AWMA GENERAL BOARD MINUTES
September 30, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
Executive Board:
Anne Camper, President
Christopher Smith, Vice President
Kristina Carmody, Treasurer (via telephone)
Donna McGinnis, Secretary (via telephone)
Paul Konschak, Regional Director (via telephone)

AWMA Member Club Delegates:
Waine Singleton, Midwest Working Dogs
Bob Miller, Motor City Working Dogs
Tim Karchnak, Three Mountains Working Dog Club
Carol Karchnak, Alternate, Three Mountains Working Dog Club
Also attending:
Glenn Stephenson
Diane Huey
Kathleen McClain
Cathy Rodriquez
Anne Rammelsberg
Rik Wolterbeek
Shari Lipski, Member at Large

Anne Camper opened the meeting by welcoming everyone, and explained that the meeting was being recorded for the benefit of Secretary who could not attend in person.
Reading of the Minutes of Last Meeting

Shari Lipski moved to accept the minutes as published. Bob Miller second. With no opposition, the motion carried.
Officer Reports.
President’s Report: Anne Camper asked to dispense with a formal reading the President’s report and summarized the initiatives that were presented during the year. Anne then referred to the contents of the meeting packet that was handed out which included a synopsis of motions that were voted on during the year.

Vice President’s Report: No report.

Secretary’s Report: Anne explained that Terry Miller was our secretary until recently and that she has stepped down from that position and assumed the role as Director at Large. Donna McGinnis has stepped down from Director at Large and is now filling in as Secretary. The Secretary’s Report as submitted by Terry Miller was read by Anne which included six trials reported by member clubs, 67 scorebooks having been processed for members, and that AWMA had 21 IPO 3, 2 IPO 2, and 3 FH entries in the 2011 AWDF championship. We did have clubs requesting waivers from events which were voted on and accepted in the preceding Executive Board meeting. Donna gave a brief report on club compliance with respect to dues, insurance and waivers.
Treasurer’s Report: Kristina Carmody reported that membership dues, scorebooks, club dues and trial fees remain the same. The major difference between last year’s Treasurer’s report and this year was an increase in donations, including extra rush fees and postage. Because of the increase in donations this year, we were able to make a donation to support the FMBB team. The difference in expenses was the cost of sending two of our apprentice judges to the Judge’s college at an additional $600 expense, and the liability insurance expense of $250. With regard to the new budget, Kristina stated there is an additional amount of $1,000 to cover future costs of the judge’s program. She then asked for discussion regarding that amount. Shari Lipski mentioned the FMBB’s entries were slightly off due to the conversion to Euros (100 Euros vs. 80) and that while the budget currently states $1,000, it will more likely be $1,200.

Membership Chair’s Report: Anne noted that Dana Williams is also the Chair of the Website Committee and those comments would be combined. The report, as read by Anne: As of September 16, 2011, we have 111 individual members and 14 family membership which is up slightly from last year. The Paypal option is a popular way for the members to pay and they came in significantly faster this year for renewal. We have a fairly large amount of members making donations to the organizations and we have acquired several sponsors to the AWMA website. Those sponsors include Canine Training Systems; Working-Dog.eu and Ruffgrip Leashes. We also have Dana Huckestein Pet Travel renew her sponsorship for another year. The IPO Club currently has 20 dogs listed and in the first year of having the IPO Club, it has already paid for itself by covering the cost of the purchased medallions. The AWMA Facebook page continues to be one of the most popular AWDF-club pages with over 2,300 fans. My recommendation this next year is that the AWMA Executive Board looks for a way to digitize the membership lists so that it’s faster to send and receive membership cards. Anne then noted we currently use a paper system and for a small organization that works, but we should look into the cost of establishing that sort of database. A question was asked if we could have our membership cards distributed via email. Anne replied that you have to have an AWDF member club card to enter any AWDF member club event and concluded that the Board would discuss and examine ways of distributing membership cards electronically.

Bylaws Committee Report: There is only one item on the Bylaws Committee report which will be addressed under revisions to bylaws.

Board of Inquiry Report: Nothing filed this year.

Auditing Report: Kristina has the account handled by an outside CPA so there is nothing to address with regard to an auditing report.

World Championship and National Events Committee Report: Shari Lipski read her report, summarized as follows: The IPO and Agility Teams competing in the 2011 FMBB World Championships held in Nieuwport, Belgium had a full slate of 6 on the IPO team and 3 on the Agility Team. Shari thanked everyone for the opportunity to represent AWMA and the U.S. abroad. This year’s agility team included a Malinois, Groenendael, & Tervuren. AWMA did not have representation from the U.S. Mondio Association but Shari plans on contacting them to encourage future participation. The 2012 FMBB World Championships are scheduled to be located just outside of Rome, Italy, possibly in early May. Shari will post the updated Competitor Rules and Regulations for the IPO, Mondio, and Agility Teams to the AWMA and Mondio websites very soon. Future FMBB World Championships are slated for Slovenia in 2013, Finland for 2014, and the Czech Republic in 2015. Shari stated she looks forward to working with the National Events Committee, the Sponsorship Committee, and the Membership Committee to build a stronger association and hopes to increase participation throughout the U.S. Shari concluded her report by thanking everyone who volunteered to help make local, national, and international events a success in 2011, and also thanked Machtig Strom SchH Verein, Rik Wolterbeek, and Global K9 for hosting this year’s AWMA National Championship.

Bylaws Amendment. Anne stated that the Executive Board would have preferred to distribute the Bylaw amendment to the member clubs in an electronic ballot, but because the clubs were not timely in sending in membership rosters or showing payment of dues, we could not perform such a vote without absolute confirmation that each vote was viable from each club. We had a straw poll within the Executive Board where this did pass, but that is not a binding vote and this is a general Board decision. Essentially we are deleting Section 2, Paragraph (e) of the Bylaws: “each member club is also responsible for carrying its own liability insurance. Proof of insurance shall be submitted along with the membership lists.”
Anne asked for discussion. Kristina asked what the AWMA general liability insurance policy covered. Anne answered that the coverage is similar to what Sportsman’s Insurance offers and that the policy was purchased from Liberty Northwest as a rider to our D&O policy, that they do not typically insure sports clubs but they would insure an umbrella club similar to the AWMA. Shari asked if it is possible to have one policy cover the entire organization. Anne stated she has spent years looking into this and could not find such a policy. Sportsmans will not issue an umbrella policy for a national organization. Waine Singleton moved to accept the deletion of Section 2, Paragraph (e) from the Bylaws. Bob Miller second. All voting members were in agreement. With no opposition, the motion carried.

Elections. Anne stated we have committees that have positions open for election this year and we have a blanket motion to continue the terms of the people currently serving. Waine Singleton moved to continue the terms of people currently serving committee assignments. Christopher Smith second. With no opposition, the motion carried. Anne explained that Terry Miller recently stepped down for personal reasons. Donna McGinnis has filled in on that position and Terry Miller will accept Donna’s vacancy as Director at Large. There was a vote and approval of this by the Executive Board previously and the Board has been operating as allowed by the Bylaws with the consideration that we bring it forward at the next general meeting for ratification. Waine Singleton moved to accept the ratification. Tim Karchnak second. With no opposition, the motion carried.
Anne further mentioned that a lot of members don’t have the opportunity to see the inner workings of the organization due to the miles that divide us, but she wanted to make sure we are as transparent as possible by our motions/results of voting being placed on the website. She encouraged everyone to make contact with us regarding their concerns and ideas. She further mentioned this Board and committee members make up one of the best groups she has had the pleasure to work with and that we really strive to be inclusive, we care about the organization, and noted how much work goes on behind the scenes that most folks aren’t even aware of.

Old Business. Anne reminded everyone that AWMA is a full member of the AWDF and how much the AWDF has grown over the past years, that the level of involvement of sport in this country is being recognized by Europe. She also stated we are working with the FCI Working Commission via new FCI President Frans Jensen and there will be a decision in the future about having the AWDF recognized as a contract partner with the FCI Working Commission.

New Business. Motions. Anne prepared a list of all of the motions that have been made and acted upon from the date of our last national meeting to the present. All motions are listed on the website under the News category, including the actions taken and explanation of same. Anne asked if there were any motions that members wished to have clarification on, and then briefly reviewed the list with everyone.

AWMA Nationals: Anne stated that while we are very appreciative and grateful to the USCA clubs that have stepped up to host events for AWMA, we should be hosting our own championship. She mentioned that Shari has several suggestions on ways to accomplish this. Shari then stated she and Anne are developing a draft national events manual that would outline the numerous steps that must be addressed in order to have a successful event. Shari proposed that it be customized to AWMA together with job descriptions for all the steps necessary in offering a championship event. She also suggested two clubs work in unison, one club locating tracking, preparing the website, while the second club contact helpers and procure trophy sponsors. She further suggested that AWMA team up with other interested AWDF clubs and host a concurrent, simultaneous national event by sharing the venue, tracking, helpers and judges with multiple AWDF breed clubs. The Board will take this discussion further and if acceptable will make the appropriate contact. Anne reminded everyone that we will be making the call to all clubs for bids to host the nationals in the near future.
The question was asked if it was time for the AWMA nationals to include all breeds. Anne reminded everyone we could not vote on this but would take a straw poll and offered the topic for discussion. Points discussed included the recent opening of our nationals to other Belgian breeds, whether we should restrict entries to only Belgians, and the rationale for potentially opening the entries to all breeds. After spirited discussion, Anne stated that we could go on with this discussion ad infinitum and not reach a conclusion, but we at least wanted to bring it up for discussion. She also asked if anyone had strong feelings one way or another, please let us know. Discussion was tabled.

Marketing the AWMA: Anne stated that we had discussed this earlier in the Executive Board meeting. One of the issues limiting membership in the AWMA is that people don’t see AWMA as a viable option for a sport organization. Anne suggested that we have an opportunity to present ourselves as an organization that is inclusive and welcoming and supportive of the sport with a particular emphasis on the Belgian breeds, and would like to begin a marketing campaign to get the AWMA out in front of people to help grow our membership. Anne further stated we need to form more local clubs and get the word out that we are a viable organization and we do more than just send a team to the FMBB or select the team for the FCI. We have a lot of people in other national clubs that do not participate at the local level while taking advantage of the services offered on the national level. Anne stated that any future growth will be directly related to developing local clubs and our own judges, that those are the two areas that we really need to grow. She also asked that if anyone sees a qualified candidate for our judges program, to please ask them if they are interested in participating.
FMBB Update. Shari gave her report previously but wanted to add one last item. She received an email from a Malinois club in Venezuela regarding the Cup of the Americas. She stated she told them we could assist them as long as we played a part in putting it together and were kept aware of event development. She then received another email stating they had selected the judge and asked if we wanted to join them, but it was distributed to multiple people so it wasn’t so much a request for assistance. Given the language barrier, Shari didn’t know if we would receive requests to sponsor trophies or assist with the event, and asked if this was an event that AWMA would have interest in. Anne asked Shari to obtain more information and we would discuss it at a later time.
Anne stated the agility program has become a permanent part of AWMA and that it was opened to Tervurens and Groenendaels to improve participation on the FMBB agility team. She added that we have an excellent working relationship with the ABMC which has shown to be beneficial to AWMA in a number of ways: In cooperation with the ABMC we now have the capacity for listing IPO working titles on AKC pedigrees. Our relationship with ABMC has also assisted AWMA in securing Mr. Arcon for our national event, as the FCI required that we not only have a letter from the AWDF, we were also asked to obtain a letter from the ABMC giving permission to have Mr. Arcon serve as our judge. Anne further stated we have a working relationship with the USMRA to send a mondio team and although they didn’t choose to send anyone this year, they could go under the umbrella of the AWMA.
Anne asked if there was anything left for discussion.
Rik Wolterbeek thanked the AWMA for the opportunity to host our national event and thanked Bob Miller and Glenn Stephenson for all their work in helping the event get off the ground. Anne thanked Mr. Wolterbeek and all his members for their work in picking up the pieces and making sure this event was a success. She further stated their generous efforts, dedication and hard work did not go unnoticed and the AWMA appreciated everything they had done for us.
Tim Karchnak made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Bob Miller second. With no opposition, the motion carried.
The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.