to be distributed at a later date, but that events in her life have conspired to prevent her completing it before the meeting.

No report from the Membership Chair (position vacant).

Committee Reports:

Mike Baker has asked to step down from the Helper Committee with the intent of asking Doug Wendling to step in in his place.

World Championship/National Events Committee -- summarized by Anne as a member present.
New criteria were developed for the 08 FMBB -- deadlines are earlier and more straightforward to meet, criteria for making the team and gathering points are clearer. [note: these have been previously published on the discussion board.]
Anne will be working with the WC/NE committee to write guidelines for hosting a National Championship -- timing, tasks, characteristics, and so forth.
This committee will also be responsible for writing expectations for the performance of team captain duties, outlining those responsibilities, and for outlining the expectations on team members while representing AWMA.

Director of Judges Glenn Stephenson gave a brief report on the trip to Slovenia and the meeting with the FCI Judges' College. The Working Commission is happy with the work of the AWDF and its representation on IPO. They agreed with the need to develop the relationship, but noted that they are a very small part of FCI overall.

In the Judges' program in AWMA, Glenn noted that there are 3 apprentices, all inactive over the past year, and in danger of losing their status as apprentices.

Sponsorship Committee -- Christopher reported some success at recruiting potential sponsors for the AWMA. 501 ©3 status was discussed, and Christopher reported little success at procuring pro bono assistance at achieving that status.

The Website Committee reported success at setting up the Nationals website as a part of the overall workingmalinois.org web site, and that the perennial porn/spam problem appears to have been solved by Will Kline's efforts.

Bylaws Committee -- no report.

Board of Inquiry -- no activity this year.

Judges' Committee -- no report.

Auditing Committee -- no report.

Elections:

The positions of Director at Large and Membership Chair were described. Mike Baker nominated Sean Rivera for the DAL position (accepted), and Bob Miller and Dana Williams were self nominated. Dana Williams self nominated for Membership Chair. Once these Nominations were completed, Bob Miller withdrew his candidacy for the DAL position. Dana Williams was unanimously elected to Membership Chair, and withdrew her candidacy for DAL. Sean Rivera was unanimously elected to the DAL position. [NOTE: The reason for the additional director at large is the addition of the 3 regional directors, and the necessity of maintaining an odd number of total EB members].

Committee assignments
Auditing Committee -- current members Melissa Mason, Greg Doud, Warren Jones. no changes; Warren will contact Melissa Mason to see if still willing to serve.

Board of Inquiry -- current members Dana Miller, Robert Miller, Greg Doud, with Jason Scobbie and Deb Krsnich as alternates. no changes necessary at this time. [NOTE: Following the General Board meeting, Bob Miller was elected by the Executive Board to replace David Dembouski. This will necessitate filling Bob's position on the BOI.]

Bylaws Committee -- Shari Lipsky elected to the committee; W. Jones remains.

Helper Committee -- Mike (the current sole member) has expressed a desire to step down from this committee, to be replaced by Doug Wendling. Christopher nominated Joey Leigh to serve, Mike formally nominated Doug Wendling, and nominated Steve Gregalunas was also nominated. These three were unanimously elected.

Judges' Committee -- Glenn Stephenson chairs, Nathaniel Roque by virtue of being the only other AWMA judge, Anne Camper via Presidency and Christopher Smith as the member at large. Danny Craig was nominated to fill a vacancy on this committee, and was ratified unanimously.

Nominating Committee -- Christopher Smith and Greg Doud currently serve. A vacancy remains on this committee

Sponsorship Committee -- Christopher Smith sole member at this time; OK as is.

Website Committee -- Kristine Carmody volunteered to assist and was elected unanimously. She joins current members Dana Miller and Dana Williams.

World Championship/ National Events Committee -- Shari Lipsky was elected to fill the vacancy left by Cele Danner. As of the meeting, Tami McLeod, Dana Miller and Greg Doud remain as members. [Note – subsequent to the meeting, Tami stepped down as a member, requiring a new member and new committee chair].

Regions and Regional Directors

Mike Baker has spent a lot of time developing the concept and working with individuals throughout the country to identify the regions and then find willing and capable Regional Directors. The duties of the RDs will be to foster communication between clubs and with individual members within the region, help to ensure good training opportunities are developed and communicated, and continuing to develop inter-organizational ties with DVG clubs, USCA clubs, and so on.

His identified nominees for these positions are Les Flores -- Western Region (west of Colorado), Mike Morgan -- southern region (KY and points south), and no nomination yet for the Northern Region (N of KY), as he was considering resigning his EB DAL position to do it himself. Anne asked that he stay on as EB DAL member so that he can maintain his national perspective, so this position remains unfilled. Mike and Les were unanimously elected by acclimation. [NOTE: the GB has ratified the regional boundaries and regional "coordinators" until elections can be held within the regions. The elected regional directors are essentially interim directors until elections can be held at the regional level prior to next year’s GB meeting].

Agility as part of the AWMA

As the member of the FMBB allowed to send a team, the executive board of AWMA has been discussing with interested parties the idea of recruiting and fielding an agility team for the FMBB Worlds. An overview of the structure was described, as to how this authority exists, and that the EB had voted to establish a 3-year pilot program for this. Shari Lipsky provided an overview of the proposed guidelines for selection of the team. A BH would be required (as it is in some countries in Europe) for team selection, and while the goal should be a qualifying trial for selection, this would be an opportunity to collaborate with ABMC. Note that AKC uses the CGC "title " as the equivalent certification of temperament to the BH. Bylaws revisions could be required, but Warren and Shari will work on this.

New Business

AWMA and the ABMC.

Anne presented a brief history of the two organizations. The AWMA is a member of the American Working Dog Federation, which in turn is part of the FCI Working Group. At the same time, ABMC is the breed organization affiliated with the AKC, and the AKC is the body that provides FCI-recognized registration in this country. Breed standards are different between AKC and FCI (one breed versus 3 or 4), etc. The ABMC is predominantly conformation people, and of the smaller fraction who are interested in performance, only a small fraction are involved in protection sports. A recent poll of their membership demonstrated that there were reservations about becoming involved in the WDS program, primarily because the majority of the membership does not appear to be interested in protection sports. There are also limited resources and personnel to develop the WDS program within the ABMC. On the other hand, AWMA is in a position to offer ABMC a well-developed and established working arm, and as noted above, AWMA can provide access to the FMBB not currently available to the ABMC members through AKC. Glenn Stephenson and Kadi Thingvall are on the ABMC committee looking at the future in this direction.

Mondioring team for the FMBB?

We are in collaboration with the USMRA to develop a team for the FMBB worlds under the auspices of AWMA. The USMRA would perform and develop the selection criteria, and we would provide the umbrella under which to do this. Competitors who enter under this arrangement would be required to be or become AWMA members.

Revisions to ByLaws: None at this time.

Breeds and the Nationals -- a discussion item.

Warren presented a conceptual framework that could be phased out over a few years to allow non-AKC or FCI-registered malinois to compete using the scorebooks, and a number of flaws in this plan were pointed out. The idea of AWMA offering a sort of ILP program just for the nationals was proposed. Generally, although no formal vote was taken, it appeared those in attendance favored a malinois-only Nationals. Wilson Rosa and Azorro were mentioned several times as valued competitors that it would be a shame to shut out, but the issues associated with such a grey zone appeared equally troublesome. No specific decision was reached at the meeting, and it was left to the Executive Board to work with the World Championship/National Events committee to develop guidelines and a decision.

Bids for the 2008 AWMA Nationals

Spirit WDA provided a verbal bid, but without a lot of detail;
Phil Behun's facilities were described in the context of organizing an AWMA club to host the Nationals at that site.
Several folks mentioned that Les Flores had expressed some interest and that they had the facilities to host a Nationals.
An additional 30-day period was allowed for submission of formal bids.
A suggestion was made to incorporate a high-level seminar into the timing of the Nationals to increase attendance.

Meeting was adjourned at about 10:30 pm.