October 14, 2016 

Minutes of Annual Board Meeting

AWMA Board:  Anne Camper, Christopher Smith, Carol Karchnak, Glenn Stephenson, Angie Stark, Linda Guidry, Donna McGinnis, Waine Singleton (joined mid-meeting due to trial/judging obligations).

Club Delegates: All Canine Working Dog Club, Annie Wildmoser; Big Sky Working Dogs, Janice Bogy; Midwest Working Dog Association, Sean Boone; No Way Jose Working Dog Association, Anne Rammelsberg; Motor City Working Dogs, Paula Daigle;  Three Mountains Working Dog Association, Tim Karchnak;  Podium Belgian Shepherd Working Dog Club, Hardy Ernsting;  Oxford IPO Working Dog Club Canada, Anthony Hartelaub.

Guests: Steve Gregalunas, Ivan Balabanov, Kim Yeager

  1. Call to Order and Introductions

Ms. Camper called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm and announced we only had the conference room for a short period of time so the meeting needed to conclude by 5:30 p.m.

  1. Reading of the Previous Meeting Minutes

Ms. Camper asked for comments regarding the minutes of previous meeting.  No comments given and upon a motion by Mr. Ernsting, seconded by Ms. Guidry, the 2016 minutes were approved.

  1. Introduction of New/Continuing Regional Directors

Ms. Camper acknowledged our continuing regional directors: Waine Singleton, Linda Guidry and Les Flores.  Mr. Flores could not join us due to club/personal events.  Mr. Singleton would join us at the conclusion of trial/judging obligations.  She further noted that elections for regional directors would take place the following year, officers this year and directors next year.

  1. Officer Reports


Ms. Camper called for officer reports, with an added request that we be mindful of our time limitation for the room.

President - Ms. Camper noted we had a good year, a number of new clubs joined, a successful fundraising effort for the FMBB team, that she wished it could be more but at least it was something, and congratulated all the competitors.


Vice President - Mr. Smith had no report other than it was a great year and one of the best since he has been with the board.

Secretary: The AWMA had a record number of new clubs join the association, seven new clubs, but only six trials held.

Treasurer: Ms. Karchnak stated our beginning checkbook balance for 2016: $32,318.97, balance today $38,478.89, with about $500 in the PayPal account.  So far for 2016 we have taken in $16,381 and have spent $9,615 leaving a net income of $6,766.  For the next year, she proposed a budget (income-wise) of $14,212 and budgeted expenses in the amount of $12,280, with a net income of $1,432.  Ms. Camper asked if the numbers could be divided by content.  Ms. Karchnak responded, Individual Memberships: $8,797.75; family dues: $1,970; club dues: $1,567.50; scorebooks: $1,414.50; rush fees: $1,000; fundraising: $60.  Ms. Camper called for a motion to accept the Treasurer's report.  Upon a motion by Ms. Guidry, seconded by Mr. Ernsting, the Treasurer's report was approved.

Membership Chair (including scorebook report):  Ms. Stark reported 79 (new?) memberships compared to 26 last year, 319 total members compared to 254 last year, 20 members are Canadian residents and 5 are youth.  She also noted a member in the Netherlands, as well as one in Singapore, and that we were up a total 65 members from last year's report.  She noted scorebook services were combined with membership and believed this is in the best interest of the members, as far as efficiency in getting things out to them. She further commented upon implementation of on-line processing of scorebooks for easier use, reducing errors, and better turn-around time.  Mr. Balabanov asked for a reiteration of the numbers, subtotal of membership for this year and last year.  Ms Stark asked if he wanted memberships or members. Mr. Balabanov questioned the difference.  Ms. Stark explained a membership, a family membership, includes two people.  Lastly, she stated this year we had 319 members compared to 254 last year, so we are up 65. 

Regional Director Reports

Northeast region: Mr. Singleton reported we had two clubs this year, the one in Canada and the one in Missouri and all his held trials with the exception of Metro Detroit.

Southeast region:  Ms. Guidry reported the success of Atlanta WDC moving from affiliate to full member status and successfully holding a trial.

Northwest region:  Ms. Camper reiterated Mr. Flores could not join us due to other obligations, and since that is also her region she could address it should anyone need any further update.
World Championship/National Events Committee

Ms. Camper acknowledged that no one from the World Championship/National Events Committee could join us and no reports were forwarded.

Judges Committee – Glenn Stephenson, no report.

  1. Elections

Ms. Camper noted two clubs present could not participate in the voting process as their clubs had not held an event and had been reduced to affiliate status, Mr. Gregalunas and Mr. Balabanov.  She further noted Michelle Kutelis was previously voted in as Director at Large by the Executive Board and instructed that it was not necessary for those present to place a vote for Ms. Kutelis.

The votes would be tallied by a third party while the meeting continued.

  1. Old Business

Ms. Camper invited commentary on the three items included under Old Business.  She further noted the survey results remain on the website as well as the policy regarding FMBB funding, and stated lifetime memberships had been tabled after discussion of the variety of issues in forming that type of membership.

  1. New Business

Ms. Camper stated she keeps all the motions for the executive board updated on the website so everyone can see what was voted on, who voted yes, no, or did not vote, so it is transparent who is participating and who is not.  She then asked for any questions or concerns over the actions of the board over the last year.

Mr. Balabanov requested an explanation of what "active club" means.  Ms. Camper responded that the definition can be found in the AWMA Bylaws and if the definition were to be changed, it would require the procedure provided for a Bylaws change.  She then read that particular portion from the Bylaws.  She explained the definition, as described in the Policies and Procedures on the website, can be an activity such as a club trial, a sanctioned event, or a seminar.  She further explained if a club did not adhere to those descriptions, they needed to submit a waiver.  She then gave the example of the year Warren Jones passed away as an extraordinary circumstance for her club and that the purpose of the waiver is to provide a mechanism for the club to continue.

Mr. Balabanov questioned the annual trial requirement, whether it was something very old in the Bylaws or something that was decided upon within the last year.  He stated if he did not have dogs ready to compete, then he would not have a club trial.  He further stated that a club trial is for his club's benefit and spending money on a trial that is not necessary does not benefit the club, club trials are for their dogs to move further in their titles and progress.  He commented further that it is a strange description for a club to be considered inactive when they have a member of that club competing in a national event every year, having hosted the Malinois National Championship twice, and not be considered active and not allowed a vote, and that this would alienate his club.  He continued to state if he is spending more than $5,000 for one world championship, he believed is it unfair that the AWMA organization would force him to spend more money to host a club trial when they do not have dogs to host a club trial with.  Lastly, he stated he believed this was a very wrong approach, to force the AWMA clubs to hold events.

Ms. Camper reminded Mr. Balabanov that hosting a seminar in lieu of a trial was always an option and that the Bylaws have been in place since the beginning of the organization.   She further stated any change would require a Bylaws change and not something that could be done during the meeting.  Mr. Balabanov agreed that Bylaws should have some form of evolution and that when they founded the club they simply needed Bylaws to get the club going.  He further stated revisiting the Bylaws, adopting and evolving was very important, but not a way to build membership. 

Ms. Camper asked for discussion from the Board.  Mr. Stephenson explained there must be some mechanism to ensure that the clubs we are counting as actual clubs are active.  He understood Mr. Balabanov's point regarding expense, and that was the reason they included a description for an event, an event such as a tracking day for the club, as an example.  Mr. Gregalunas questioned if that needed approval by the Board.  Ms. Camper explained it only needed regional director approval, similar to a trial request.

Mr. Balabanov questioned whether we wish to live in an illusion or get dogs to trial when their natural time to trial comes.  He further stated when dogs are ready to trial, there will be a trial, instead of forcing a trial, and that he did not see how this could be good for clubs.  He continued that his club is not active, they had not held an event this year, yet he has competed in every championship in the last 10 years, held club trials in the past, and will have trials when the time comes that they have dogs, that they will not fake something to pretend they are active when they are not.  Lastly, he stated he will simply not have a club and leave the organization and that he could not have a club without a voice.

Mr. Stephenson asked to take the whole thought of having a trial out of the discussion, and explained again that the AWMA must have a mechanism for ensuring that the clubs we sanction are actually viable, active clubs.  He asked Mr. Balabanov for a better way to do this.  Mr. Gregalunas questioned if a person in a club made the world team, could that in and of itself be considered an event.  Mr. Stephenson concluded that one person is not a club, a club is a group of people, and unless the whole club is going to the worlds then it is a moot point.  Mr. Greglunas stated it takes organization to help someone make it to a world team.  Mr. Smith added that it would also take organization to help someone obtain a title at a club trial as well.  Lastly, Mr. Stephenson stated he had no problem with adding different exceptions for allowing a club to prove they are a club, but they would have to be voted upon.  Mr. Gregalunas then described the training days their club held to assist him with the FMBB, if that could be considered as an event.  Mr. Smith reminded him he could have put that in writing and submitted it to the regional director for approval, but it must be done beforehand.  Mr. Gregalunas stated it wasn't clear in the Bylaws.  Mr. Smith noted the Bylaws do not delineate what type of event is required, rather to prove that the club can actually put something together and that the club is truly a club and benefits the Malinois. 

Mr. Balabanov asked to go back and think about what he said, that if a club sends a person to the world championships and national events you could not call that club inactive, and doing so made absolutely no sense.  Mr. Smith reminded him it was necessary to submit their activity for pre-approval.  Mr. Balabanov reiterated this is something in the Bylaws that should be revisited.  Ms. Camper concluded that a Bylaws change is voted on by the general board, not the executive board.

Ms. Camper noted the time and asked to move the meeting along to request bids for the 2017 national championship.  Ms. Daigle volunteered her club, Motor City Working Dogs.  Ms. Camper stated the AWMA would still need to send out a general announcement so everyone would have a chance to submit a bid for review.  Mr. Balabanov questioned the committee review process for holding a national event, including the requirement to hold it in a stadium.  Ms. Camper responded that we had no other bids for 2016 and she was grateful Mr. Ellison stepped forward and volunteered to host the event.  Mr. Gregalunas suggested the board make the process more attractive for clubs to volunteer.  Ms. Camper replied we might be able to do something different in the future but it would require a change to the hosting contract and that could be considered. 

Mr. Ernsting asked to be heard regarding fundraising for the FMBB.  He stated the treasurer's report showed a $38,000 bank balance and asked if it was possible if the AWMA could support team members with a specific amount.  He noted every year the bank balance grows, and asked if it would be possible for the AWMA to support team members on the world stage.  Ms. Camper stated the difficulty would be sustainability, given our income and expenditures vary from year to year.   She further added it did not mean we would not review feasibility, only that we cannot promise a substantial amount each year because our income may not be sufficient from year to year.  Mr. Ernsting asked if this could be reviewed for a possible solution.  Ms. Camper confirmed she and Carol Karchnak were reviewing fundraising and the treasury. 

While voting ballots were being tabulated, Ms. Camper announced Angie Stark would be stepping down as membership chair and hoped everyone appreciated the time and effort she spent streamlining many applications, timeliness in processing memberships and scorebooks.  She further stated Ms. Stark has been invaluable to the board and thanked her for everything she contributed.

Mr. Karchnak then spoke with regard to Messrs. Gregalunas and Balabanov's comments regarding events.  He stated their club hosts two trials a year, one for AWMA and UScA, and noted they only receive participation in the AWMA trial if they use a UScA judge.  He concluded hosting a national event is equivalent to hosting three or four club trials and suggested if a club were to host a national event, they be given a waiver for the following year and further that it be in the Bylaws as opposed to being subject to a waiver.  Ms. Camper suggested a better place would be in policies and procedures.

Ms. Camper announced the outcome from the election:

Auditing Committee: Christopher Smith, Michelle Kutelis, and Paul Konschak

Board of Inquiry: Katie Finlay, Mario Gomes, Tim Karchnak, and

            Christopher Smith (alternate)

World Championship/National Events Committee: Nicole Kelly and Kim Yeager

Judges Committee:  Waine Singleton

Officers:  (uncontested positions - all officers remain)

Director at Large: Vicki Keller

Ms. Camper asked for a motion to adjourn.  Upon a motion to adjourn by Ms. Rammelsberg, seconded by Mr. Karchnak, the meeting adjourned.