Minutes of 2013 General Meeting
MINUTES OF THE GENERAL BOARD MEETING OF THE AMERICAN WORKING MALINOIS ASSOCIATION:: MS Word File ::
November 15, 2013
AWMA BOARD: Anne Camper, Glenn Stephenson, and Waine Singleton
VIA TELEPHONE: Cynthia Zimmerman, Christopher Smith, Terry Miller, Paul Konschak, and Donna McGinnis
- John Bochenek, Metro Detroit Schutzhund and Police K9;
- Ivan Balabanov, Spirit Working Dog Club;
- Hardy Ernsting, Podium Belgian Shepherd Working Dog Club;
- Deb Stephenson, Three Mountains Working Dog Club;
- and Angie Stark, Midwest Working Dog Association
GUESTS: Mario Gomes, Natalie Balabanov, John Holiday, Dre Hastings, Linda Guidry, Jim Engel, Michelle Kutelis
1. Call to Order and Introductions
Ms. Camper called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Roll call and introductions commenced accordingly. Prior to proceeding, the newly appointed northeastern Regional Director Waine Singleton confirmed events were held by Metro Detroit Schutzhund and Police K9 thereby eliminating the need for an event waiver for their presence as a delegate.
2. Reading of the Previous Meeting Minutes
Ms. Camper dispensed with the reading of the previous meeting minutes as they had been posted for a period of time and were approved by the board.
3. Officer Reports
President's Report: Ms. Camper noted she would provide updates to the various topics as the meeting progressed.
Vice President's Report: No report.
Greetings AWMA members. Thank you to all the AWMA clubs and members who have been supportive of the organization during the past year, and for your cooperation in responding to my requests as secretary.
The AWMA has continued to make a strong showing in national events, as follows:
- The 2012 AWMA National Championship hosted by Motor City Working Dogs in Bowling Green, Kentucky on November 9-11, 2012 included 22 entries ( 16 IP03; 2 IP02; and 1 IP01, and 3 BH )
- In the 2013 AWDF Championship hosted by Kentucky Hundesport Klub in Lucas, Kentucky on May 15-19, 2013, the AWMA provided a team of 21 entries ( 17 IP03 and 4 IP01 )
The full member clubs of AWMA collectively held 6 trials this year, as follows:
- December 2, 2012, Midwest Working Dog Association — 7 entries
- January 26, 2013, Spirit Working Dog Club — 5 entries
- May 11, 2013, Midwest Working Dog Association — 10 entries
- May 26, 2013, Cache Valley Working Dogs — 7 entries
- August 30, 2013, Midwest Working Dog Association — 15 entries
- October 6, 2013, Three Mountains Working Dog Club — 4 entries
Thank you to all the clubs that have provided trial opportunities for our members.
Donna McGinnis, AWMA Secretary
Ms. Camper added that in order for the organization to grow, we should encourage clubs, albeit dual organizations, to host AWMA events. She thanked Midwest Working Dog Association for hosting three trials this year (half of the total events of the organization were hosted by this club). She further commented that while our entries in the AWDF may not appear substantial, in comparison to other AWDF clubs the AWMA has the highest percentage of membership participating in national events.
AWMA Treasurer's Report as of November 04, 2013.
- Treasury Update:
- Current Balance: $20,689.90 ($22,969.41 in accounts, $2,279.51 pending checks)
- Please see 2013 AWMA Financial Statement, Profit & Loss Statement, and Sales Summary for detailed breakdown of income and expenses. Please note that the numbers are based on when checks were received and deposited by Treasurer, not necessarily when submissions were made to individual officers so membership/club/scorebook totals may be different than other officer reports.
- Two notes about this past year's finances. Most of our surplus this year came from having only 2 participants at the FMBB Championship. Still waiting on Shari to submit their uniform expenses, but it is expected to only be about $200. Judge's Program budget this year went to Cynthia Zimmerman's trip to the FCI Judge's Meeting.
- 2013-2014 Budget: Additions to the budget throughout the year voted on by Board included increasing Nationals budget to $2000, $250 for zooza membership database, $200 for officer bond insurance, and allotting $300 to each AWMA team member of the FMBB and FCI Championships (reimbursed after event). A one time website repair order of $200 approved by President Camper.
- We have a $380 credit with IRS for overpayment of 2011 taxes that they double billed us for and never applied to the 2012 taxes. This will be applied to the 2013's taxes due in March, 2014.
- I apologize for not being able to make it this year as I'm 9 months pregnant and baby will be here this week. Good luck to all the competitors! I'd like to take this time to also thank the rest of the board for all their time and hard work.
Warmly Submitted, Kristina Carmody, AWMA Treasurer
The financial statement, profit and loss statement, and sales summary were then passed to those in attendance for further review.
Membership Chair's Report:
Membership Chair Report/Newsletter/Website Committee Reports: Membership numbers for this year are again on the rise as they have been the last several years I've done this position. We had 169 Single Memberships and 30 Family Memberships). We moved our system from the paper/binder method and invested this year in a new database software called Zooza. Several other breed clubs have used this software and the cost is approximately $200/year which was significantly cheaper than the other database alternatives. Members may still send in a check but can no longer use Paypal directly, they must use it through Zooza which then automatically puts them in our database system and ensures every member will be processed. The last few years since instituting Paypal we have had issues because there was no way to mark whether an application had been processed so some members were skipped over and there were delays in processing. Zooza has streamlined the process significantly, although there were some delays since this was our first year and we had to get all the initial data entered and set up. We hope to get all of our stuff on Zooza and eliminate all our paypal buttons this year since that has been a repeated issue with the coding on them breaking on the website. Overall Zooza has been a very positive step in our organization and will hopefully increase our membership numbers and make the membership chair position significantly easier which will make processing times much faster.
Dana McMahan, Membership Chair
Scorebook Report: Prior to reading the report, Ms. Camper presented the revised AWDF scorebook policy. She then noted the AWMA is the only club providing the opportunity for a non-FCI recognized registered Malinois to be listed as a Malinois in an AWMA scorebook via our Working Privilege Listing application.
Scorebook Policy Change
Score book policy: Motion passed May 16, 2013 (annual AWDF meeting)
- Effective immediately, AWDF member clubs can issue scorebooks to any breed of dog owned by their members and list the dog's breed on the score book provided that proof of FCI recognized registration accompanies the application. Score book application processes used by each member club will be followed.
- Dogs for which no FCI recognized registration is submitted can receive a scorebook from any AWDF organization but the dog will be listed as a mix.
- Breeds not recognized by the FCI (for example, American Bulldog) must have their scorebooks issued by their breed organization or the dog will be listed as a mix.
- Clubs that offer the opportunity to have a non-FCI registered dog's breed listed in the scorebook via a working privilege listing (for example Malinois with the AWMA) must have the scorebook issued by that club.
- Effective March 21, 2013, USCA eliminated the requirement for scorebooks to be certified by USCA, thus also removing scorebook certification fees. USCA will accept scorebooks from all AWDF, WUSV, or FCI organizations.
- Effective with the 2014 AWDF Championship, the requirement to use an AWDF scorebook is removed. This was done to accommodate the use of foreign scorebooks issued by FCI organizations and therefore complies with the FCI regulation of one scorebook per dog.
- 79 Scorebooks as of November 4 2013
- MIX – 2
- Rott - 3
- GSD – 3
- Beuceron – 1
- AWMA WPL's - 5
- Belgian's other than Mal - 6
2012: 64 Scorebooks
- MIX - 1
- AWMA WPL's - 4
- Belgian's other than Mal - 2
2010: 61 Scorebooks
2009: 48 Scorebooks
2008: 39 Scorebooks
2007: 24 Scorebooks
2006: 35 Scorebooks
2005: 21 Scorebooks
Terry Miller, Scorebook Chair
Concern was raised that scorebooks for Malinois would be obtained from other organizations, yet it was fairly clear from the report that the AWMA has also provided scorebooks to other breeds as well.
World Championship National Events Chair: No report.
Judge's Committee Report:
The judge's committee has actively contacted some members to inquire about their interest in becoming an AWMA judge apprentice. Although many were interested, for the most part they stated this just was not quite the time yet for them to do so. We will continue this to grow our pool of judge apprentices and encourage other members to do so as well. We welcome speaking with anyone about the process at any time.
We worked with the hosting club to secure judges for this year's AWMA Nationals. Through this year's process we learned we needed to re-word and add some things into the contract for this event, which we did so that going forward into next year the process will be easier for all concerned.
Currently we have two AWMA judges, Glenn Stephenson and myself. We have one AWMA judge apprentice at this time, Waine Singleton. We congratulate him for his decision and I look forward to working with him as he goes through the program. Dana Miller had no movement within the program, so per our by-laws we had to remove her name from the website and she is no longer an AWMA judge apprentice at this time. We hope that in the future she will revisit the time commitment it takes and consider entering the program again.
Cynthia Zimmerman, Director of Judges
Ms. Camper then made a personal request that if anyone is interested in becoming an AWMA judge, or if someone is known to be interested if they were approached, please let us know.
Website Report: [Dana McMahan stepped down as primary website coordinator and Katie Finlay and Tracy Klopp volunteered to assist with this position. Ms. Camper thanked John Wiitanen for his time and assistance in managing the Facebook page.
Our website and forum have had quite the year with multiple hacking attempts that left us offline and in need of professional website coding services. We have since got everything online and re-secured our website but this may be an ongoing issue in the future that we will need professional website services for. I personally need to step down as the primary website person and have found two volunteers who are willing to help with website updates - Katie Finley and Tracey Klopp. Mohawk John has been very helpful in keeping the Facebook page up to date and Anne Camper has been incredible in keeping things updated on the website, forum and Facebook page.
For banner sponsorships we are down to 3 Banner Sponsorships this year -- Kustom Krates, Working-Dog.eu and Canine Training Systems. We need dedicated individuals on our sponsorship committee to help contact companies to get dog-related companies signed up to do Banner Sponsorships. I have a letter prototype and list of companies to contact if anyone is interested in helping secure new sponsorships. These sponsorship funds have been very helpful in adding a buffer to our treasury so if anyone can volunteer that would be great.
For the newsletter committee I have decided not to continue with the position. We have changed the newsletter from a quarterly to a yearly format with quarterly President's report but it is simply too much work to keep up with.
Dana McMahan, Website Chairman
Discussion then commenced regarding the quarterly newsletter which has evolved into a quarterly President's report. The question was asked if there really was any interest in receiving newsletters because they require a tremendous amount of work to generate, which is unnecessary if no one reads them. Mr. Singleton believes everyone enjoys reading the results and personal stories of people in the organization and that it is essential if we are going to become acquainted with people across the country. Ms. Camper replied that the difficulty comes when we ask for articles and we receive nothing, but we could again call for volunteers. Mr. Singleton and Mr. Engle offered to assist.
Standing committee elections:
Judges Committee (nominees Carol Karchnak and Waine Singleton).
World Championship/National Events Committee (nominees Nicole Kelly and Kim Yeager).
Nominations Committee (nominees Britney Bradshaw, Michelle Kutelis and Deb Stephenson).
Ms. Camper thanked Mrs. Stephenson for her assistance in cultivating nominees for these positions. Ms. Camper pointed out if there are no other nominees, the election could proceed by acclamation. All were in favor, no opposition, the motion carried.
Ad-hoc Committee: Samie Jones has agreed to be the website chair. This is an appointed position and not subject to election. Ms. Camper asked if anyone else wished to volunteer for the position and Mr. Engle volunteered to assist as needed.
5. Old Business
AWDF Information. Ms. Camper acknowledged posting AWDF information on the website as it is received. She asked if there were any questions, concerns, or discussion regarding our membership in the AWDF. Discussion commenced regarding the date of the AWDF Championship and the need to respect the date of the FMBB World Championship. Ms. Camper reaffirmed her request that it is not held within a three-week window of the FMBB. Spirited discussion ensued regarding the conflicted scheduling of national IPO events in relation to the FMBB Championship. Ms. Camper reminded everyone that elections would proceed this year and further encouraged AWMA involvement via representation on the AWDF board. It was suggested that the AWMA boycott the AWDF entirely. Mr. Smith suggested that the AWMA could also host the event, giving the AWMA the ability to schedule the event as desired. Ms. Camper disclosed the AWDF is currently hosting their own event and then securing a club to assist them. Mr. Stephenson recommended AWMA participation on the AWDF board as the proper method of achieving fair representation. Mr. Balabanov suggested that the AWDF not be held after April 30th; then they could arrange their national events as appropriate because national events should not trump world championships. Mr. Engle commented on the historical significance of the GSD being promoted to a greater degree and recommended that the Malinois worldwide needs to do more to project their image. After further historical commentary, Ms. Camper asked that we return to the issue at hand. Mrs. Stephenson reiterated the need for AWMA representation on the AWDF board.
After much discussion, Ms. Camper acknowledged that the issue could not be resolved in this meeting and again strongly encouraged AWMA participation via forthcoming AWDF elections. She further invited everyone to contact her directly or take the issue to our Facebook page, in addition to the use of private email exchanges. Mr. Balabanov suggested that the issue needed to be addressed by the AWMA as opposed to individuals. Mr. Stephenson then suggested forming a committee to address a solution. Mr. Balabanov, Mr. Doud, and Mr. Smith volunteered to serve to address AWMA's representation within the AWDF (AWDF Strategy Committee).
Ms. Zimmerman then asked for clarification on the new hosting protocol, i.e., that the AWDF is hosting their own event. Ms. Camper confirmed the decision was made by the AWDF executive board. Mr. Stephenson asked if it was for this year only and Ms. Camper replied that was not known at the present time.
FCI and FMBB Updates. Ms. Zimmerman acknowledged additional new rules being rolled out in 2014. She has requested the slides that were presented at the FCI judges meeting by Frans Jensen and they will be added to the AWMA website.
Discussion then commenced regarding the qualifying requirements for the FCI team, that being the undisclosed potential of the top 6-7 placements of the AWDF Championship forming the team and how this decision came to be. Mr. Stephenson and Ms. Camper both stated there were a number of valid reasons for the decision, even though it was not reached via the best practice. Questions were asked on how one trial could be the best practice. Mr. Stephenson again acknowledged there were valid arguments for reaching this decision. Ms. Camper confirmed she was not offered the opportunity to bring the issue to the membership, as the decision was reached by the AWDF executive board.
The FMBB Championship date has been set and a Facebook page established for updated information. Ms. Camper asked everyone to bear in mind the strict regulations regarding training aids in foreign countries, that in some countries a violation of these regulations could equate to more than disqualification and could include imprisonment. Mr. Singleton asked what was necessary to bring the FMBB Championship to the United States. Commentary included the necessity of providing a venue large enough to house the variety of activities (that being agility, obedience, conformation, mondio, and IPO), the necessity of obtaining the variety of judges required, the ability to obtain an appropriate amount of seed money necessary to fund such a venture, together with the logistics of getting the different organizations in the United States to work together, altogether making this an enormous responsibility and likely impossible to accomplish.
Ms. Camper stated motions are posted under news. All motions for the year have been posted with the exception of one which was the change to the AWMA contract for hosting a national event. The most noteworthy revisions were the increased seed money offered by the AWMA and the inclusion of an approval process of the judges for the event.
Ms. Camper asked for questions, comments, or concerns regarding the board's activity over the last year. Mr. Balabanov believed a better way to communicate would be to send an email to those that wanted to receive such communication. Mr. Engel volunteered to assist. Ms. Camper reminded everyone that we have an email distribution list being created through Zooza that has not been launched yet, but most of the difficulty is keeping the list current as people move or are no longer AWMA members and this is why we must coordinate such a distribution through our membership database. The AWMA will continue to address this project.
AWMA National Event. A request for bids from prospective host clubs for the 2014 AWMA National event will be placed on the website and also on the Facebook page. All bids are due February 1, 2014.
Policy On Training Aids.
The executive board previously discussed the need for a policy on training equipment and how the AWMA would position itself within the AWDF. Mr. Smith was asked if he wished to summarize the discussion from the preceding meeting and he suggested Mr. Balabanov proceed with comments regarding this issue. In summary, Mr. Balabanov stated that he had been following the historical/political progression against the use of prong and electric collars in Europe very closely over the last two years. He further described a variety of studies held in Germany, England, and Switzerland which demonstrated that few individuals actually know how to use an electric collar and when used properly, it was not an abusive tool. He suggested that we should focus more on how we treat animals and not what they wear, as it is not difficult to determine if a dog is mistreated. Lastly, he recommended that we position our organization as approving of these tools but disapproving of animal abuse, while confirming our respect of other countries' laws regulating the use of same. Mr. Stephenson reminded everyone that judges from foreign countries must obey the rules of the organization they are licensed under.
Ms. Camper surmised that this issue would not be resolved in this meeting, that it requires a committee to discuss and formulate the best approach, and then asked for volunteers. The committee is comprised of the following members:
- Ivan Balabanov
- Mario Gomes
- Christopher Smith
- Jim Engel
- Glenn Stephenson
Ms. Camper requested they attempt to formulate something within the structure of this country, our relationship with the FMBB, FCI, AWDF, and also in regard to UScA's relationship with the WUSV. She personally did not believe we are in imminent danger of legislation banning the use of training equipment, as Ms. McGinnis mentioned in the executive committee meeting preceding the general meeting, legislation in this country is not at the same level with regard to training equipment as other countries due to the strength of the NRA/gun lobby and how they prefer to train their hunting dogs. Ms. Camper further noted this subject is not merely related to legislation in this country, but our relationships with worldwide dog sport organizations. Ms. Camper was pleased to report there were no board of inquiry reports for this year, as we have only had one in the history of this organization.
In conclusion, Ms. Camper asked for comments, suggestions, or recommendations regarding the future direction of the AWMA. Several responses related to the scheduling of the AWDF Championship. She then asked if there had been anything that the members observed that they did not appreciate, and once again the response related to the scheduling of the AWDF Championship.
Motion to adjourn from Mr. Stephenson, seconded by Mr. Singleton. With no opposition, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.