Minutes -- Executive Board Meeting, 9/26/08, Centralia, WA

EB members present:
Anne Camper - President
Christopher Smith - Vice President
Marina Shukh – Treasurer
Dana Williams – Membership chair
Ivan Balabanov - DAL
Sean Rivera – DAL
Mike Morgan – Regional director
Les Flores – Regional director

Desiree’ Shaw – Secretary
Warren Jones – DAL
Mike Baker – DAL
Bob Miller - DAL
Pat Carpenter – Regional director

Glenn Stephenson - Director of Judges

Call to order approx. 3:50 pm.

1.Reading of minutes of previous meeting (2007 Championship)
2. Election of directors at large from executive board (2 positions currently occupied by Warren Jones and Bob Miller)
3.Appeals for waivers for annual events from local clubs
4.Regions and regional program
5.Treasury and fundraising
6.Contracts with local clubs hosting national event when funds are made available from AWMA
7.Consent agenda and accepting decisions of executive board
8.Vision of what AWMA should be in the future

1. Minutes were accepted
2. Warren Jones and Bob Miller re-elected by acclimation
3. Clubs that had not held events this year were discussed and blanket waivers were given for all organizations. One of the reasons cited for not having a trial was lack of insurance and this is now required for all clubs when they renew. There is a group in AWDF that is looking for potential mechanisms for getting reduced insurance for all local clubs that are members of an AWDF member breed/sport club. There was discussion of formalizing the requirement, with the possibility of allowing any event or seminar. This would require a by-laws change. Ivan brought up the idea that clubs not having a trial would lose voting privileges. Action is required by the board this upcoming year.
4. Regions and regional events. The Northern region is proposing a regional event and this was well received. There was discussion about what can reasonably be done within regions based on our size; there was general agreement that we are too small to require regional trials, but perhaps the focus could be put on regional events/seminars/club cooperation within regions.
5. Treasury and fundraising. The treasury is in better shape than expected, with approximately $10,500 in the two accounts. This is due in large measure to the fundraising campaign, where there was $500 in banner ads, $300 in member donations to the FCI team, $430 towards the national event, and approximately $407 in merchandise (mostly new t-shirt/sweatshirt sales). Thanks were given to John Wiitanen for organizing and taking on the t-shirt sales.
6. The board had voted to have funds from each entry at the AWMA Nationals to be used as seed money for the subsequent year’s event. Les described how DVG does this, where there is a substantial contribution made. Discussion was held on the need for a contract with the host club so that there was an understanding of the use of the funds provided by the parent club.
7. Concept of consent agenda. The votes taken by the executive board are posted on the discussion board for the general membership. This is akin to a consent agenda and shows transparency with decisions made by the executive board.
8. Direction of AWMA. The past two years were spent cleaning up by-laws, establishing protocols and procedures, etc. The next two years can be spent continuing to improve process, but there is also the need establish a vision for the organization. What should we be doing? What is our focus? Where do we fit with the FMBB, the AWDF, and the FCI? What should our relationship be with the ABMC? Discussion was held about the international politics of the working dog sports, AKC and the WDS program. Each board member is supposed to put together a bullet item list of what their vision would be for discussion. One idea suggested by Ivan Balabanov was establishing a greater identity with the handlers of working dogs in law enforcement and the military. Ivan and Michael Ellis will head an effort to contact these groups. Another would be having DPO or similar offerings associated with our championship.
9. Miscellaneous. It was recommended that Anne Camper write a letter to the AWDF formalizing our concern of the scheduling of the 2009 AWDF Championship so close to the FMBB competition.

Meeting adjourned at 4:53 p.m.

Minutes -- General Board meeting, American Working Malinois Association.
9/26/08, Centralia, WA

In attendance: voting
Anne Camper, President
Christopher Smith, VP
Marina Shukh, Treasurer
Dana Williams, Membership chair
Ivan Balabanov – DAL* served as club delegate
Sean Rivera – DAL
Mike Morgan – Regional director
Michael Ellis, High Mesa
Bruce Westerhoff, Yellowstone
Ivan Balabanov, Spirit
Joey Leigh, Atlanta WDC

Warren Jones, DAL
Mike Baker, DAL
Les Flores, Regional director
Robert Miller, DAL

General membership present:
Greg Doud
Steve Gregalunas
Kristina Carmody
Glenn Stephenson, DOJ
Rosellen Westerhoff
Lilly Westerhoff
Coral Westerhoff

Call to Order at 4:55 p.m., 9/26/08

Motion to waive reading of the minutes and accept as previously published by Dana Williams, second by Marina Shukh, and passed.

Anne Camper gave a President's report that summarized the accomplishments over the last year, including the fielding of the first agility team to the FMBB, establishing ties with the mondio group, continuing to work with the ABMC, and progress in AWDF. An overview of the procedural issues finalized including policies and procedures for local trials and for competitors and team captains for the FMBB teams. Mention was made about fundraising, which will be covered in more depth later.

No specific report from the Vice President.

Anne Camper read the secretary’s report provided by Desiree’ Shaw. There have been 31 scorebooks issued. The scorebook, club membership, and club renewal forms have been revised. All member clubs are current on dues until February 2009. She noted that clubs have been slow to send in trial reports and she often needs to remind them to do so. The following clubs did not report holding events: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Montana. (Note: These clubs were granted waivers to the requirement to hold an event in the executive board meeting). There has been one club join since the 2007 Nationals, the Midwest Working dog Association, and they will hold their first trial this November. Belleville Dogsport Assoc. (Michigan) has changed their name and officers and is now Motor City Working Dogs. The California club has dropped membership.

The treasurer’s report from Marina Shukh was an explanation of why the taxes had not been paid and why there wasn’t a financial report or budget. Part of the problem appears to be complexity in the mechanism for reporting and tracking income. This provoked some discussion on the need to find external help to put the books in order and to establish a more workable process. It was reiterated that the treasury is in good shape, with approximately $10,500 in the two accounts, with income other than dues arising from the fundraising campaign ($500 in banner ads, $300 in member donations to the FCI team, $430 towards the national event, and approximately $407 in merchandise (mostly new t-shirt/sweatshirt sales).

The membership chair report was given by Dana Williams. We currently have 100 individual and 19 family memberships with two memberships pending. There were approximately 170 renewal notices sent out. The code of conduct was sent out with membership cards. The membership drive resulted in 45 new members, and 17 have renewed to date. Dana also made recommendations for improving the recruiting and retaining members that will be discussed by the executive board.

Committee Reports:

Helper Committee - no report

World Championship/National Events Committee – provided by Shari Lipski and read by Anne Camper. Shari commented on the 2008 AWMA’s Inaugural Agility Team and that this program appears to be gaining visibility. We are presently working with the .U.S. Mondio Association and hope that we can send a mondio team to the 2009 FMBB World Championships will be in Roudnice Nad Labem, Czech Republic, May 7th to 10th. Competitor Rules and Regulations for the IPO, Mondio, and Agility Teams have been posted to the AWMA and Mondio websites. She hopes to work with the Sponsorship Committee to build a strong program for our association, local events, and World Team Members

Director of Judges - Glenn Stephenson reported that there were no new judges. There was brief discussion on how to engage more people in the AWMA program.

Sponsorship Committee - Christopher Smith reported that there was a committee established that included himself, Shari Lipski, Les Flores and Anne Camper. This committee decided that they should pursue revenue generation through solicitations of members, the establishment of banner ads on the website, and the sale of embroidered merchandise. The committee also investigated means for creating a reserve of seed money for host clubs for the national event. The committee was active and successful, as evidenced by the increase in revenue noted above.

Bylaws Committee – brief report by Anne Camper stating that revisions had been made and circulated and were up for acceptance later in the meeting.

Board of Inquiry - no activity this year.

Auditing Committee - no report.


All officers and directors at large elected by the general board were up for election. Anne Camper (president), Christopher Smith (vice president) and Dana Williams (membership chair) had communicated to the nominating committee (Christopher Smith) that they were willing to run again. Terry Miller had volunteered to run as secretary. There were no nominations from the floor for these officers. Bruce Westerhoff moved that the slate as presented be elected by acclimation. The vote was seconded by Marina Shukh and passed unanimously. Marina Shukh wished to have her name considered for treasurer, and Kristina Carmody also volunteered. Ballots were circulated and Kristina was elected. Director at Large incumbents were Ivan Balabanov, Mike Baker and Sean Rivera. All three indicated their willingness to continue. Ivan Balabanov was nominated Dre’ Hastings. A ballot was distributed where people would vote for three. Elected by majority were Ivan Balabanov, Sean Rivera and Dre’ Hastings.

Committee assignments:

Auditing Committee – Marina Shukh, Warren Jones

Board of Inquiry – Shawn Thompson, Michael Ellis, Dana Miller; alternates Debra Krsnich, Greg Doud

Bylaws Committee - Shari Lipski, Warren Jones

Helper Committee – nominees were Ivan Balabanov, Joey Leigh, Les Flores. Ivan was elected.

Judges' Committee - Glenn Stephenson, Nathaniel Roque, Christopher Smith

Nominating Committee - Christopher Smith, Greg Doud

Sponsorship Committee - Christopher Smith, Dara Hunt, Shari Lipski

Website Committee - Dara Hunt, Dana Williams

World Championship/ National Events Committee - Shari Lipski, Christopher Smith, Dana Miller, Greg Doud

Old Business
1. Regions and Regional Directors. The regional directors were elected by their respective regions this year and were retained: Les Flores - Western Region, Mike Morgan - Southern region, Pat Carpenter, Northern region. Discussion was held about activities in the region. It was noted that the organization is too small to have established regional programs, although the regions can and should be used to provide benefit to the members (seminars, training, social events, etc.). The Northern region is planning to host a regional trial in the upcoming year.

2. Agility and Mondio as part of the AWMA. This was the first year we sent an agility team to the FMBB, and it was done in collaboration with the ABMC. It was noted that several European countries are requiring the equivalent of a BH for all performance dogs, and this supports our decision to require the BH for agility dogs that will be attending the FMBB. The process is in place to send a mondio team, although there still needs to be a vote by the board to accept the criteria that were created by the USMRA and reviewed by our WC/NE committee.

3. Relationship between ABMC and AWMA (specialty). This past year connections were made with the ABMC to further the ability send an agility team to the FMBB and to help support ABMC Rescue. There is a link to ABMC rescue on the homepage and a site on the discussion board for rescue postings. There has been communication about the possibility of having the AWMA offer a BH at the upcoming ABMC National Specialty in May and also possibly an IPO demonstration. The ABMC recently voted to pursue the WDS program with AKC. Since the AWDF does not support or endorse the WDS program, the AWMA cannot be involved in this effort. Anne also reminded delegates that the AWDF does not recognize WDS titles.

New Business
1. Membership drive. It was reiterated that the membership drive where reduced dues were offered to new members was simply an oversight and no malice was intended. Information went out publically and could not be reversed, hence the action that was taken. The letter sent to member clubs did not receive any responses. The Executive Board once again apologizes for the oversight.

2. Clubs and insurance. The Executive Board voted to require local clubs to carry liability insurance, as it protects the local clubs and the AWMA. It may be possible for local clubs to have insurance that protects dual organizations with similar membership. The AWDF is currently looking at mechanisms for finding reduced insurance rates for all AWDF local clubs.

3. 501c7 status. Investigations on tax exempt status for the organization were conducted with an accountant. The options were to disband and reorganize as a 501c3 (tax exempt, tax credits to contributors) or to become a 501c7 (social club with tax exemption). The AWMA cannot become a 501c3 organization as we do not fit the descriptions. It would be possible to become a 501c7 organization, but donations are limited to 30% of the total club income. This would require a greater level of accounting and income tracking than what is currently feasible. It was agreed to maintain our status as it currently is and not to purse 501c7 status.

4. Registries to allow for scorebooks. AWMA currently does not have a policy on what registries to allow for listing of a dog as “Malinois” in an AWMA scorebook. Other AWDF clubs have established what they will accept. There is a requirement that all competitors at the upcoming and future AWDF Championship have an AWDF scorebook, and there are discussions currently underway in AWDF on how to accomplish this. Discussion was held on what registries to allow, with options ranging from only FCI recognized registries to other registries, including UKC. Ivan Balabanov and Michael Ellis will discuss this and seek input from the FMBB. They will bring a recommendation back to the board for vote.

5. What should AWMA be in the future? Ideas of a mission statement, concepts for action, and priority items to be tackled in the next two years were posed. Members should send their ideas to Anne.
6. Bids for 2009 Championship. Spirit (Florida) expressed interest in hosting the event in November, 2009. An announcement will be sent to local clubs with a 30 day deadline to see if other bids are received.

7. Amendments to by-laws. A motion was made by Bruce Westerhoff to accept the by-laws changes as proposed by the by-laws committee and seconded by Michael Ellis. This was passed unanimously. There was some discussion about wording in Article II, Objectives; “The objectives of this association shall be to preserve the Belgian Malinois in accordance with the Breed Standard as a working dog” in as it is not clear of the source of the breed standard. It was agreed that this would be discussed in the future after the scorebook issues are resolved.

8. Miscellaneous. Brief discussion was held on the ability to have members pay dues for several years in advance and other membership payment/recruitment items. These will be covered by the executive board in the near future.

Motion to adjourn at 7 p.m. by Marina Shukh, second by Christopher Smith. Passed.