I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year and thank you for your continued membership and support of the American Beauceron Club. I am excited to have been given the opportunity to once again sit on the board of this organization. There is much to do, some of it pressing, and the board is working as expeditiously as possible. It is equally important, that people’s personal schedules are not overrun by club matters. I think the 2018 board is a great assembly of people.
New on the board this year, besides myself, is Catherine “Gidget” Matulis. She is the new region 1 director and I had the pleasure of meeting her and her husband at last year’s Journee. They secured some food for me while I was working the ring steward’s table during the individual critiques. I’m still feeling grateful! Also new is region 3 director Victoria Paul who lives in the great state of Texas. She trains her dogs Luna and Solo in various dog sports and frequents the conformation ring. Last, but not least, is Amelia Foreman, the club’s new secretary. Amelia has been with the breed for about 3 ½ years and is very active showing in AKC and UKC. She is also quite possibly the most organized person I have ever had the pleasure to “meet”.
The members of the board are working well together. Everyone is comfortable expressing their opinion and we are all there to get work done. Unfortunately, our Region 2 Director, Rebecca Saum, has decided that it was time for her to step down. I think her resignation is a loss for the board and we are sorry to see her go. The secretary received her letter of resignation on February 1 and the membership was notified by email. The board will be selecting a replacement for Rebecca in accordance with the club’s bylaws within 30 days from the receipt of the resignation.
A special thank you to all the member volunteers for their past and continued work on behalf of our club and breed and a heartfelt welcome to those who are new “people of action”. Thank you for signing up and pitching in on various committees and projects. We are an enthusiastic and dedicated group of people and I look forward to work with each and everyone of you.
At the January board meeting, all committees were reinstituted and most have had chairs assigned. Committees have been asked to furnish annual reports for 2017 so the board can ascertain what work has been done and get recommendations for upcoming tasks. Additionally, three new committees were instituted, two of which will be standing committees that support ad hoc event committees. Before I continue, I should announce that the board has renamed our Journée du Beauceron to ABC National d’Elevage, reflecting in name the status it has earned. It is our premier national event that draws more entries than its AKC counterpart. If you haven’t been to one, you should go to one. As I said, the board formed some new committees, one is the AKC National Specialty committee and the other is the ABC National d’Elevage committee. These are meant to function as the primary resource for ad hoc event committees. Past chairpersons have been invited to serve on these committees, but anyone who has experience in event planning and management, whether related to either show or professionally in other areas, is welcome and needed. Please contact your regional director if you are interested in working on either committee. The third committee is an ad hoc committee tasked with defining the structure, function, rules and procedures of a Disciplinary committee. It has become clear that the club needs an avenue to address infractions of the code of ethics and other conduct prejudicial to the Beauceron and this organization. Inability to act, for various reasons, has left members frustrated and has damaged the organization’s reputation and caused significant financial harm. Thirty-plus years post founding, it is time the board tackle this issue. Our new website committee (Robyn Marshall and Di Brown) is working at full speed to revamp our web presence. The new build is projected to be completed in June. The site has already undergone a hosting server migration, has received a preliminary face-lift and all club email accounts are up and running. I would like to thank our outgoing webmaster Susan Tait for her years of service. Thank you! We have made great progress in Judges Education, producing new educational material, hosting two educational events, as well as starting development on a breed mentor program. Education material will be posted under “Judges Education” on the club’s website. The committee – staffed by Marion Karhatsu (myself, chair), Adrienne Scott (past chair), Amelia Foreman, Debbie Baker, Elaine Giannelli, and Shyanne Gates – will need owners and dogs for breed seminars. The committee is hoping to have a list of dogs it can call on to participate as hands-on evaluations are important to the learning process. The newsletter has been restructured, dividing work between content editors (Sara Norman, Brianna Bodwell and Ashley Adams) and design editor (Debbie Baker). This change should lighten the workload for Debbie and increase the variety and volume of content.
The breed certification committee is working on revising the club’s versatility program to bring it in line with most of the other herding breeds AKC parent breed clubs’ versatility programs. The board should have the committee’s recommendations by mid-April. This year only, up until the submission deadline, members will be able to submit under the requirements of the old or the new program; after that time, the old program will be retired. Stay tuned for further news!
Finally, the board is currently reviewing the proposed Code of Ethics and we are looking to hand back our thoughts to the committee by mid-February. As you hopefully have notice, the board is publishing meeting agendas ahead of our board meetings to keep the membership abreast of what the board will be addressing at the meeting. Amelia has received positive feedback from members and some have offered their thoughts regarding matters in front of the board. Board meetings are scheduled every other month (see January meeting minutes for dates) and the board is conducting day to day business online. Please contact your regional director, or any of the officers – via the club contact’s official email addresses (@beauce.org) with questions or concerns you have. Thank you again for being part of this club. You can reach me at email@example.com. I’m looking forward to a productive 2018.