Regional Director's Email
September 6, 2010
Notes from the 2010 Annual

Dr. Glen Newton Dr. Glen Newton,
North Central Regional Director

Fellow ACFA North Central Region Members,

I'd like to thank the Madison Cat Club for hosting this year’s North Central Regional banquet! The food, the decorations, the camaraderie, and the awards were all top-notch!

I represented the North Central Region at the ACFA Annual Board Meetings, which were held in Seattle August 17-20. Thanks to everyone who gave me input to bring to the board, and thanks to those clubs who contributed funds to help defray the cost of my attendance at the Annual.

Congratulations go to

  • Alan Lanners, who is ACFA's new clerking program administrator! Alan replaces Judy Eastwood, who served as administrator for the past decade.
  • Lynn Landers-Dickinson, who has been accepted into the Household Pet Judging Program.
  • All the winners from the North Central Region. Please see my Regional Director’s Corner in the Awards and News sections of the North Central Region web site, http://www.acfanorthcentralregion.org . If you earned an IA award an did not make other arrangements to take possession of your plaque, rosette, or breed ribbon, look for Jo and me at upcoming cat shows (e.g., the Fox River Valley show September 11 and 12); we have the unclaimed awards to give to the winners.

On Friday morning, I presented a report on the North Central region. I encourage you to read the expanded version of that report, which is posted in the News section of the regional web site: http://www.acfanorthcentralregion.org/News.htm

Here are some highlights from the board meetings.

Ballot measures

  • This fall, ACFA members will vote on changing the name of the Parade of Royalty to the ACFA Yearbook, a name that more accurately reflects its purpose and content.
  • Members will also vote on modifying Article 1, section 13 of the show rules to include as an owner an individual who owns the cat in any recognized association or appears as the owner in a catalog for that association. This change would not affect most exhibitors, but it does affect whether or not a cat owned in another association by an ACFA judge (but registered with a different owner in ACFA) can be shown on a day that person is judging.
  • A proposal to extend outcrosses to PER, HIM, ESH, and LEX until 2015, retroactive to January 1, 2010, will go to the Selkirk Rex breed section for a vote. The board felt that this was a better proposal than the original, which extended the outcrosses indefinitely, and they felt it was important to make it retroactive because the current outcross provisions expired at the end of 2009 but outcrosses are still needed for genetic diversity.
  • A proposal to require male kittens not to be benched in adjoining cages in the judging area, treating them like all other male cats, will also be on the ballot. Some judges already require this, but making it a show rule reflects the fact that 7-1/2-month old male kittens often have hormones just as strong as the slightly older males in other classes.
  • To encourage new exhibitors of breeds not yet recognized by ACFA, a committee headed by Joyce Irwin is recommending a shortened approval process for registration and championship status for breeds already recognized by at least two other major cat fancies (e.g., CFA, TICA, GCCF, FiFE, CCA, CFF, etc.). Members will vote on allowing the board to approve these breeds, if not challenged by the Genetics Committee, without requiring them to go through the NBC process. If the ACFA membership approves this change in registration rules, the board will consider breeds such as the European Burmese, Australian Mist, and LaPerm Longhair and Shorthair.

These are just a few of the proposals you will see on the ballot this fall. I’ll send you my thoughts on more of them after the ballot comes out in the ACFA Bulletin.

Since this is a bylaws year, the board had to take additional votes on whether or not to send the show rules and registration rule changes to the membership this year. In the past, the convention was to declare them to be “emergencies,” but as some of you have observed, many past emergencies didn’t seem very urgent. That’s why the board has now started to use the terminology you saw in Judy Eastwood’s posting to the ACFA list: “for the good of the association.”

 Reminders and announcements

  • The 2011 ACFA Annual will be hosted by Central Wisconsin Cat Club in Wausau, Wisconsin.
  • A half-price cattery registration and pedigree sale began September 1 and will end December 31. It's an excellent opportunity to get those pedigrees you've been putting off ordering.
  • Thanks to Juette Holseth for volunteering to put items up for sale on her eBay-type store to benefit ACFA or an individual club. If you have items you’d like to donate, please bring them to the Fox River Valley Cat Club show at Neenah or contact Juette at cattlover2@gmail.com.
  • To get your show listed in Cat Fancy and other magazines, Central Office needs the show information, including judge names if at all possible, by four months before the show. This kind of advertising, complementing the ACFA and North Central web sites and flyers handed out at shows, can go far toward attracting new spectators and exhibitors, so show managers, don't wait to get that information in to Cindy and Theresa.
  • Show managers need to get judging contracts (signed) in to Central Office ASAP, but no later than 30 days before the show.
  • From the Judging Program Guidelines: "A club MUST send the Judge a written contract (3 copies) along with a SAS envelope, postmarked within fifteen (15) days after a verbal contract has been agreed upon between the Judge and the Club." [But it’s okay to use email instead of the written contracts in triplicate.]
  • "A Judge MUST sign and return the contract (2) copies to the Club within thirty (30) days." [Again, email is sufficient. In fact, for most purposes (but not for official ballots), email is an alternative to snail mail.]
  • Also, remember to send finals sheets to judges within a reasonable amount of time. The show rules say 30 days.
  • Remember that it’s important to invite judges in training to come to your show, and ask Gwen Hornung, ACFA's training coordinator, to find someone to train them.
  • Make an extra effort to be welcoming and friendly to spectators and other exhibitors, and it will pay off in repeat business.

Other actions affecting clubs

  • New requirement: Show managers must send Central Office a copy of the show hall contract, so that ACFA's insurance provider can make sure our insurance covers what the show hall requires. If necessary, the extra insurance rider might need to be updated and might possibly result in an additional cost.
  • Revival has a new marketing director. Please go through Don Finger when requesting sponsorship from Revival.
  • We're trying to allow room in the show calendar for new clubs to hold shows or existing clubs to move their show dates, without taking away from the exhibitor base of clubs who have established show dates. Toward that end, shows held on the same or consecutive weekends must be 750 miles apart, and show dates on the same weekend in the same region aren't allowed.
  • Show date conflicts will be resolved by the regional directors from the regions in which the show is to be held. (E.g., since TIMACS is in Indiana, it is up to the Mid-Central regional director to resolve show date conflicts. Similarly, if Minn-Kota wants to hold a show in Moorhead, as they did years ago, the North Central regional director would be the conflict resolver.) This is consistent with the fact that the region where the show is held gets the regional surcharge payment from the show.

Good ideas to consider

  • To encourage new clerks, hold a clerking school Friday evening prior to your show.
  • To encourage our young cage stewards to keep involved with ACFA, give them cloth patches of the ACFA logo. Central Office has them available at very low prices.
  • Have litter and water bottles at the show motel for exhibitors.
  • Make up some “Newbie” pins. Have the entry clerk hand those out to new exhibitors when they check in. Make sure club members take especially good care of the newbies.
  • Offer a show entry discount for ACFA members (e.g., $5).
  • Mail thank-you cards to all exhibitors, or at least the new ones.
  • Designate club members with good social skills as “ACFA Ambassadors” for your show; their job is to greet spectators at the door and explain how the show works and where to find breeds they might be interested in. Give these volunteers “Ask Me” pins. Post a sign that says “Ask Me” at the benching area of one or two of these volunteers.

My candidate for most appropriate wording of a status report came when Sue Sanderlin-Berry told us that her committee, which had been pursuing an ACFA cookbook as a possible fundraiser, was so wrapped up in preparing for the Annual that they made little progress.

Judy: “What’s the status of the ACFA cookbook?
Sue: “We had to put it on the back burner.”

Sincerely,
Glen Newton
North Central Regional Director
www.acfanorthcentralregion.org

Email me at glennewton@comcast.net or call me at 651-688-9504.