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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 Ave., New York, NY - November 8-9, 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, Monday, November 8, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. All Directors were present; also present was the Executive Secretary. The October 11-12, 2021 Board Meeting minutes, copies of which had been provided to all Directors, were reviewed. Upon a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the October 2021 Board Meeting minutes were unanimously approved.



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


Mr. Sprung reported, that from a Mission point of view, Litter Registration results are the highest since 2009 and Dog Registrations are the highest since 2007, both accomplished while Staff is constantly taking actions to uphold its integrity. We continue promoting our various dog sports and breeding for type and function. Sports & Events are experiencing the second strongest year in terms of events and the third for entries in AKC’s 137-year history.


On multiple levels our departmental initiatives have successfully advocated on behalf of purebred dogs and dogs in general through Government Relations, Marketing, Publications, Education and Public Relations. Newly formed advances of AKC.tv and long-term relationships with Disney/ESPN/ABC are providing additional positive brand and communications outreach opportunities. Departmental objectives are realized by tying each one directly to the roadmap and budget.


The financial outcome of 2021 is by far the best in AKC’s history. The balance of our investment portfolio reflects the addition of $26 million from operations and $9 million of investment gains. This year’s Net Operating Income, excluding investments activity, is projected to be $32 million, 16 times increase over budget.


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


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


CMS Update Doug Ljungren, Executive Vice President, Sports & Events; Alan Slay, Director, Event Programs; Torraine Williams, Director, Engineering and Keith Frazier, EVP, Business Support Services, participated in this portion of the meeting via video conference.

     The Board has directed Staff to create a comprehensive computer system which enables all users to collaboratively exchange information to efficiently manage their involvement with AKC Sports and Events.

     Updating the AKC’s Customer Management System will:

• Assist external users in managing their events

• Assist internal Staff in managing event related processes i.e., event application and result processing, club information management, judge information management

• Improve reporting capabilities by enhanced utilization of data

• Provide a flexible system to efficiently support new S&E initiatives and programs.

     Staff has met multiple times with seven different Sports & Events (S&E) departments to begin gathering their suggestions for desired enhancements and additions. The enhancement requests that have previously been submitted to IT by the S&E staff have also been reviewed. Input from the Superintendents has been obtained as part of their normal annual meeting with the AKC. S&E has reached out to eight external users for suggestions. Six have expressed their interest to provide input.

     This input has been documented and categorized by business area. Staff are currently in the process of prioritizing and assessing candidates for early deliverables.


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


FINANCE - Ted Phillips, Chief Financial Officer, presented interim financial statements (unaudited) through September 30, 2021.


Financial Results: Net Operating Income is $24.9 million primarily due to higher registration and event service revenues, along with lower operating expenses.

     Total Revenues of $78.1 million exceed budget by 35% led by Registration Fees of $34.7 million, and Pedigree and Registration Related Fees of $11 million.

     Recording & Event Service fees, Title Recognition and Event Applications fees total $10.5 million and exceed budget and prior year by 67% and 82% respectively.

     Product & Service Sales total $9.2 million and exceed budget by 27%.

     Advertising, Sponsorship and Royalties total $11.9 million and exceed budget by 27%.

     Controllable Expenses are lower than budget by 3% or $1.2 million due to careful management of operating expenses. Non-Controllable expenses were lower than budget by 12% or $1.2 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, 17% better than 2020 YTD. 2021 YTD Dog Registration was 30% ahead of budget, 17% better than 2020 YTD. Compared to the same period in 2020, Events & Entries were up by 100% & 90%, respectively.


EXECUTIVE SECRETARY - Mari-Beth O’Neill, VP Sport Services, Sheila Goffe, VP Government Relations, Brandi Hunter Munden, VP Public Relations and Communications, and Ashley Jacot, Dir. Education participated in this portion of the meeting via videoconference.


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 a full member of Federation Cynologique Internationale in 2017. BKC is a non-profit organization in the 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.”

     Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Mrs. Wallin, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to add the Bahrain Kennel Club (BKC) to the list of registries with pedigrees acceptable for AKC registration.


Bergamasco Sheepdog Proposed Breed Standard Revision - The Board reviewed the proposed revisions to the Bergamasco Sheepdog breed standard as submitted by the Bergamasco Sheepdog Club of America (BSCA). The current standard was effective February 12, 2012. The club wishes to make clarifications to the standard based on input since the breed has been AKC registered. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Ms. Biddle, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to approve the BSCA to ballot its membership on the proposed standard revisions in accordance with the club’s constitution and bylaws.


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. Following a motion by Ms. McAteer, seconded by Mr. Hamblin, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to retire the kennel name “Torrid Zone” for Portuguese Water Dogs.


New Breed for Foundation Stock Service ® – Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dog - The Board was advised that the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) Committee recently approved a petition for the Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dog to be accepted into the FSS program.

     The Romanian Carpathian Shepherd Dog was selected from an endemic breed present in the Carpathian-Danubian area, which is known as Romania today. For centuries the principle criteria for selection has been utilization, this dog having conserved its character intact to the present day. The first standard was written in 1934 by the Zootechnical National Institute. They are used by Romanian farmers to herd and guard their livestock with the Carpathian Mountains. There are approximately 20 dogs in the United States that are eligible for recording with FSS.


AKC Communications – Q3 Report - Brandi Hunter Munden, Vice President, Public Relations and Communications, presented to the Board. The Board reviewed the AKC Communications department quarterly report on AKC’s media coverage totals and activity highlights.


     TOTALS: Clips Evaluated in Q3: 4,754 (+34% from 3,540 in 2020)

     Q3 Estimated Audience Reached: 8,501,194,293 (+26% from 6,722,492,060 in 2020)

     Publicity Value for Q3: $12,278,294.82 (+59% from $7,699,835.59 in 2020)


     • Continued raising the visibility of the Chief Veterinary Officer as an expert in an increasing number of media requests.

     • Began work on the AKC National Championship PR campaign, including drafting press releases and engaging with an agency to execute a Satellite Media Tour.

     • Continued positioning the American Kennel Club and its spokespeople as the expert on all things dog.

     • Weekly “AKC Tips” articles written for McClatchy-Tribune reaching 600 newspapers, including the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Dayton Daily News, Duluth News-Tribune, Fresno Bee, Idaho Statesman, Kingsport Times-News and Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, among others.

     • Assisted the AKC Museum of the Dog increase visibility. Secured over 100 media clips for the “9/11 Remembered: Search & Rescue Dogs”. exhibit from outlets such as the New York Times, Inside Edition, CBS Sunday Morning, NY1, and Time Out New York, as well as international outlets in England, Italy, and Portugal.

     • Worked with AKC Reunite to create press materials to promote unveiling of trailers through their Pet Disaster Relief program.

     • Worked with AKC Reunite to create press materials to promote Adopt a K-9 Cop grant donations

     • Sentiment: There were no negative mentions of the AKC during Q3.

Upcoming work includes:

     • Press Release distribution in English, Spanish and Chinese to reach even more dog lovers and communicate the good works and news from AKC.

     • Proactive holiday hazards campaign.

     • Executing the plan for the AKC National Championship broadcast (pre and post broadcast).

     • Developing press plan for AKC Meet the Breeds 2022 tour (national and local).


AKC Education – Q3 Report - Ashley Jacot, Director, Education, presented in this portion of the meeting. The Board reviewed an update of the Education department’s activities and accomplishments for Quarter 3 of 2021.

     Canine College - Canine College develops and manages over 600 courses and exams available for conformation and performance judges, breeders, groomers, the fancy, and the general public.

     Breed and Breeder Courses

          A total of 54 breeds are now available on Canine College. Canine College is actively collaborating with Parent Clubs on the development of future breed courses for 2021/2022 to include, but not limited to: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Beagle, Beauceron, Biewer Terrier, Bracco Italiano, Canaan Dog, German Wirehaired Pointer, German Shepherds, Komondor, Leonberger, Mudi, Russian Toy, Samoyeds, Scottish Terrier, Shih Tzu, Spinone Italiano.

          AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) Webinar Series – Launched in September 2021. In coordination with AKC CHF, Canine College has launched a Canine Health page with 11 webinars and a program that features a series of speakers from the NPCCHC Virtual Conference.

          Obedience Education - Canine College is developing a series of 6 courses for Judges Education in the sport of Obedience.

     Public Education New Resources - To target an additional group of learners and their families, the Public Education team created “Pups in the Classroom,” a preschool curriculum. This two-week unit is designed to help children learn more about purebred dogs and the basic care and safety around dogs. Each day, students will be read a dog-themed book and complete a learning activity. Throughout this unit, students will participate in learning activities that allow them to practice essential language and early reading skills. Students will also engage in math related activities such as: counting, sorting, identifying shapes, completing patterns, and practice refining their fine and gross motor skills. Lesson extension opportunities as well as additional learning resources and activities are all included within this comprehensive two-week unit.

          Public Education collaborated with AKC Museum of the Dog to create a virtual tour for children. The virtual tour included artwork featuring America’s most popular dog breeds. The worksheet focused on comprehension; requiring the children to draw breeds that they saw during the tour, provide facts they learned, and answer a question that required the use of expository thinking. This worksheet was intended for grades 3-5.

          The Native Breed resource series was expanded in Q3 to include several more regions to the series. The purpose of Native Breeds is to draw attention to several breeds, show common traits, and promote appreciation of these diverse regions and backgrounds. Each poster includes the history, origins, and culture of the region and how each breed fits into that region. The series now includes nine regions of the world.


AKC Education Webinar Series - AKC Education continues to collaborate with Judging Operations to host breed webinars for judges. In quarter 3, there were six Judges Education Webinars featured which reached 1,215 live attendees. In addition, the recordings have been watched 11,432 times.

     AKC Education hosted several additional webinars during quarter 3, including:

          • “Puppy Training 101: Best Practices and Advice” hosted by Penny Leigh for 378 participants.

          • “AKC DDTF Webinar Series: Introducing U.S. Police Canine Association & AKC Reunite’s Updated Adopt K-9 Cop Matching Grant Program” hosted by Government Relations for 33 participants.

          • “Review of the Revised Judging Guidelines” hosted by Tim Thomas for 426 participants.

          • “Show Chair Webinar” hosted by Glenn Lycan and Staff for 89 participants.

          • “2021 AKC Canine Health Foundation National Parent Club Canine Health Conference” hosted by CHF and various presenters for 305 participants.

          • “Review and FAQs on Conformation Judging Procedures, Policies & Guidelines” hosted by Tim Thomas for 356 participants.

          • “AKC DDTF Webinar Series: 3-6 Month Puppies, Getting Started Right for Detection Work” hosted by Government Relations for 70 participants.

          • “2021 AKC Obedience Classic Random Draw” hosted by Lisa Liggins for 56 participants.


     Government Relations Q3 Report - Sheila Goffe, Vice President, Government Relations presented in this portion of the meeting. The AKC GR team is currently monitoring more than 2,300 bills that could impact responsible dog ownership, the health and wellbeing of dogs, the rights of dog owners, and/or the interests of the sport and the American Kennel Club. Additionally, we continue to monitor more than 600-covid-related bills.

     To date, AKC GR have published 297 legislative alerts online and via geo-targeted emails to impacted constituents and social media. This number represents a 56% increase over the number of alerts (and accompanying testimony and outreach) for the same period in 2020 (190).

     AKC GR is also monitoring approximately 530 actively pending proposed regulations (administrative or implementing changes) at the state and federal level.

     The most common legislative issues monitored year to date and in the third quarter were:

          1. Animal Cruelty (commonly includes breeder regulation and licensing bills)

          2. Working Dogs

          3. Animal Control

          4. Rescues/Shelters

          5. Veterinary


     Blogs – AKC GR published 27 blogs covering policy issues and resources for advocates and the public.

     The most up-to-date information on legislative issues are available via AKC GR’s Legislative Action Center, www.akcgr.org.


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


Obedience Fix n’ Go Pilot Program Status Update - The Board reviewed a memo that provided the key results of an obedience exhibitor survey conducted in September regarding “Fix n’ Go”.

     At the February 2021 Board meeting, the Board approved a one-year “Fix n’ Go” pilot program for obedience that became effective April 1, 2021. It allows obedience handlers the opportunity to communicate with their dogs while performing in the ring at trials when a dog’s performance does not meet their expectation. The “Fix n’ Go” concept allows the team to reattempt one individual exercise and then leave the ring.

     90% of the exhibitors that have used Fix n’ Go said they believe being able to repeat a single individual exercise had improved their dog’s performance at future trials; and 95% of them feel the program should be continued.

     Additionally, a survey of all obedience judges (198) that had judged during the pilot program was conducted to see if Fix n’ Go delayed judging, or in any way, was detrimental to the sport. 93% of the judges responding to the survey stated they did have exhibitors request to use Fix n’ Go in their rings at trials. The judges also reported 98% of the time they did not have problems with exhibitors taking advantage of the situation by using harsh commands with their dogs, and the exhibitors did use Fix n’ Go in the spirit in which it was intended – to help their dogs in a positive way.

     In conclusion, the 90% of the exhibitors that have used Fix n’ Go with their dogs at trials said it has been beneficial as way to improve their future performances in obedience. 98% of the obedience judges feel that Fix n’ Go is good for the dogs and it will have a positive impact on the sport.

     The Staff recommendation is to make Fix n’ Go a permanent enhancement to the sport of obedience at the end of the pilot program. This will be discussed further at the January 2022 Board meeting.


Basset Hound Field Trials – Use of Tracking Collars - The Board reviewed a request from the Basset Hound Club of America to allow dogs competing in Basset Hound Field Trials to wear tracking collars at the option of the handler. The option to wear tracking collars is currently allowed in Beagle Field Trials and Coonhound Nite Hunts.

     Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Ms. McAteer, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to consider the matter at this meeting, waiving the normal notice procedures.

     Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to amend Field Trial Rules and Standard Procedures for Basset Hounds, Procedure 3. Judging to allow dogs competing in Basset Hound Field Trials to wear tracking collars at the option of the handler.

     3-C. If a Hound under judgement wears a collar, it shall be a well-fitting collar with nothing hanging from it and no attachments other than tags for identification purposes.

     Hounds may wear tracking collars at the option of the handler. The collar surface against the dog’s neck shall be flat (no protrusions). While the hounds are under judgement, hand-held devices must be turned off. Hand-held devices may be turned on only after the hound has been eliminated from competition by the judges or judgement has ceased.

     Special training devices that are used to control and train dogs, including but not limited to collars with prongs, electronic collars used with transmitters, muzzles and head collars may not be use on dogs at AKC events.


Purchase of the American Field - The Board was advised that in September 2021 the American Field (AF) including its Field Dog Stud Book (FDSB) had been purchased by another firm. The American Field is a sport organization specializing in pointing breed field trials. Pointers and English Setters are the traditional breeds participating in AF field trials. Brittanys and German Shorthaired Pointers have a notable presence.

     Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (In favor: Davies, Knight, Powers, Smyth, Sweetwood, Tatro, Wallin. Opposed: Battaglia, Biddle, Carota, Garvin, Hamblin, McAteer) to consider the matter at this meeting, waiving the normal notice procedures.

     Following a motion by Mr. Sweetwood, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (In favor: Davies, Garvin, Hamblin, Knight, Powers, Smyth, Sweetwood, Tatro. Opposed: Battaglia, Biddle, Carota, McAteer, Wallin) to remove American Field Pointing Breed Field Trials from the list of non-AKC events that may be held by AKC clubs. In addition, FDSB registered dogs will no longer be allowed to register with the AKC. These policy changes will become effective July 1, 2022.


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.


AKC Banners and Signs - The Board reviewed its 2002 Policy regarding AKC Banners and Signs. 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.

     The AKC Board passed the Banner and Signs Policy in 2002 with the purpose of consistently branding events and providing attendees with the message that dog events are sanctioned by the American Kennel Club. By distinguishing dog events with AKC branding, attendees see the AKC as the preeminent provider of dog sports in the country.

     Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Mr. Powers it was VOTED (unanimously) to update the AKC Banners and Signs policy effective on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.as follows:


Banners and Signs (July 2002 Board meeting amended November 2021) - All Clubs using an AKC licensed superintendent must display banners and signs provided by AKC to those superintendents at their shows. The banners and signs containing the AKC logo must be placed in prominent and highly visible areas. The banners must be hung on visible walls under tents at outdoor shows and directly on show rings. The signs must also be in highly visible areas, such as near a busy show entrance, near catalog sales points, one near the Best in Show ring during judging and as part of the backdrop for the show photographer.

     The Superintendent and the show-giving club are responsible for coordinating the placing of the banners and signs.

     All superintended shows are required to have the AKC logo on all armbands.

     Minimum signage requirements: The AKC Logo must be at least 12 inches in diameter on all banners, signs and placards.


All Events -

     1. One horizontal ring banner per every two rings. This is in addition to any placement banners.

     2. A flag banner, circular AKC logo or A-frame AKC branded sign visible in all photographs taken at a stand location.

     3. An A-frame AKC branded sign placed in the ring first in line with the group placement and BIS markers.


Indoor Events – in addition -

     1. A flag banner hung on at least two visible walls in every room where there is a ring.


Televised/Streaming Events – in addition -

     1. An AKC banner hung on the ring gating for the Group and BIS rings.

     2. Two A-frame AKC branded signs placed on the corners of the group and BIS ring in a manner to insure visibility on camera.

     3. Production crews should be consulted for proper placement for televised/streaming events.


Clubs that are not using Superintendents are strongly urged to display AKC banners and signs at their event.


These banners and signs may be purchased from AKC. Inquiries may be directed to: Club Development American Kennel Club 8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100 Raleigh, NC 27617-3390 clubdevelopment@akc.org


It is the responsibility of both the host club and the superintendent to ensure compliance with this policy. Clubs and/or superintendents will be subject to a fine ranging from a reprimand to $300 for noncompliance.


The AKC will 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.


Limited Number of Events Policy - Specialty Clubs have requested staff to consider allowing up to four shows in a calendar year. The current Limited Number of Events policy provides specialty clubs the option to hold two days of shows or two shows per year. If a club uses the two days of shows option, they can hold two shows per day.

     The Board reviewed a memo that recommended allowing specialty clubs to hold four shows in a calendar year in a manner of their choosing.

     This will be discussed further at the January 2022 Board meeting.


Rules Applying to Dog Shows, Chapter 5 Section 2 - The Rules Applying to Dog Shows, Chapter 5 Section 2, defines the requirements for all ribbons/rosettes used at American Kennel Club (AKC®) conformation events. The Suffolk County Kennel Club submitted a request to modify Chapter 5, Section 2 of the Rules.

     The proposal would provide clubs the option to offer award cards with date and location information of the event in lieu of including on ribbons and rosettes where presently required. The proposal would remove the requirement for the date and location of a show to be included on any ribbons or rosettes. Clubs would have the option to provide ribbons and rosettes with just the AKC seal, name of the prize, and the name of the show giving club, and in addition provide award cards to include the seal of The American Kennel Club, the name of the prize, and the name of the show giving club with numerals of year, date of show, and name of city or town where show is given.

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


Puppy of Achievement - In December, the Delegates will VOTE on a proposal to modify Chapter 3 Section 8 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows which would allow clubs the option to divide the Bred-by-Exhibitor class by age. If approved, the class division will be added to the Bred-by-Exhibitor (BBE) Medallion program such that an entry advancing from the Puppy division of the Bred-by-Exhibitor class awarded winners will be counted toward the BBE medallion.

     The Board was advised that if the Delegates VOTE to modify Chapter 3 Section 8 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows at the December 2021 Meeting, Staff will add the Puppy division of the Bred-by-Exhibitor class to the list of classes in which points toward the Puppy of Achievement (POA) certificate may be earned.


Junior Video - The Board was viewed a new video on the AKC’s National Junior Organization. The Delegate’s Junior Sub-Committee, at one of the initial meetings, suggested the development of a video to introduce all the different activities in which a Junior may participate.

     The Sports & Events Staff worked with the AKC Marketing Department to complete this project. The video is currently on AKC.tv. The Sports & Events Staff in coordination with the Marketing Department have established a plan to further distribute it via communications that go out to all AKC clubs and Junior Handlers. It will also be presented at the December Delegate Meeting.


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


Mr. Thomas Bradley III (#0206) & Mr. Kenneth McDermott (#1396) - The Board reviewed a request to grant a dispensation to allow the reinstatement of judging privileges for Mr. Thomas Bradley III, judge #0206, who had requested and was granted Emeritus status on May 7, 2019.

     The Board also reviewed a request to grant a dispensation to allow Mr. Kenneth McDermott, judge #1396, to be approved to judge Best in Show for the final show that will be held by Mid-Hudson Kennel Association in June 2022. In October 2018, Mr. McDermott joined the Emeritus Program. After the June 2022 event, Mr. McDermott would be returned to Emeritus status.

     Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to consider these matters at this meeting, waiving the normal notice procedures.

     Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to grant the dispensation to allow the reinstatement of Mr. Thomas Bradley III’s judging privileges.

     Following a motion by Dr. Garvin, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (In favor: Battaglia, Biddle, Carota, Davies, Garvin, Hamblin, Knight, McAteer, Powers, Smyth, Sweetwood, Tatro, Wallin. Abstained: Tatro) to make a onetime exception to policy to permit Mr. McDermott to judge one final Best in Show assignment.


CLUBS 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.


Report on Member Clubs Bylaws approved in September and October 2021 - Irish Wolfhound Club of America (1926) | Oklahoma City Kennel Club, Oklahoma City, OK (1935)


Report on Newly Licensed Clubs approved in September and October 2021

     Atlantic Flyway Retriever Club of Virginia, Petersburg, VA (including communities in triangle north to Chesterfield, south to Dinwiddie, east to Disputanta), 24 total households, 18 local.

     Bourbon Hills Retriever Club of Kentucky, Bardstown, KY (including communities south to Campbellsville, north to LaGrange, east to Middletown, west to Cecilia), 25 total households, 12 local.

     Erie Canal Beagle Club, Princeton, IN, (including communities no west of Interstate 69, south to Evansville, northwest to Mount Carmel), 19 total households, 8 local.

     Sandhills Retriever Club, Pinehurst, NC (including communities north to Robbins, south to Ellerbe, west to Mt Gilead, east to Route 1), 23 total households, 17 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)


Inspection Status Report - Third Quarter 2021 - The Board reviewed the Inspection Status Report for the third quarter 2021.


The Board adjourned at 5:17 p.m. - The Board Meeting reconvened on Tuesday, November 9 at 8:30 a.m. All Directors and the Executive Secretary were present.


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Tim Pursell, Director, Information Technology, participated in this portion of the meeting.


Cybersecurity Program - The Board was updated on AKC’s Email Encryption program. Cybersecurity is a component of a larger Enterprise Risk Management discipline that AKC is implementing. AKC’s cybersecurity program is a collaborative effort that primarily includes Information Technology, the Executive Committee, Finance and Legal. Staff works together to produce, publish, and implement Protocols, Procedures, Standards, and Technology.


INTERNAL CONSULTING AND BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE - Mark Dunn, Executive Vice President; and Seth Fera-Schanes, Director, Planning participated in this portion of the meeting.


AKC Corporate Project Roadmap Semiannual Review - The AKC Board of Directors has asked for a semiannual roadmap status update. A memo was provided that reviewed the framework and processes involved in the development and management of the AKC Corporate Project Roadmap.

     The American Kennel Club uses a corporate roadmap to prioritize projects across departments. The roadmap serves multiple purposes including understanding cross-team dependencies, highlighting the status of projects, ensuring transparency, and optimizing decision making and serves to correlate the corporate objectives with the roadmap and budgets.

     The Board was presented with a sample of work that has been completed between July and November 2021.

     Updates were provided for projects that remain for Q4 2021 and into Q1 2022 as well as on some projects that are currently in development.


MARKETING - Kirsten Bahlke, Vice President, Consumer Demand participated in this portion of the meeting via videoconference.


Q3 Digital Report - The Board reviewed a summary of Q3 results 2021 performance highlights for AKC.org, AKC Marketplace and Shop.akc.org.

     • AKC.org traffic is normalizing from 2020 pandemic highs but remains well above 2019.

     • Marketplace consumer traffic fell versus Q3 2020 and is below 2019.

     • SEO optimization efforts to address recent Google Search algorithm changes are critical.

     • AKC Shop Q3 traffic (visitors) was below 2020 and 2019 but orders per visitor continues to climb

     • Subscribers for redesigned AKC Pupdate have reached 715,000 users – a 37% increase over 2020

     • AKC Email/Newsletters o Email marketing sent 34% more emails in Q3 of 2021 vs Q3 of 2020 with higher open rates and similar click rates.


Social Media - Highlights of our social media strategy in Q3 2021 included promotion of ESPN Dog Day, Puppy Pack Season 3, and AKC Dog Star program, as well as the 20th Anniversary of 9/11.

     Q3 2021 TOTALS:

     Facebook: 4,002,977 followers

     Instagram: 357,803 followers

     Twitter: 98,488 followers

     TikTok: 138,657 followers

     Pinterest: 56,883 followers

     Total: 4,654,808 followers


Overview of 2022 Marketing Plans - The Marketing Department will continue to focus on three main Mission based pillars in 2022:

     Registration: Increase preservation, ownership and registration of purebred dogs

     Sports & Events: Increase awareness and participation in Sports & Events

     AKC Brand Health: Improve dog lover’s (breeders, fanciers and consumers) perception of the AKC


The results of the AKC Brand Tracker were shared with the Board.


AKC MEDIA - Ron Furman, Director of Media and Sponsorship and William Ellis, Director, Broadcasting participated in this portion of the meeting.


AKC Televised Events: Q3/Q4 Review - The AKC is proud to have the support of top tier sponsors for our fully integrated national and media event platforms that create engagement with millions of dog-owning households in America.

     70% of the AKC’s programs are in the last 6 months of 2021.

     The 2nd Annual Bark in the Park premiered August 26th on ESPN2. It was the largest ESPN lead dog content production to date. The event expanded from being staged on the lawn at ESPN Headquarters to Dunkin Donuts Park (a baseball stadium) in Hartford, CT. Bark in the Park was a fun-filled event featuring dog action sports such as agility, weave pole challenge, dock diving, and flyball. AKC staff managed the event from design to execution.

     AKC’s first ever Flyball event on TV premiered on Sunday October 17th on ESPN2. It was filmed at the Coliseum Arena at Indiana State Fairgrounds on October 10. This program is perfect for introducing fans to this growing sport. It premiered as an alternative to NFL as the AKC attracts a large female audience.


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

     • Entlebucher Mountain Dog Proposed Breed Standard Revision

     • Kai Ken Society of America - Advance to Miscellaneous

     • Delegate Approvals


Entlebucher Mountain Dog Proposed Breed Standard Revision - The Board VOTED to permit the National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association, Inc. (NEMDA), to proceed to ballot the proposed revisions to the breed standard for the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. in accordance with the club’s Constitution and Bylaws.


Kai Ken Society of America - Advance to Miscellaneous - The Board VOTED to approve the Kai Ken to advance to approved to the Miscellaneous Class effective June 29, 2022. The Board of Directors approved the Kai Ken to be eligible for recording in the Foundation Stock Service® (FSS®) program with a Working designation in 1997. The Kai Ken Society of America has met the requirements of the Recognition of New Breeds Board Policy approved in February 2017. The Kai Ken is one of six spitz type breeds native to Japan, each named for the distinct region they were developed, and all worked primarily as hunting dogs on small and large game. Kai is the former name of the steep mountainous region now called Yamanashi Prefecture. In these mountains, hunters would take one to three Kai dogs to hunt boar, deer, kamoshika (a kind of mountain goat also known as the serow) or pheasant. In the 1930’s Japanese dog fanciers began to formalize standards for the six breeds and establish breed preservation Societies. In 1931 the Kai Ken Aigokai was formed in Yamanashi to document and protect the Kai Ken, and in 1934 the government of Japan declared the Kai Ken a national Natural Monument breed. During World War II, many Japanese breeds suffered great decline, but both access through the difficult terrain of Yamanashi and the caretaking of the people there protected the Kai from the worst of the war. The membership of the Kai Ken Society of America voted favorably by 99% to submit a request for the Kai Ken be approved to move into the Miscellaneous Class.


Delegate Approvals - The Board VOTED to approve the following individuals to serve as Delegates:

     Kelly E. Lease, Woodbridge, VA To represent Clumber Spaniel Club of America, Laura Myles, Snohomish, WA To represent Whidbey Island Kennel Club, Tammy Porter, Westminster, CA To represent Santa Ana Valley Kennel Club, Leah H. Schiller, New Carlisle, OH To represent Dayton Kennel Club, Mary Lynn Speer, Glenwood City, WI To represent Mastiff Club of America


Penn Ridge Kennel Club - The Board reviewed a request from the Penn Ridge Kennel Club and the associated clubs in the Keystone Cluster. The clubs are requesting permission to use a site that is 215 miles out of their territory. This request was approved in 2021 as part of the Covid-related policy amendments made to help clubs that are scheduled to expire on June 30th, 2022.

     Following a motion by Mr. Tatro, seconded by Mr. Powers, the Board VOTED (unanimously) to permit the cluster to use the show site one more year in August 2022.


EXECUTIVE SESSION - There was an EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss sensitive business matters. It was reported out of this session that there is clear and unanimous support for the AKC Canine Health Foundation by the AKC Board of Directors. Considering the success of the AKC Canine Health Foundation in recent years, the AKC Board approved an additional $1 million grant to support CHF’s 2022 plan for aggressive expansion and growth.

     The $1 million-dollar incremental grant is in addition to both the $1,255,000 million dollars that was approved in AKC’s 2022 budget and the annual in-kind donation of $303,000.


EXECUTIVE SESSION - There was an EXECUTIVE SESSION to discuss topics of interest and ideas that could generate future programs, services and revenues. Staff was directed to explore some of these items for the January meeting.


It was VOTED to adjourn Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time


Deceased Judges: Mr. Travis W. Conboy, Ms. Ramona Fine, Ms. Maureen Gamble, Dr. Carolyn Hensley, Mr. Robert Slay, Mrs. Carol Deeks, Mrs. Kathy A. Forbes, Ms. Lanalee Jorgensen, Miss Cindy L. Partridge

Resigned Judge: Ms. Darla Cassidy


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