Newfoundland Club of America Board of Directors Meeting
TELECONFERENCE MEETING MINUTES
May 27, 2003 and continued on June 11, 2003
President Tom Broderick called the teleconference meeting of the NCA Board of Directors to order at 8:06 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, May 27, 2003. The following directors were present: Tom Broderick (TB), Jan S. Boggio (JSB), Jacqueline K. Brellochs (JKB), Aura Ellen Dean (AD), Jack Dean (JD), Roger Frey (RF), Sandee Lovett (SL), Roger Powell (RP), Patti McDowell (PM), Mary L. Price (MLP), Robin Seaman (RS), and Mary W. Price (MWP), ex officio AKC Delegate. Absent at the beginning of the meeting were: Deb Wigal (DW) and Beverly Eichel (BE), ex officio.
Taping of NCA Board Meetings
There was discussion about tape recording and transcribing the Board teleconferences. The procedure will be for the recording secretary, Jack Dean, to tape the minutes and transcribe them into a verbatim record of the teleconference. The primary use of the transcript will be to prepare the minutes of the meeting.
Jack Dean moved and Jan S. Boggio seconded that all minutes of the NCA Board be tape recorded and transcribed but not distributed to persons other then Board members without specific approval of the Board. The original tapes will be held until the minutes are approved. Executive session will not be tape recorded. Board members may request the tape or copy of the transcript. The motion passed by a unanimous vote.
The Board received on May 21st the minutes of the proceedings at the National from Mary Lou Cuddy, the former Recording Secretary. Board members are to review the documents and give corrections to her by June 1st.
Report of the President, Tom Broderick
Tom read a letter from Megan Ottey thanking the Junior Awards Committee and the NCA Board for awarding her one of the NCA Junior Scholarships.
Report of the First Vice President, Aura Dean
Aura wanted to publicly thank AKC staff members Judy Evans and Toni Hutto for their extra hard work on the new registration insert project. Starting about June 1, the NCA pamphlet will be distributed to all people who register a Newfoundland puppy.
Report of the Second Vice President, Sandee Lovett
No report at this time.
Report of the Recording Secretary, Jack Dean
Jack requested some guidance from the Board on the appointment of members of the Technical Corrections Committee at the National. This was the last committee appointed and the Board had adjourned and then was called back to finish the committee appointments. Committee appointments are always made in executive session but it is unclear if a formal motion was made to go into executive session. It was the consensus of the Board that at that time there was an agreement that the matter of who would be appointed would be treated as if the Board were in executive session.
Deb Wigal joined the meeting at 8:26 p.m. Beverly Eichel joined the meeting at 8:27 p.m.
There was discussion about using an expanded contact sheet for use only by members of the Board. It was the consensus of the Board that the recording secretary, Jack Dean, would send a form around to each Board member and it would be returned to him.
There was a discussion about an expanded committee appointment list which would include the members of open committees who are not currently listed. It was the consensus of the Board that Jack Dean would contact the committee chairs and add their committee members’ names to the committee list.
Report of the Corresponding Secretary, Robin Seaman
We received a very nice note from John Adams thanking the Board for their help at the ice cream social.
A letter was sent to the AKC noting the Board changes and the change in the AKC Gazette columnist.
Report of the Treasurer, Mary L. Price
Mary reported that the cash balances in various NCA accounts were as follows:
"Distinguished Member" Restoration
Money Market Account
Uniform Trophy Fund
Money Market Account
Mary further reported that no penalty was incurred on the early withdrawal of money from certificates of deposits before they matured.
Mary reported that 5,000 copies of The Newfoundland and You had been printed at a cost of $1,529.76 and that the Dues Renewal notices had been sent out on May 22, 2003.
The budget has been completed and sent to the Finance Committee which is meeting on June 4th and will be discussed at the next Board meeting.
Report of the AKC Delegate, Mary W. Price
Mary reported that Dennis Sprung has been appointed AKC's new Chief Operating Officer, replacing Nick D'Altilio, who recently resigned. The computer system for registration has been modified by the use of extensive overtime, temporary help, computer consultants, and the transfer of nearly two and half million dollars from operating reserves. AKC employees have worked diligently to handle the backlog of registrations..
The AKC has formally stated that non licensed, non sanctioned clubs cannot hold an AKC licensed show, which means the NCA must continue to be the host of regional and National Specialties.
At the upcoming delegates meeting Mary will follow the instructions of the Board and vote against the proposed amendment to the AKC charter and by laws permitting a change of the December Delegate meeting to January. If an amendment is offered to permit more flexibility in all delegate meetings, Mary may vote in favor of the proposal.
Mary L. Price raised the question that the AKC has changed the Stud Dog Book report so it no longer includes the country of origin for the sire and dam. There is a question whether some of them are ECTLs. Mary L Price has not had much success in getting answers from the AKC and she and Mary W. Price will discuss this matter privately at a later time.
Only 16 percent of all Newfs listed in the Stud Dog Books were owned by NCA members.
Mary L. Price wanted confirmation that NCA member, Dick Mittendorf, was the AKC legislative liaison when she sent in the dues to the AKC. Robin Seaman also wanted confirmation. Jack Dean reported that he had talked to Dick, and Dick had graciously accepted the position.
Discussion of Recommendations for the Breeders List
Cathy Sands, chair of the Breeders List ad hoc committee, Pat Randall chair of the Rescue Prevention Committee and Candace McMahon chair of the Breeders List Committee all joined the teleconference to discuss the proposals of the Rescue Prevention Committee and the Breeders List ad hoc committee.
Aura Dean pointed out that since the Board had not acted on any application, there would not be an application in the upcoming Newf Tide. The Board has to make some decision about the nature of the Breeders List and its content.
Several ideas have been considered by the committees: eliminate the requirement of having a litter in the last three years or reduce the fee to be on the list. Candace felt it was important to consider the kinds of calls we get. People at times are not familiar with Newfs or even large breed dogs. The people on the call in list burn out answering the same questions day after day. They do not understand the volume of phone calls they might get.
One Board member stated that there is a central question and once answered some of the other matters may fall into place. The central question is whether the purpose of the Breeders List is an advertisement for breeders, or is the purpose of theBreeders List to showcase the outstanding breeders in the NCA. The standards and qualifications will differ depending on the purpose.
Breeders do not need the Breeders list as a way to sell puppies. What reason is there for breeders to pay $40 to get a dozen calls a week, each lasting 30-45 minutes?
One Board member said she was not on the Breeders List but took over 150 calls from people desperate for information and someone to talk to. Breeders on the list often refer to breeders not on the list who have puppies. This makes it more of a referral list than a true Breeders List. Breeders feel they should let the people who have puppies do the talking and educating instead of spending all their time on the phone. What is the point of regulating the few who are on the list?
Bottom line is that people want to talk to a breeder to get a puppy.
Some Board members felt there was aproblem with making the stud dog owners financially responsible. Such a criteria discourages the breeders and many of them got off of the list two or three years ago when the criteria was first introduced. Candace added most of them said they had more clients than they needed and they did not need the list and were tired of fielding phone calls.
There was a general discussion of ideas including that maybe we will never have enough breeders to provide enough people, the importance of geographical representation, and are we creating a market for the puppies. One Board member felt that lowering the criteria was not the solution. Candace felt that the demographics were more important than anything else. Having 100 breeders is not going to make it a better list.
Cathy Sands brought up if you look at the Breeders List you’ll notice Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. There is only one person in that three state area who is currently on the NCA breeder’s list. A Board member added that there is only one listed breeder in the entire state of Pennsylvania. The effect is further reducing places for puppy buyers to visit and people to talk to.
There were some questions on where do we want to go with the Breeders List? Do we want to continue to have such a list? Is it a public service? Should it be an educational tool? Is it better for people to buy a Newf from a backyard breeder than from an NCA member who may not have the qualifications to be on the list?
Another question was should we continue the stud dog notation on the list? Most NCA members do not need it and it is only of interest to a new person in the breed or backyard breeder. Another member brought up If breeders meet the criteria to be on the list, perhaps there should be no charge to be on the list, as they would be providing a public service by being willing to answer people's questions
There is a question of where there can be effective intervention. We need a punch list of questions for prospective buyers to ask the breeder. If we create more stringent tests what if people do not fulfil the requirements or what happens if they do the test but do not pass?
One Board member stated that the Internet, websites, etc are used for contacts by buyers. It is easier to find backyard breeders than NCA members. Most Newfs are not bred or sold by NCA members and even fewer by members of the Breeders List Adding more requirements and regulations for breeders only discourages membership.. We need reasonable requirements but the list is a waste without substantial numbers. There needs to be some criteria and we can't give up standards. Every eligible breeder needs to be on list to reduce the burden of the few people on list.
Patti McDowell moved and Robin Seaman seconded that the charge to the Ad Hoc committee be shifted to make the Breeders List a major educational tool for the puppy buyer and tilt everything they are developing in that way. Motion passed unanimously.
Candace asked if we should leave the current list in place and not do anything until we have revisions. She noted the problem is basically what we have right now are 40 people on the list, some of whom won’t even talk to people who call and leave messages on answering machines. There are a lot of desperate people out there who are seeking to buy a puppy.
One NCA member told a Board member that she did not like the disclaimer. She said either the organization stands for something or it doesn’t. And that disclaimer basically reduces in the eyes of the public membership in the NCA to little more than being a member of a social clique. It offers nothing in the way of assurance or standards that are being practiced. So rather than having a disclaimer, perhaps we should have a series of more positive statements such as those on this Breeders List have declared themselves willing to answer questions. They agree that they test their breeding stock for certain things and they will provide documentation. Another Board member responded that disclaimers were necessary because a dog club had been sued because there was no disclaimer and it was implied that the club was recommending the breeder.
Deb Wigal moved and Roger Powell seconded that the Breeders List remain unchanged and will remain in place pending a major revision that will come from the Ad Hoc Breeders Committee. The committee will provide an application no later than October 1. Motion was passed unanimously.
There was discussion on the proposal of the Rescue Prevention Committee. The committee developed ideas for the NCA paying for advertising done by the regional clubs aimed at educating puppy buyers and helping them find breed information and establish telephone lines to answer questions and refer people to breeders.
There was a discussion of ideas from those present that we might have contacts for prospective buyers to visit Newf owners and meet Newfoundlands. There were some concerns about who buyers should be referred to and several Board members thought it should only be those on the NCA Breeders List and not local people. Should the advertising be on a matching funds basis?
The consensus was that the Board has approved the basics of the concept of the Rescue Prevention committee document and that the committee will come back August 1 with a final document.
There was a discussion of changing the Rescue Prevention Committee back to a closed committee because of the disharmony of so many of its members. The committee chair recommended that the committee be a closed committee but the majority of the members wanted to keep it open.
The committee is to work on this problem and come back to the Board with a recommendation by the August teleconference.
Location of Fall Face-to-Face Meeting
There was a discussion on where to hold the fall face-to-face meeting and should we go to California? Some members felt that we should consider other places such as New Jersey, Indianapolis, cities where regional clubs are located. The cost may be a factor because some board members could drive to certain areas but all would have to fly to California.
Jack Dean moved and Roger Powell seconded that we go to California for the fall face-to-face meeting. The motion failed 5 yes 7 no. Those voting yes to go to California were TB I vote yes. I think we should go to California although I realize that it would be difficult to take the time off for extra days); AD (I voted yes because I wanted to be available to California members if they were to attend the Board meetings, but I do realize it entails a hard weekend of work and travel); JD (Board members are elected to serve all of the membership and that includes the people on the west coast, who never have a chance to talk face to face to a Board member unless the west coast member comes to the east. Part of being a Board member entails sacrifice.); RP (Ditto Jack) and DW (Ditto Aura). Those voting no were JSB (I am opposed only because travel restraints do not allow us enough time to do our business); JKB (Ditto Jan); RF (Ditto Jan); SL (Ditto Jan); PM (Ditto Jan); MLP (Ditto Jan) RS (I would be in favor of going to California but it is a hardship on many members of the Board and would harm the productivity of our meeting).
The Board members were to look into different cities and cost and report back at the next Board meeting.
The meeting recessed at 11:40 p.m.
President Tom Broderick reconvened the meeting on June 11, 2003 at 8:05 p.m. with all members present except Robin Seaman and Mary W. Price, AKC Delegate.
Approval of Minutes at the National
Mary Lou Cuddy joined the meeting when there was a discussion of the minutes that she had prepared. There was a question raised whether the reports of the committees were to be put in verbatim. It will be expensive to put in the minutes and then publish them inNewf Tide. It was the consensus of the Board that the entire report be placed in the minutes.
Roger Frey moved and Aura Dean seconded that the minutes be approved. The motion passed unanimously.
The Board next considered the minutes of the annual meeting. Deb Wigal moved and Roger Frey seconded that the minutes of the annual meeting of the general membership meeting be approved for publication. The motion passed unanimously.
Temporary Waiver of Rule for Regional Club Liaison
There was a discussion of the policy that the Regional Club Liaison should be a member of the Board. Aura Dean moved and Roger Frey seconded that we waive for this year the current policy requiring the Regional Club Liaison be a Board member. Motion passed unanimously
There was a question of how the Regional Club Liaison would get the necessary communications. They will be sent by the Second Vice President.
The meeting was recessed at 9:14 p.m. to go into the Charitable Trust meeting and the NCA Board meeting was reconvened at 9:20 p.m.
The Board then went into executive session upon motion of Jack Dean seconded by Deb Wigal. The motion passed unanimously. The Board came out of executive session at 10:09 p.m. and announced that Wilson Keithline, a Connecticut attorney, will be hired to review the club’s charter, by laws, constitution and Connecticut statutes to check our legal compliance with Connecticut statutes. Patti McDowell was appointed to the Ad Hoc Breeders List Committee. Deb Wigal and Tom Broderick were appointed to prepare the bulletin board items to be posted to the NCA website following each board meeting.
NCA Limited Edition Plates at the National
Lee Ann Hughes, National Specialty Trophy Chair joined the committee to discuss the plates.
There was a request to purchase an additional 100 Limited Edition Commemorative plates available for sale for those unable to purchase them at the 2003 National. The question of whether it would affect the value of the plates to collectors was raised. About 120 plates are left over from the 2002 edition. Jan stated she put it on the agenda because some people did not get the opportunity to purchase the plates. There is a lot of work to ship out one plate at a time. We could put an ad inNewf Tide.
Lee Ann is to find out the cost of producing additional plates. She will also check into the trophy platesand how much it would cost to produce the decals and fire the plates.
Selling extra plates is difficult. Last year Lee Ann put an ad in Newf Tide and only sold one plate.
There was a discussion of who could buy the plates and the limits on the number of plates one person could buy. In prior years the limits had varied. Not all plates had been sold and sometimes they had sold out.
Lee Ann is to get back to us with a recommendation by August 1st.
Creation of VN Class at the National Specialty
The Board next considered the creation of a Versatility Class at the National Specialty. There was discussion on whether this was a good idea with some members feeling it was important to have such a class and others feeling that it would add unnecessary items to an already crowded schedule.
Roger Frey moved and Sandee Lovett seconded that there be a Versatile Newfoundland class at the National Specialty. The motion failed. 4 Yes 7 No 1 Abstain Voting yes were RF (I think that the creation of this class is long overdue and I made this motion at this time to cooperate with the regional club that is hosting the National Specialty in 2004); SL; MLP (This request is based on the membership interest shown at the 2003 National Specialty); DW. Voting No were TB (I believe it should be sent back to the National Specialty committee for their recommendation); JSB, SKB (Ditto Patti); AD (I do not believe that we are prejudicing the regional club and ditto Patti on the rest); JD (Since the National Specialty Committee would get back to us by June 25th with their recommendation, I believe it is better to respect the committee structure and I see no harm to the regional club in a ten day delay); PM (I think we should send this back to the committee to get recommendations as it affects not only this specialty but future specialties and I would like the committee’s recommendation); RP (Ditto Patti); Abstain RS
Jack Dean moved and Jacqueline K. Brellochs seconded that the matter be referred to the National Specialty committee with a directive that they get back to us by June 25 and attend the teleconference. Motion passed unanimously.
Meeting Adjourned at 11:19 p.m.
NCA Recording Secretary