The American Spaniel Club - Established in 1881
Recap of 2016
The American Spaniel Club, the ASC Board of Directors and other ASC volunteers have had a very busy 2016 and I want to briefly recap some of the work that has been going on ...
Continuing from 2015, based on the request of a group of ASC members, the Board undertook a review of the Cocker Spaniel Standard. As part of its review, the Board, with the assistance of the Standard Committee Chair, Bette Campbell, developed and sent out a survey to the membership asking specific questions as to the standard. As a result of the feedback from that survey, possible revisions to the Cocker Spaniel Standard will be submitted to the membership for a voteregarding the color sable, undocked tails and blue eyes.
Early in 2016, the Board approved ASC’s first free standing Agility Trials that took place in New Hampshire over the July 4th weekend. These Trials were financially successful and resulted in several participants applying for ASC membership. Also, in early 2016, the Board voted to embark on a strategic plan, appointed a committee and engaged two consultants, members David and Kyle Richey. In April, the Strategic Planning Committee, with the guidance of David and Kyle, met for a work-intensive weekend in Dallas to analyze ASC and map out a multi-year plan. A plan was developed at the meeting and then over the next several months a written document memorializing the plan was prepared. The Strategic Plan was announced to the membership at the Town Hall Meeting at the National Specialty Show in July. Action steps have been developed and they are continuing to be developed in order to execute the Plan.
At the Strategic Planning meeting, the Committee reached the fundamental decision that ASC’s best path to operational stability is to grow. The Committee determined that the five general ways to do this were:
1. Expand growth in membership;
2. Broaden communications;
3. Enhance the scope of Club activities;
4. Improve financial performance; and
5. Increase leadership accountability and transparency.
As part of the Strategic Plan to expand membership growth, ASC already has a hard-at-work Membership Committee led by Marlene Ragusa. This Committee is implementing initiatives to increase membership. One initiative ASC members have already seen is a survey sent out not only to ASC members, but others outside of ASC, to get their views on ASC and how to increase participation. Also, as part of the plan to increase membership, the Board will present the membership with proposed changes to ASC By-Laws to include an new membership level with lower dues, but no voting privileges.
Besides the additional Agility Trials held last July, there have been other changes in ASC activities, which include havingconcurrent specialties at the ASC Flushing Spaniel Show to encourage more participation and entries from the other Flushing Spaniel breeds. The English Cocker Spaniel Club of America held a regional specialty at the 2017 Flushing Spaniel Show and there will be more concurrent specialties in January 2018. Also, three rings have been added to the Flushing Spaniel show in order to have 2 days of obedience as opposed to just one. Thanks to James Davis, who heads up the Sponsorship Committee, ASC now has new ASC banners and ring standards for the Flushing Spaniel and National Specialty shows. These new banners not only welcome people to the shows and create an improved atmosphere, but they also reinforce the ASC brand.
Part of the Sponsorship Committee’s role is to develop individual and corporate sponsors. At the 2017 Flushing Spaniel Show, ASC was fortunate to have three individual sponsors who stepped up to sponsor the coffee and tea station each day in the tack room. Thank you to Linda and David Donaldson, Dalin Cockers, Regina Beinhauer and Harriet Kamps, Kamps-Normandy Cockers, and James Davis, Epic Cockers, for being the first individual sponsors under ASC’s Sponsorship Program!
With regard to Communications, ASC has retained a website design firm, DC Web Designers, to design a new website for ASC. The Website Design Committee, with Kelly Ladouceur and Jackie Curry, are currently in the second of the three phases of this design process. ASC’s web page has been designed and the internal content is now being developed.
Also, as part of ASC’s Communications, a survey was sent out to the members regarding their volunteer interests. We received a great response and the names of ASC members with their interests have been sent to Laurie Foley and Dee Torgerson-Rismyhr, Co-Chairs for the Strategic Plan, and are being sent out to committee chairs in order to get more members participating in ASC and its many committees and activities.
Under Administration and Finance, a rolling two-year budget has been prepared. The ASC Board and Finance Committee are working to ensure increased accountability from Committee Chairs and others to submit and adhere to their budgets. Also, job descriptions are being prepared for committee chairs and other volunteer positions.
As you can see, progress is being made and I want to thank everyone who has helped and who is helping to strengthen ASC. Please let me, Dee Torgerson-Rismyhr or Laurie Foley know if you are interested in being involved.
Speaking of people who have worked hard for ASC, I want to recognize and thank three Committee Chairs who are stepping down: Wilma Parker, ASC’s Archivist and Chair of the Archival Committee, Theresa (Tracy) Frye, Breeder Referral,and Bonnie Pike, Breeder Education. Thank you for your hard work and commitment to ASC!
Lastly, I want to talk about something that does not have anything to do directly with ASC, but it is extremely important to the continuing existence of ASC and other parent breed clubs. It is the American Kennel Club Political Action Committee. I want to urge everyone to support the American Kennel Club PAC. It is no secret that purebred dogs are under attack. Throughout the country, extreme legislation threatens to establish government mandates on all aspects of dog ownership, including breeding, showing, housing, veterinary care, zoning and limiting dog ownership. ASC does not have the financial resources to fight this legislative movement, but the AKC PACis the most important tool we have to fight back. 100% of the contributions made to the non-partisan AKC Pac support the election campaigns of candidates who value purebred dog sand respect our rights as dog owners, exhibitors and breeders. So please contribute! Go to www.akc.org/pac to make an online contribution!