The 2014 VDD/GNA Annual Meeting was held in Milwaukee, from June 6-8, 2014. The meetings and all events except the Judge CE Seminar took place at the Hilton Garden Inn, which is located right next to the Milwaukee Airport. The hotel's 24-hour shuttle service meant no need for car rentals, and enabled GNA to keep Board of Director expenses down. The Midwest North Chapter, and especially Faith Wood, did a fantastic job organizing the meeting and events.
All Chapters were represented at the meeting. As of 5/1/14, GNA had1204 members, broken down as follows:
Big Rivers 164
Great Lakes 103
Great Plains 153
Midwest North 191
Southeast Hunter 135
Wild West 171
1 - AC motion to add mileage to the test coordinators expense reimbursement document was withdrawn: the Newsletter Editor and Treasurer updated the document at the meeting, and the motion was no longer necessary.
2 - AC motion to require proof of hunting license upon joining GNA was defeated with only our chapter and Wild West voting in favor. The general feeling was that it would place an additional burden on volunteer EC members, that a check-off box already existed on the new member form, and that test directors should be checking handlers' hunting licenses at tests.
3 - AC motion to report sanctions in a factual manner in the GNA Newsletter was defeated with only our Chapter supporting it. The EC objected to the wording, especially the use of "alleged" and felt that it would also compel them to inappropriately publish warnings and minor incidents.
4 - AC motion to prohibit out-of-compliance VR's from judging at GNA tests, specifically those who were continuing to judge for other groups in violation of JGHV rules: this was tabled at the request of the GNA Chairman. He will first try to gain voluntary compliance from the other North American groups, and if not successful, will pursue official action at the 2015 JGHV meeting.
5 - HLC motion to waive double entry fees for non-members at breed tests (VJP/HZP) was defeated with only Great Plains, Heartland and Wild West in favor. The majority were opposed because we are a breed club, and our member dues already subsidize our testing program: a dog owner should have to pay either a membership fee or the entry surcharge, and not be able to avoid the financial commitment our own members are making. With the demand for our performance tests growing (VGP/VSwP) it might even be that we will want to rescind the waiving of double entry fees for non-members at one or both of them. (The performance test non-member fee exception was adopted in 2011.)
6 - WWC motion to publish breed show results passed unanimously.
Vice-Chairman Mark Heuer reported that matrix revisions were recently approved to allow North American Groups to hold fall tests as early as 15 August. Approval for such early tests will not be granted routinely, but on a case-by-case basis when valid reasons exist for the requests. Mark also presented the Armbruster SOP and Planning Guide, a very nicely done document which will really smooth the way for future host Chapters. The plan for Mark to hand over his duties as Director of Judge Development has been put on hold, due to changes anticipated in the appointed position of Director of Testing. Current Director Mike Talbot is going to be stepping down, and ideally would like to have his successor identified by this fall in order to ensure a smooth transition.
GNA expects to be able to demonstrate and train Chapter reps in the use of a software program called PAPK, which was written by a German VDD member and includes test and membership modules. Astrid Geisler is helping translate the interface into English, and we expect to go live with it for all tests next spring. This will impact many test sites, in that it will now be necessary to have a computer and printer at all tests. Discussions are ongoing about how GNA can best support the Chapters with implementation.
Newsletter Editor Sean Hicks reported that he will be switching printers, and reducing the size of the newsletter by about 1/4" all the way around, to the size of Gun Dog Magazine. This change will significantly reduce our costs, and the savings will end up paying for the extra year-end issue. He is also in the process of setting up a member profile function on the GNA website. Members will use their member number and their own password to access and change information such as email addresses and phone numbers.
GNA is in the process of securing a trademark for the name "Deutsch-Drahthaar". This has been encouraged by VDD, which already holds an international trademark, but we need to protect our brand in the US and enable GNA to enact relevant policies. While they're at it, they're going to trademark the word "Drahthaar" as well.
The 2015 meeting will be hosted by the Southeast Hunter Chapter from 11 - 14 June in Aberdeen South Carolina. (We have the 2016 meeting, and Big Rivers will have the 2017 meeting.)
The 2015 Armbruster will be hosted by Wild West, probably in September near Roosevelt, Utah. Heartland is more than likely going to host the 2016 Armbruster; venues are still being investigated.
News from Germany
There were a couple of minor breeding regulation changes approved at the VDD meeting in March. One served to clean up the language regarding breeding certifications, and to make it clear that dogs have to go a breed show and be certified for breeding before the mating takes place. The second enables breeders to switch to a more advantageous breeding cycle by changing the regulations to state that a bitch may be bred one time per calendar year. There will no longer be mention of skipping heats or a minimum number of months between breedings.
GNA's good friend, Ulrich Augstein, was elected as JGHV Vice-President. He will be our new North American liaison. JGHV is beginning to implement VR programs in other countries now, using GNA as a model.
Questions / Comments?
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. (Email is always best!)
Atlantic Chapter Chairman
29 June 2014