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AKC Board Minutes,Chairman's Report

AKC Board Meeting Minutes

American Kennel Club Board Motions, Actions as recorded by Secretary

 

Current Meeting held at AKC Offices at 101 Park Avenue, New York, NY October 11-12, 2021

(See Minutes In Their Entirety Below) or Click to see current AKC Suspensions

 

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Wording is as presented in the Minutes/Secretary's Page, provided by AKC Secretary Gina M. DiNardo.

 

The Board convened on Monday, October 11, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. All Directors and the Executive Secretary were present. The August 9-10, 2021 Board Meeting minutes, copies of which had been provided to all Directors, were reviewed. Upon a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, the August 2021 Board Meeting minutes were unanimously approved.

 

PRESIDENTS REPORT

Mr. Sprung reviewed with the Board the status of the action items emanating from the August Board meeting.

 

Mr. Sprung reported that The American Kennel Club (AKC®) was proud to announce that the iconic Helmsley Building, located at 230 Park, shined blue on Saturday, September 18, 2021 in honor of AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day. Responsible Dog Ownership Day was created by the American Kennel Club in 2003 to promote the responsibilities that come along with owning a dog. The observance highlights the human-canine bond and aims to educate first-time dog owners about responsible dog ownership and help current owners enhance their relationships with their pets. The Helmsley Building shining blue will help inform current and future dog owners about the commitment we have to our pets. It is our mission to advocate for dogs as family companions, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership and lighting this renowned building blue is testament to our dedication to these goals.

 

Based on a recommendation by Mrs. Wallin in August, the Board authorized Mr. Sprung to make a $5000 donation in cooperation with The Kennel Club’s (UK) Charitable Trust to Nowzad to assist with the humanitarian evacuation of dogs from Afghanistan to the UK. Following a motion by Mrs. Wallin, seconded by Mr. Carota, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to ratify the actions of Mr. Sprung which were taken prior to the meeting of the board.

 

Expanded Training for Field Staff - Mr. Sprung updated the Board on the multiple required training courses taken by every AKC employee as well as the dozens of optional education courses available. There will be expanded training for the Field Staffs beginning in the 4th quarter. This program will cover numerous areas of communication, soft skills and dispute resolution. Training will be in-person and online.

 

Club Insurance Recommendation - Based on a Board request, Staff provided information on insurance coverage and recommended levels and types of insurance coverage for clubs to have. Following a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mrs. Wallin, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to approve the following Policy:

     AKC strongly encourages clubs to have the following insurance coverage and limits; 1) General Commercial Labiality Coverage not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 in the aggregate; 2) Workers Compensation Coverage in statutory amounts and for volunteers if volunteers are not covered under another policy with $500,000 Employers Liability coverage; 3) Automobile Liability Coverage for owned, non-owned and hired vehicles not less than $1,000,000; AND 4) Crime Policy in an amount to cover the assets of the club.

     This Policy recommendation will be announced through AKC’s usual communication channels, placed in the Club Resource section of AKC.org, be included in an article on insurance and included in a club webinar regarding insurance coverage. Additionally, a direct communication will be sent to the club Presidents, Secretaries and Delegates.

 

Legal Update - The Board reviewed the Legal Department update as of September 2021.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION - There was an EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss sensitive business matters. There was nothing reported out of this session.

 

AKC Museum of the Dog - Alan Fausel, Executive Director & CEO of the AKC Museum of the Dog gave an update on four recent and important acquisitions:

     • Abraham Hondius, Amsterdam Dog Market. Gift of Robert Flanders in honor of Walter Goodman.

     • George Earl, Field Trial at Bala, North Wales. Museum purchase made possible with funds from the Hon. David Merriam, Gayle Bontecou and Kay and Alan Fausel.

     • John Martin Tracy, Haunt of the Woodcock, Sensation and Bang, Bang. Gift of Sean McCarthy.

     • Charles Olivier de Penne, Hounds in the Snow, from the collection of James Smith, Gift of David Merriam, former AKC Chairmen.

 

He also provided the Board with a walk through of the Ways of Giving brochure addressing private charitable donation options.

 

2022 Budget - The 2022 Budget, as described in Mr. Sprung’s introduction letter to the Board, was built upon a carefully conducted analysis of opportunities and challenges, heavily overshadowed by COVID-19 and the many unknowns that will need to be navigated thoughtfully as we guide AKC to continued success for the well-being of dogs and long-term corporate growth. Our financial strength, coming off of the best fiscal year in our 137-year history, was the result of thorough planning, collective creativity and ongoing daily leadership by Management and Staff. These strengths will enable AKC to successfully build on the accomplishments of 2021 to fulfill its plans for 2022. A number of inquiries were responded to by Mr. Sprung and Mrs. DiNardo. Following a motion by Mr. Carota, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to approve the 2022 Budget.

 

FINANCE - Ted Phillips, Chief Financial Officer, presented interim financial statements (unaudited) through August 31, 2021.

 

Financial Results: Net Operating Income is $23 million primarily due to higher registration and event service revenues, along with lower operating expenses. Total Revenues of $69.7 million exceed budget by 35% led by Registration Fees of $31.2 million, Pedigree and Registration Related Fees of $9.9 million. Recording & Event Service fees, Title Recognition and Event Applications fees total $9.1 million and exceed budget and prior year by 67% and 45% respectively. Product & Service Sales total $8.2 million and exceed budget by 29%. Advertising, Sponsorship and Royalties total $10.6 million and exceed budget by 28%. Controllable Expenses are lower than budget by 3% or $1.4 million due to careful management of operating expenses. Non-Controllable expenses were lower than budget by $1 million due to timing of software development projects. Compared to YTD 2020 we see the continued positive trend of increased revenues and cost containment.

 

Non-Financial Results: Registration Statistics: 2021 YTD Litter Registration was 23% ahead of budget, 19% better than 2020 YTD. 2021 YTD Dog Registration was 31% ahead of budget, 18% better than 2020 YTD. Compared to the same period in 2020, Events & Entries were up by 113% & 100%, respectively

 

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY - Mari-Beth O’Neill, VP Sport Services, Sheila Goffe, VP Government Relations participated in this portion of the meeting via videoconference.

 

Foundation Stock Service Guidelines - The Board reviewed the proposed revisions to the Foundation Stock Service Guidelines that include clarification to the requirements for a breed developed within the United States. Additionally, that the Parent Club recognized by the AKC establish a plan for how the breed will be maintained for stability and growth over the first 10 years of recognition.

     Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to approve the proposed revisions to the Foundation Stock Service Guidelines (APPENDIX A). The updated information will be provided to the current breeds in the Foundation Stock Service.

 

Rottweiler Breed Standard Revision by Petition - The Board reviewed the proposed revisions to the Rottweiler Breed Standard submitted by the American Rottweiler Club, (ARC). At its August 12, 2021, the American Rottweiler Club Board voted unanimously to accept a membership petition for a proposed revision to the Tail Section of the Rottweiler Breed Standard. The petition met the requirements set forth in the club’s bylaws.

     Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Ms. McAteer, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to approve the proposed amendment to the Tail Section of the Rottweiler standard for publication for comment in the November Secretary’s Page of the AKC Gazette.

 

Sloughi Proposed Breed Standard Revision - The Board reviewed the proposed revisions to the Sloughi breed standard as submitted by the American Sloughi Association. The current standard was effective January 1, 2011. Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Mr. Tatro, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to approve the proposed changes for publication for comment in the November Secretary’s Page of the AKC Gazette.

 

Acceptance of Pedigrees from the Bahrain Kennel Club - The Board reviewed a request from the Bahrain Kennel Club (BKC) to be added to the list of registries with pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration.

     The Bahrain Kennel Club (BKC), was established in 1974 by Sheikha Danah Al Khalifa. BKC became an associated member of Federation Cynologique Internationale in 1975 and a full member of FCI in 2017. BKC is a non-profit organization in Kingdom of Bahrain which represents the canine community. It’s goal as stated on its website is: “To educate the public about responsible dog ownership, provide education and exciting events, where everyone can get together and learn about dogs, their health and welfare.”

     This will be discussed further at the November Board meeting.

 

Parent Club Request to retire Torrid Zone (Portuguese Water Dog) - The Board reviewed a request from the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America to retire the kennel name “Torrid Zone”. The Club is requesting this on behalf of the Kennel name owners.

     The name “Torrid Zone” was registered from 2013-2023 as an AKC Recognized Breed protected kennel name. This will be discussed further at the November Board meeting.

 

Government Relations Legislation Monthly Update - The Board was provided with Staff’s monthly highlight report of active, priority legislative issues that AKC Government Relations (GR) is currently and actively working on as of September 15, 2021.

     Year to date, AKC GR has been reviewing and monitoring more than 2,300 pieces of legislation and more than 530 implementing regulations at the state, local and federal levels that could impact dog ownership, the wellbeing of dogs or AKC events and operations. This includes measures with positive as well as negative impacts. Additionally, GR is tracking more than 600 COVID-19 related bills or regulations that could impact dog clubs, ownership and events.

     Since January, AKC GR has released 250 geo-targeted legislative action alerts and provided written and/or oral testimony for more than 220 of these measures. This represents a 30% increase in advocacy engagements over the same period in 2020 and an increase of more than 80% over the same period in 2019. The most up-to-date information on legislative issues are available via AKC GR’s Legislative Action Center, www.akcgr.org.

 

Government Relations 2021 Highlights - Sheila Goffe, Vice President, Government Relations gave a presentation to the Board on GR Strategy, Tools and Resources used to successfully impact legislation around the country. It was noted that Anti-dog/anti-breeder legislation is an existential threat to our sport and the future of our breeds. AKC GR constantly works with dog lovers to protect our rights, advance purebred dogs and advocate for the wellbeing of all dogs. AKC’s GR educates, monitors & responds to legislation, represents the interests of responsible dog owners, and provides tools & resources to protect our future.

     There was a discussion on the successes and important work of the AKC PAC; 100% of donations support canine policy goals. Negative legislation won’t go away by itself. AKC GR complements pushback against harmful policy with strategic and proactive approaches that advance purebred dogs and dog ownership while raising AKC’s profile as the leader in responsible canine policy.

 

COMPANION and PERFORMANCE Doug Ljungren, Exec. VP Sports & Events and Caroline Murphy, Dir. Performance Events participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

Meet the Breeds in the Field - The Board reviewed a memo on a new initiative called “Meet the Breeds in the Field”. The purpose of Meet the Breeds in the Field is to demonstrate the form and function of working breeds and affirm the AKC’s commitment to purpose-bred dogs. This is a collaborative effort between Performance Events and AKC.tv.

     The 2022 MTB in the Field will feature pointing breeds. All the breeds eligible to participate in PB Hunting Tests will be invited to participate. There will be two segments to the program. The first segment will explain the breed’s characteristics and a brief history. The second segment will show the dogs performing in the field.

     This fall the Performance Events Department will begin to contact the Parent Clubs of the 23 breeds eligible for Pointing Breed Hunt tests with further details.

 

CONFORMATION - Doug Ljungren, Exec. VP Sports & Events; Mari-Beth O’Neill, VP Sport Services; Tim Thomas, VP of Dog Shows; and Alan Slay, Dir. Event Programs and Glenn Lycan, Dir. Event Operations Support, and Guy Fisher Mgr. Club Development participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

Rules Applying to Dog Shows, Chapter 9, Section 2 - The Board reviewed a proposal submitted by the Suffolk County Kennel Club to modify Chapter 9, Section 2 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows, which would allow an individual to act as Show Secretary for up to 12 group and/or All-Breed Club shows within a 200-mile radius of his/her primary location.

     The Board decided to forward the proposal to the Delegate Dog Show Rules Committee for feedback before considering it further.

 

AKC Banners and Signs - The Board reviewed a memo on the AKC Board Policy regarding Banners and Signs and how it is currently administered by Sports and Events. The updated policy being considered will include adding the AKC logo to armbands and provide minimum signage usage and detailed placement.

     The Board Policy, Banners and Signs, directs superintendents to place AKC branded banners and signs at superintended dog shows. The policy also urges clubs to display AKC branded banners and signs at non-superintended events.

     Sports and Events recommends that AKC should provide all specialty clubs with an AKC branded table drape. A letter recommending usage of AKC branded material will be included with the table drape. Sports and Events will supply superintendents with A-frame AKC branded placards, as used by AKC.tv, to improve visuals for TV, streaming and photography work.

     This will be discussed further at the November meeting.

 

SPORTS & EVENTS COVID PROVISIONS - Doug Ljungren, Exec. VP Sports & Events; Mari-Beth O’Neill, VP Sport Services; Tim Thomas, VP of Dog Shows; and Alan Slay, Dir. Event Programs and Glenn Lycan, Dir. Event Operations Support, and Guy Fisher Mgr. Club Development, Pamela Manaton, Dir. Obedience, Rally & Tracking; Caroline Murphy, Dir. Performance Events; and Carrie DeYoung, Dir. Agility participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

COVID Provisions - Event Application Process Across all Sports - The Board reviewed a recommendation to allow two temporary exceptions to the standard event application process that were implemented due to COVID to expire at the end of 2021.

      Specifically (1) Event application fees for cancelled events will not be rolled forward to the next event of the same type, and (2) The standard lead time for event applications will be reinstated.

     Unless extended, the pre-COVID event application process will apply to all events to be held after January 1, 2022.

     Following a motion by Mr. Tatro, seconded by Ms. Biddle, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to accept the Staff recommendation and allow these provisions to expire at the end of 2021.

 

COVID Provisions – Conformation Modifications Due to Expire - The Board reviewed several Conformation modifications to event policies to provide clubs greater flexibility to hold events that were scheduled to expire during the year or at year end.

     1. AKC Show Manual Indoor/Outdoor Ring Requirement - The action was based on the changing COVID restrictions for inside gathering numbers. The AKC action allowed clubs to move forward with their events knowing they could make last minute adjustments without penalty. By requiring the premium list to state the ring location change, exhibitors can make informed decisions. Original expiration date: December 31, 2021.

     2. Additional Events - Allow up to three events offering Championship points at the same site on the same day. At least one of the three competitions must be held by a specialty club. The action allowed circuits to add third events on a single day provided one of the three events is a Specialty show. Original expiration date: December 31, 2021.

     3. Distance an All-Breed or Group Club May Travel - Allow all-breed clubs to hold their events up to 200 miles from their territory and up to 300 miles when there are extenuating circumstances. Original expiration date: December 31, 2021.

     4. Distance a Specialty Club May Travel - Allow specialty clubs to join other specialty clubs of the same breed up to 300 miles from their territory. Original expiration date: December 31, 2021.

 

Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Dr. Battaglia, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to extend the above four (4) provisions until June 30, 2022:

     5. Junior Qualifications – Current eligibility to compete in Juniors is up until the day the Junior turns 18. The COVID provisions flexibility allows the Junior to compete up to their 19th birthday or December 31, 2021, whichever comes first. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to allow this provision to expire on December 31, 2021.

     6. Waive same day restriction for NOHS group and BIS judges allowing them to show on the day (not in NOHS). This provision allows clubs more flexibility when assigning judges for NOHS groups and BIS. Judges assigned only NOHS groups or NOHS BIS show may exhibit the same day, but MAY NOT compete in NOHS the same day they judge.

     This modification provided flexibility and options for clubs offering NOHS, additional educational opportunities for prospective judges and lessens the burden on group judges. Clubs have appreciated the flexibility this modification has provided, and staff has not received complaints from exhibitors pertaining to a NOHS group judge exhibiting the same day. Scheduled to expire December 31, 2021.

 

Following a motion by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Tatro, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to modify the NOHS regulations to make this change permanent.

     7. Premium List and 72 Hour Opening of Entries for Limited All-Breed Events - In order to provide fair opportunity for all exhibitors to enter All-Breed Conformation events with an entry limit, premium lists for these events are required to be published at least 72 hours prior to the acceptance of entries. All-Breed events with an entry limit must have a defined Date and Time for the opening of entries that is to be prominently displayed in the premium list. Originally scheduled to expire December 31, 2021.

 

Following a motion by Mr. Tatro, seconded by Mr. Hamblin, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to modify the policy to make this change permanent.

 

Limited All-Breed Event Opening of Entries Policy (October 2021) - In order to provide fair opportunity for all exhibitors to enter all-breed conformation events with an entry limit, premium lists for these events are required to be published at least 72 hours prior to the acceptance of entries. All-breed conformation events whose entries are limited must have a defined Date and Time for the opening of entries that is to be prominently displayed in the premium list.

 

COVID Provision - Retriever Hunting Tests – Handing Off the Bird - The Board reviewed a recommendation to allow handlers, at the direction of the judges, to place the retrieved bird in a bucket rather than hand it off to the judges.

     The Retriever Hunting Test Regulations state that the handlers shall hand the retrieved birds directly to the judges. This is done so the judges may examine the bird to assure it was not damaged by the dog during the retrieve. This practice was modified during COVID to allow the handler to place the bird in a bucket, which provided greater physical separation between the handler and judge. This provision is set to expire at year-end. The sport desires to make this a permanent change.

     Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to amend Regulations & Guidelines for AKC Retriever Hunting Tests, Guidelines, Part III, Section 4, Paragraph 5 to:

     Paragraph 5. Handlers may place each delivered bird in or on a container that must not be light in color or a hanging rack as directed by the Judges. Judges must be diligent and aware during the retrieve and delivery and must inspect all birds suspected of damage due to hard mouth or unusual situations.

 

COVID Provisions – COVID Provisions – Extension on Scent Work Judge Waiver - A Scent Work Regulation that limits judges from accepting assignments was temporarily waived until year-end 2021 due to COVID-19. Following a motion by Mr. Power, seconded by Mr. Carota, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to extend the waiver of the 30 days/100-mile restriction on Scent Work judges for another six months until June 30, 2022. This waiver should be re-evaluated prior to June of 2022.

 

COVID Provisions – Obedience, Rally, Tracking and Agility Modifications Due to Expire at Year-End - The Companion Events department temporarily suspended or modified six regulations to offset the impact that COVID-19 caused with travel restrictions and social distancing requirements. The Board reviewed a memo outlining the Staff’s recommendations regarding these modifications. The six modifications were – (1) Waiver of two judges required to earn a title, (2) Waiver of 30 days and 100 miles assignment restrictions on judges, (3) Allow judges to accept assignments to judge the same classes at two Obedience/Rally trials over the course of a cluster (4) Increase the distance between exhibitors in the Obedience Novice group exercises, (5) Increase the Tracking Test Certification expiration dates, and (6) Allow Agility exhibitors to carry their leashes during their Agility runs.

     Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Hamblin, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to approve the Staff recommendations as follows:

     (1) Two-Judge Requirement to Title – The temporary modification for obedience, rally, and agility lower level classes will extend through June 30, 2022.

     (2) The waiver of date and mileage restrictions for judges – The temporary modification for obedience, rally and agility judges will extend through June 30, 2022.

     (3) The judge’s assignment limitation to judge the same classes – The temporary modification for obedience, rally and agility judges will extend through June 30, 2022.

     (4) Distance Between Exhibitors in the Obedience Novice Group Exercises – The modification will expire on December 31, 2021 and return to six feet between dogs in the Novice Group Exercises effective January 1, 2022.

     (5) Tracking Test Certification Expiration Dates – The modification to Tracking Test Certifications will expire on December 31, 2021 and return to a 24-month Certification Certificate effective with new certifications issued in 2022.

     (6) Allow agility exhibitors to carry their leashes during their agility runs. The Board VOTED to amend the Agility Regulations Chapter 4, Section 10 to make the change permanent as of January 1, 2022.

     Section 10. Leashes. Handlers shall be allowed to bring their dog to the start line on leash. Handlers shall comply with the judge’s instructions for being ready to start their run, having their dog off leash and under control in a timely manner. Dogs shall not be faulted for the act of playing tug on the leash, nor for going to or picking up a leash laid in the ring (usually laid after the last obstacle or near the ring exit). A leash may not have excess material dangling from it, nor may it have any attachments including a fleece or leather wrap. The leash may have a single pick-up bag and/or identification tag attached to it. Dogs shall be on leash at all times when on the trial grounds except in the ring and at the warm-up jump area.

     The handler may choose not to leave their leash at the start line. If so, the leash must be fully contained within the handler’s pocket or may be clipped around the handler (i.e., waist, crossbody, etc.).

     Dogs must enter and exit the ring with the leash attached to the dog’s collar or harness, or in the case of a slip lead, with the noose completely around the dog’s neck, with the other end of the leash held by the handler. Any entry or exit chutes added to the ring for the ease of getting dogs in and out of the ring are not considered to be part of the ring.

     Clubs must provide a leash holder or a container for the leash runner to place the leash in or on, which can easily be located by the handler near the ring exit. Leashes or slip leads may not be hung on the ring barrier nor placed on the ground.

 

JUDGES - Doug Ljungren, Exec. VP Sports & Events; Tim Thomas, VP of Dog Show Judges participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

Conformation Judging Statistics - The Board reviewed a memo presenting statistics related to conformation judging applications considered by the Judges Review Committee in the months of July - September 2021, and the year-to-date summary statistics for 2021.

 

Year to Date Approval Statistics - Following are the 2021 monthly individual summary statistics for New Breed and Additional Breed applicants and the year-to-date accumulative totals for both.

 

 

CLUBS Doug Ljungren, Exec. VP Sports & Events; Glenn Lycan, Dir. Event Operations Support and Lisa Cecin, Dir. Club Relations, participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

Delegates and Member Clubs - The Board reviewed a report on the prospective Delegate credentials to be published in two issues of the AKC Gazette, requests for AKC membership applications, and a report on Member Club Bylaws approved and newly licensed clubs.

 

Letters of Objection to Bylaw Balloting - The Board reviewed a complaint regarding the balloting process used by the Bichon Frise Club of America (BFCA) in balloting its membership on proposed BFCA Bylaw Amendments. Staff had determined that the club had not followed its current Bylaws when setting the dates that ballots must be returned by. In order to be effective, a Bylaw amendment must first be ratified by AKC’s Board of Directors at a meeting.

     Following a motion by Mr. Tatro, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to instruct the Club to follow its current Bylaws and re-ballot the membership on the Club’s proposed Bylaw amendments.

 

Report on Member Clubs Bylaws approved in August and September 2021 - Atlanta Kennel Club, Atlanta, GA (1916) - Australian Cattle Dog Club of America (1999) - Badger Kennel Club, Dane County, WI (1956) - Del Valle Kennel Club of Livermore, Livermore, CA (1992) - Lakes Region Kennel Club, Belknap County, NH (1976) - Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club, Rockingham County, VA (2006) - Susque-Nango Kennel Club, Broome County, NY (1950)

 

Report on Newly Licensed Clubs approved in August and September 2021 - Badger Beagle Club of Wisconsin, greater Ashippun, WI (including communities north to Mayville; south to Oconomowoc, east to Slinger, west to Neosho), 21 total households, 9 local.

     Citrus County Kennel Club, Citrus County, FL, 33 total households, 27 local.

     Hill Country Agility Club, greater San Antonio, TX (including communities north to New Braunfels, south to Natalia, east to Luling and west to Hondo), 26 total households, 23 local.

     Pacific Northwest Scent Work Club, Salem, OR (including communities north to Portland, south to Noti along Interstate 5), 28 total households, 22 local.

 

COMPLIANCE - Bri Tesarz, Dir. Compliance participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

(Final Board Disciplinary actions are reported on the Secretary’s Page)

 

INTERNAL CONSULTING AND BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE Mark Dunn, Exec. VP; Seth Fera-Schanes, Dir. Planning; Kassandra McCombe, Business Intelligence Analyst participated in this portion of the meeting and Chuck Bettini, Sr Business Analyst participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

 

Demographic Analysis of AKC Customers by Registration Package. - Staff presented an AKC study of dog registration customers by their package purchase history. Insights from this analysis will be used to further personalize outreach, communications, and services to AKC breeders and registrants from multiple departments. This analysis established demographic profiles of AKC registration customers by package tier and examined the propensity of AKC customers to buy different registration packages by demographic traits. The AKC Business Intelligence Department continues to share results of analyses, those included herein as well as previously reported, with AKC Management, including Registration, Sports & Events, Marketing and Media Sales Departments.

 

CONSENT - Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Mr. Powers it was VOTED (unanimously) to approve the following Consent items:

 

• Novice Earthdog Class

• Earthdog Excellent Title

• Non-AKC Events Policy - Add Three Racing Organizations

• Amendments to the Regulations for AKC Coonhound Nite Hunts

• New Level AKC Therapy Dog

• Akita Proposed Breed Standard Revision

• Lowchen Proposed Breed Standard Revision

• Delegate and Club Approvals

 

Novice Earthdog Class - The Board VOTED to approve a recommendation from the Delegate HEC Committee to amend Regulations for Earthdog Tests for Small Terriers and Dachshunds to add a beginning level Novice class to the Earthdog program. The Earthdog program offers 4 classes – Intro to Quarry (non-titling), Junior (JE title), Senior (SE title), Master (ME title). The new Novice class is positioned between the Intro to Quarry and Junior classes. The Novice class will offer a NE title after having earned two passes. The Novice class is an instinct test requiring very little previous exposure to earthwork. It is very similar to the Introduction to Quarry class except the handler and judge may not provide encouragement once the dog is released. This change is effective February 1, 2022.

 

Chapter 3. Section 1. Classes. The classes at a licensed or member test are Introduction to Quarry (non-regular with no credit toward title), Novice Earthdog, Junior Earthdog, Senior Earthdog and Master Earthdog.

     Clubs may offer any or all classes at licensed and member club events.

 

Chapter 3. Section 2. Qualifying Scores. The total number of qualifications required for issuance of the titles for Novice Earthdog, Junior Earthdog, Senior Earthdog and Master Earthdog shall be established by the Board of Directors of The American Kennel Club.

 

Chapter 3. Section 3. Novice Earthdog Class and Title (NE). The Novice Earthdog class is open to all eligible breeds of dogs (see Chapter 1, Section 6) who have not previously earned an Earthdog title.

     In order to be recorded as a Novice Earthdog, a dog must be individually registered with the AKC, and must have a record of having qualified in the Novice Earthdog test in two (2) AKC licensed or member club tests under two different judges.

     Any individual that is eligible to judge Junior Senior or Master Earthdog classes may judge the Novice Earthdog class.

     Upon completion of these requirements, an AKC Novice Earthdog (NE) certificate will be issued to the owner, and the dog shall be identified as a Novice Earthdog in all official AKC records by the suffix title NE. The NE title is not a prerequisite to enter the Junior Earthdog test.

     A dog that has been recorded as a Novice Earthdog may continue to enter the Novice Earthdog test, but no further Novice Earthdog certificates will be issued.

 

Chapter 3. Section 4. Junior Earthdog class and Title (JE) Paragraph #3 Upon completion of these requirements, an AKC Junior Earthdog (JE) certificate will be issued to the owner, and the dog shall be identified as a Junior Earthdog in all official AKC records by the suffix title JE, which shall supersede the NE title.

 

Chapter 4. Section 1. Test Area Conditions and Dimensions. The test area for the Introduction to Quarry test and Novice test shall be no less than 40 feet by 40 feet, with no portion of the den including the point of release, less than 10 feet from the side of the test area.

     All remaining paragraphs in this Section are unchanged.

 

Chapter 4. Section 7. Novice Earthdog Test - Description. Novice Earthdog is an instinct test requiring little to no previous exposure to earthwork. Young dogs, dogs with little working experience, and novice handlers are encouraged to enter. As it may be the first den experience for some dogs, the Judge and the handler shall do their utmost to assure that it is a positive experience for the dog. The Judge shall not be allowed to encourage the dog. The dog shall be brought to the test area entrance on a solid 4 to 6-foot lead. The handler may carry the dog to the release point or may walk the dog on lead to the release point, but the dog may not pass the release point prior to the start of the test. The handler may encourage the dog up to this point. The Judge must make sure that each handler understands the test requirements before starting the dog.

 

Chapter 4. Section 8. Novice Earthdog Test – Den Design. The Novice Earthdog class den design is exactly the same as used in the Introduction to Quarry class. The den shall be standard liners approximately 9 inches by 9 inches, set so as to provide a tunnel approximately 10 feet in length, with one 90-degree turn. The handler shall release the dog from a point directly in front of the den, approximately 10 feet from the entrance. The Judge and Steward shall attempt to provide as little distraction as possible.

 

Chapter 4. Section 9. Novice Earthdog Test – Qualifying Performance. The Judge or the Judge’s Steward shall time the test. The time shall start when the dog is released. The dog shall be allowed 2 minutes from the time it is released to begin working the quarry. The dog may exit and re-enter the earth during the time allowed, provided it has not started working the quarry. (Note: In all tests the quarry is in a protective cage, which cannot come into contact with the dog outside the den.)

     The dog shall not qualify if it requires over 2 minutes to begin working the quarry.

     Once the dog begins working the quarry, the Judge or Judge’s Steward shall begin timing the working time and shall continue timing until the dog quits or the time limit is reached.

     Once the dog begins working it must work continuously for 30 seconds, with no encouragement, to qualify. Work is defined as digging, barking, growling, lunging, biting at the quarry, or any other action that, in the opinion of the Judge, indicates the dog’s willingness to engage the quarry. Any definite break in the dog’s work shall stop the time, but a change from one form of work to another shall not stop the time as long as the dog continues working in a natural manner.

     Dogs that begin working the quarry within 2 minutes and continuously works the quarry for 30 seconds shall pass.

     The Judge shall mark the judging form with the time, indicating whether the dog passed or failed and may make written comments as provided on the form. The completed judging form may be held by either the Judge’s Steward or the Test Steward and collected only by the Test Secretary or Test Chairman.

     At the completion of each dog’s test, the Judge shall inform the handler whether or not the dog passed. Following the class, the Judge shall announce the names of those dogs which have passed.

 

Earthdog Excellent Title - The Board VOTED to approve a recommendation from the Delegate HEC Committee to amend Regulations for Earthdog Tests for Small Terriers and Dachshunds to create an Earthdog Excellent title for dogs that pass the Junior, Senior or Master level test on six occasions after earning the initial title at that level. The purpose is to encourage dogs and owners to continue to participate in the sport. The purpose of the Excellent title is to encourage those dogs and owners who would otherwise dropout, to continue to participate in the sport. This change is effective May 1, 2022.

 

(New Section)

Chapter 3. Section 7. Earthdog Excellent Title. Any dog that has completed the requirements for the Junior, Senior or Master Earthdog title shall be eligible to earn legs toward the Earthdog Excellent title.

     In order to earn an Excellent title, a dog must on six occasions pass the Junior, Senior or Master level test respectively after the dog has earned its JE, SE or ME title. The Excellent title by level is Junior Excellent Earthdog (JXE), Senior Excellent Earthdog (SXE) and Master Excellent Earthdog (MXE). The Excellent title will supersede the standard title in any given level. For example, the JXE title will supersede the JE title on a dog’s pedigree.

     The Excellent title may be earned repeatedly. A number will appear after the title for every six additional passes. For example, a dog that passes the Junior test six times after earning the JXE title will be awarded the JXE2 title. An Excellent numeric title will supersede a lower Excellent title of the same test level on a dog’s pedigree.

     Legs that count toward a dog’s Excellent title may also be counted toward a dog’s Endurance Earthdog title.

 

Chapter 3. Section 3. Junior Earthdog Class and Title (JE). Paragraph #4 A dog that has been recorded as a Junior Earthdog may continue to enter the Junior Earthdog test.

 

Chapter 3. Section 4. Senior Earthdog Class and Title (SE) Paragraph #1 The Senior Earthdog class is open to dogs that have acquired the Junior Earthdog title and to dogs that have been recorded by the AKC as a Senior Earthdogs and Master Earthdogs. A dog that has been recorded as a Senior Earthdog may continue to enter the Senior Earthdog test.

 

Chapter 3. Section 5. Master Earthdog Class and Title (ME). Paragraph #1 The Master Earthdog class is open only to dogs that have acquired the Senior Earthdog title. A dog that has been recorded as a Master Earthdog may continue to enter the Master Earthdog test.

 

Non-AKC Events Policy – Add Three Racing Organizations - The Board VOTED to add three racing organizations to the list of acceptable events an AKC club may hold, provided the events are held separate and apart from an AKC event, as written in the current Board Policy under Club Policies for Non-AKC Events. The three racing organizations are the Continental Whippet Alliance (CWA), the Whippet Racing Association (WRA) and the National Oval Track Racing Association (NOTRA).

     All three organizations hold racing events that are not offered by the AKC. The CWA and WRA offer straight track racing at distances of 150 to 200 yards in heats of five to six. These events are open to whippets only. NOTRA specializes in oval track racing for sighthounds at distances of 270 to 440 yards on a rounded u-shaped or oval shaped track in heats of three to five.

 

Amendments to the Regulations for AKC Coonhound Nite Hunts - The Board VOTED to amend the Regulations for AKC Coonhound Nite Hunts. The following highlights those areas amended:

     • Expansion of the hunt times to be at the choice of the host club of 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

     • Specific details on how the drawing of the casts should take place.

     • Clarifications of the role of the Hunt Director and Hunt Committee.

     • Photo requirement of all casts.

     • The use of electronic devices – what is allowed / not allowed and when.

     • Scoring instructions when using a non-hunting judge, during time-outs.

     • Additional scoring clarifications for awarding plus points or deleting points.

     • More information on the system of informal and formal questions by cast members.

     • Additional detail on conducting youth handled casts.

     • Introduction of female only handled casts.

 

Chapter 7. Nite Hunts

 

Section 1. General Information D. Hunt times may be 60, 90, or 120 minutes. If not advertised, 120 minutes will be utilized. Hunt times for Double Headers must be one hour for both events. For situations occurring on the day of the event, such as extremely inclement weather, the hunt time may be changed to a lesser time by a majority vote of the entrants and approval from an AKC Field Rep.

 

Section 2. Hunt Director and Hunt Committee A. The Hunt Director shall be in charge of event operations. He or she will oversee the entry procedure, observe deadlines, select judges and guides, complete and submit along with the Hunt Chairman's signature, all official reports and pictures, and in general manage the event. The Hunt Director shall read aloud the checklist prior to drawing of the casts. The Hunt Director and Hunt Chairman may participate in the event where he or she is serving but shall not be involved in the Hunt Committee selection for, or in the settling of questions or disputes resulting from, the cast in which he or she participates.

 

Section 3. Taking Entries and Drawing Casts B. The Hunt Director shall select a judge for each cast from the entries. All Guides and Handlers must be drawn publicly.

 

C. Once entries are closed the hunt director should determine the number of casts and make up that many score cards. A qualified judge shall be selected for each cast and their entry sticker placed on a scorecard. The same number of entry stickers should then be selected from the entries wishing to guide and placed face down on the table. If any casts are required to have less than four dogs a blank entry sticker should be made up for each missing dog. These blank entry forms, if any should be placed with the remaining entry slips face down on the table away from the guide pile. To double check before drawing, the guide pile of entry stickers should be exactly the same quantity as the number of casts and the other pile containing the remaining stickers should be exactly twice the quantity as the number of casts. (unless you are using guides as judges) At this point each judge should be called up to the table one by one to draw their cast. Before sticking the entry labels to the card, the hunt director should ensure that more than one dog by the same owner are not drawn to the same cast (if possible) and that no two blank stickers are drawn to the same cast. If either of these possibilities takes place, simply put one of the entry stickers back in the pile and redraw. This process should continue until all dogs are drawn and the casts can be called.

 

D. Once casts are drawn a picture shall be taken of each cast and forwarded to AKC. The picture shall include all hounds, handlers, judges in the cast. Failure to submit the pictures of casts may result in cast winners not receiving credit towards titles and or applicable races.

 

Section 4. Guide

K. The guide may not hunt from boats, four wheelers, mules or any other modes of transportation.

 

Section 5. Judge

H. Non-hunting judges may be assigned to any cast at the discretion of the Hunt Director.

 

Section 9. Electronic Devices

B. Tracking Systems such as those with a tracking receiver and transmitter or handhelds paired with collars that are not capable of producing any type of tone, vibration or electronic stimulation may be powered on and used during the hunt time.

 

C. Audio alerts on tracking receiver must be muted.

 

D. No device that is capable of producing any type of tone, vibration, or electronic stimulation may be attached to any dog during hunt time.

 

E. Handlers must allow the judge to check their tracking system for any electronic stimulation, vibration or tone capacity at any time. Handlers refusing or found guilty of misuse shall be scratched with a report sent back to AKC with the results.

 

F. A dog must be heard before a handler can make a call and all timing rules and requirements still apply.

 

G. At no time may any electronic device be used during any scoring situation.

 

H. Tracking devices shall be for the personal use of the handler. Tracking of any dog(s) other than their own in the cast is prohibited unless permission is given by the other handler(s). Handlers found tracking other hounds shall be warned and other hound(s) must be removed from system. On second offense handler will be scratched and reported to AKC for handler misconduct.

 

I. If, by way of telemetry, a handler deems his dog to be in danger an immediate request for time out can be made. If for any reason the cast does not agree to a time-out, the handler may withdraw, then handle the dog.

 

Section 10. Time Out E. Dogs declared treed before time out is called will be scored except in accordance with the regulation found in this section under F-1: Reasons to Call Time Out, except when a non-hunting judge is used, tree(s) shall be scored by a cast majority in accordance with Section 16-D:

 

Shining Tree. If a hunting judge is used, the cast may agree to delay starting the hour until after tree is scored. Or score tree after at large dogs have been handled or one hour has expired.

 

F-7. If not heard within six (6) minutes, delete strike points and recast dogs or time-out may be called by majority cast vote.

 

Section 12. Plus Points

B. Night vision and/or heat sensing scopes may be used as an aid to determine the location of game in thick or leafy trees. The majority of the cast or non-hunting judge must agree if the game is raccoon or off-game before scoring.

 

C. A mirror, phone or camera may be used as an aid to score a den or other place of refuge where a visual obstruction exists. The majority of the cast or non-hunting judge must agree before scoring.

 

Section 15. Deleted Points

C. When two (2) cast members vote to minus and two (2) cast members vote to circle tree. Delete strike and tree. This rule pertains to scoring trees circle or minus ONLY. All other situations take a majority vote to overturn the judge’s decision.

 

F. If not heard within six (6) minutes, delete strike points and recast dogs or time-out may be called by majority cast vote.

 

Section 17. Dog/Handler will be Scratched from Cast

L. Misuse of electronic equipment: Tracking devices, training devices, cell phones and other electronic equipment that is capable of tracking or locating a dog may only be powered on for any hound that is eligible to be scored during regulation hunting time, time out, or after the hunt time has expired in accordance with Section 8D. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the handler being scratched. The judge has the authority to inspect your electronic equipment at any time.

 

Section 18. Questions Handlers have the right to question a hunting judge’s actions in two ways, by formal and informal questions. Handlers may question a non-hunting judge’s decision by a formal question.

 

Informal question – The Handler asks the hunting judge to poll the cast when he/she disagrees with a call that has been made or he/she feels should have been made at the time it occurs. At that point, the hunting judge will call for a vote of the cast. Informal questions only apply in hunting judge situations. All cast members must vote. Except for Rule 15-C, it shall take a majority vote to overturn the hunting judge’s decision.

 

Formal question – A formal request by a handler to have a hearing before the Hunt Committee. When said handler is dissatisfied with the decision of the judge and the subsequent vote of the cast members (when hunting judge is used) he/she must ask that a “formal question” be noted on the scorecard and deposit $20 with the judge. If ALL cast members agree they do not know how to score a particular situation they may bring the question back for proper scoring by the Hunt Committee without posting a $20 deposit. If any cast member disagrees, they must place a $20 deposit. A formal question cannot be heard unless an informal question vote has occurred in a hunting judge situation.

 

C. The Hunt Committee will hear the question in plain view of all. The Hunt Committee shall place the scorecard face down and not review the scores, outcome of decision or any other pertinent info on the card.

 

Section 19. Determining Cast Winners

D. Hunts with cash awards: All dog(s) will be paid for cast wins regardless of score. Scorecards must be returned to the Hunt Director before the posted deadline in order to receive cash award or credit towards their targeted title. Any forfeited cash award(s) shall be retained by the club.

 

Chapter 8. Youth Nite Hunts

Section 1.

3. Event will be run under AKC Nite Hunt regulations with the following exceptions: Non-hunting judges will be used on all casts. The non-hunting judge will have complete authority on all scoring situations. Should the non-hunting judge need any assistance/direction with a situation that arises during the cast the Hunt Director may be consulted. Decisions made by the Hunt Director are final. No panel will be utilized for any youth cast. See Chapter 10 for additional regulations pertaining to youth casts.

 

Chapter 9. Senior Cast Regulations for Drawing a Senior Cast: A minimum of three individuals must participate in order for a senior cast to be drawn, except when using a non-hunting judge for two dogs.

 

Chapter 10. Youth Cast The Youth Cast will not run at the World Championship or any hunt involving a “hunt-off” type format. A youth cast may be drawn at State Championships, or any major events, but are not eligible for the final four cast.

 

2. A minimum of two individuals must participate in order for a Youth Cast to be drawn. The non-hunting judge will satisfy the requirement for a minimum of three members to sign the scorecard. Unless it is a designated a youth hunt, there may be one senior and one junior or any combination thereof.

 

6. A judge may not be the parent or guardian of any handler on their cast. The judge may not own or co-own any dog on the cast as well.

 

7. The club may at their discretion decide the hunt times for each age group. 60, 90 or 120 minutes may be used. The time for each age group should be advertised with the event info. Suggested hunt time for junior casts is 60 minutes. 8. Youth handlers that are not old enough to drive must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian. The adult, parent or guardian may stay at the truck during the cast with the judge’s approval.

 

Chapter 11. Ladies Cast

A ladies only cast may be drawn at AKC Nite Hunts. Ladies only casts will not run at the AKC World Championship.

 

Rules for Drawing the Ladies Cast:

1. Ladies casts are open to women of all ages.

2. A minimum of three individuals must participate in order for a ladies cast to be drawn, except when using a non-hunting judge for two dogs.

3. The cast winner of the ladies cast will receive same credit as all other cast winners in the hunt.

4. Ladies casts will compete under the same AKC Nite Hunt rules as all other casts with no exceptions.

 

New Level AKC Therapy Dog - The Board VOTED to expand the AKC Therapy Dog titling program by recognizing a new, higher level therapy dog title of Therapy Dog Supreme to acknowledge dogs that complete 600 visits. The new therapy dog title will be recognized by AKC starting December 1, 2021.

 

The American Kennel Club launched the AKC Therapy Dog program on June 27, 2011. The other program titles are:

• AKC Therapy Dog Novice (THDN). Must have completed 10 visits.

• AKC Therapy Dog (THD). Must have completed 50 visits.

• AKC Therapy Dog Advanced (THDA). Must have completed 100 visits.

• AKC Therapy Dog Excellent (THDX). Must have completed 200 visits.

• AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD). Must have completed 400 visits.

 

Akita Proposed Breed Standard Revision - The Board VOTED to permit the Akita Club of America, Inc. (ACA), to proceed to ballot the membership, in accordance with the club’s Constitution and Bylaws, on proposed revisions to the breed standard, specifically color and nose pigment. The current standard was approved May 12, 2009.

 

Lowchen Proposed Breed Standard Revision - The Lowchen Club of America, Inc. (LCA), submitted the results of balloting the membership on the proposed revisions to the breed standard. The membership approved the proposed revisions to the breed standard. The Board VOTED to approve of the proposed revisions to the breed standard with an effective date of January 1, 2022. (See APPENDIX B)

 

Delegate Approvals - The Board VOTED to approve the following individuals to serve as Delegates: Neil H. Butterklee, Esq., Ronkonkoma, NY To represent American Chinese Crested Club - Eleanor S. Campbell, Ambler, PA, To represent Morris Hills Dog Training - Toni E. Doake, Norman, OK To represent Town and Country Kennel Club - Kevin W. O’Connell, Commerce City, CO To represent Terry-All Kennel Club

 

AKC Membership for Approval: - The Board VOTED to approve the following Club for membership: Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America 50 Households First License Show: April 19, 2009

 

February Board Meeting - The Board Voted to hold the February Board meeting on February 7-8, 2022. Previously it was scheduled to be held on February 11, 2022 surrounding the dates of Westminster Kennel Club but in 2022 Westminster Kennel Club is being held in January.

 

The Board adjourned at 5:07 p.m. - The Board Meeting reconvened on Tuesday, October 12 at 8:30 a.m. All Directors were present. Also present was the Executive Secretary.

 

AKC Humane Fund Update - Daphna Straus, VP Business Development and Secretary of the AKC Humane Fund (HF) presented on update on the activities of the Humane Fund.

     The AKC Humane Fund unites animal lovers in promoting responsible pet ownership through education, outreach and grant-making.

     HF Programming consists primarily of grant-making and support. Charitable and educational activities include: Breed Rescue Grants, Grants to Domestic Violence Shelters, Scholarships, Disaster Relief, Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE Awards) and Funding the AKC Library.

     The majority of grants in 2021 were made to sunset Disaster Relief Funding - The Sandy Fund. The Sandy Fund has distributed all funds and has been closed, leaving future funding to AKC Reunite. AKC Humane Fund donated to organizations for pets affected by California wildfires and Gulf Coast hurricanes in late 2020. Grants totaling $116,000 were distributed to 23 organizations, each receiving $5000.

     Applications for Aid are Most Prevalent in the Domestic Violence Program Area. DV Shelters successfully appealed for HF grants to care for and improve infrastructure for pets. $21K in grant commitments in 2020-21. $370K in grants since inception. More than 175 grants to organizations throughout the country in 40 out of 50 states.

     Since inception the AKC Humane Fund has distributed $1.1M in funding for domestic violence shelters, disaster relief, rescue organizations and scholarships.

     Grant applications for Breed Rescue are available and more Parent Clubs should apply AKC Humane Fund has made $135,000 in grants to clubs and associated organizations since inception. Approximately 75 grants. There has been an 100% acceptance rate for grant applications in the past 3 years.

     The HF also offers scholarships.

 

New Business

4-6 Month Puppy - Staff was asked to consider allowing professional handlers to show puppies in the 4-6 Month B-Pup Class for exhibition only.

 

National Detection Dog Challenge - Mr. Sweetwood provided an update on the AKC Detection Dog Challenge that will be held November 13-15 in Raleigh, NC.

 

Board Finance Committee - Dr. Davies and Mr. Carota asked for approval of a Chairman’s Board Finance Committee whose members will be the Chair of the Audit Committee (Mr. Harold Tatro), the Chair of the Pension & Investment Committee (Dr. Michael Knight), and the Vice-Chair (Mr. Dominic Carota). The Board Chairman (Dr. Thomas Davies) will serve as an Ex Officio member, and the AKC CFO (Theodore Phillips) will serve as Staff Liaison.

     The Committee will discuss the implementation of a Policy on Philanthropy, evaluate and make recommendations on the current Board Investment Policy and propose an Executive Compensation Policy for AKC Officers.

     Following a motion from Mr. Hamblin, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to approve the Chairman appointed Board Finance Committee.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION - There was an EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss sensitive business matters. There was nothing reported out of this session.

 

It was VOTED to adjourn Tuesday, October 12, 2021 at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

References: APPENDIX A - Foundation Stock Service (pg 25-35) ~ APPENDIX B Lowchen Breed Standard (pg 36-39)

 

Deceased Judges: Mr Daniel L. Smith

Emeritus Judges: Ms Christine Salvers Anderson, Ms Marcia R. Schlehr

 

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