At the Annual Meeting of the American Kennel Club on March 13, 2012, the AKC Board of Directors Class of 2016 was elected. The three directors elected were: Patricia M. Cruz, delegate for Heart of the Plains Kennel Club; William J. Feeney, delegate for Sir Francis Drake Kennel Club, Inc.; and Thomas S. Powers, delegate for Kennel Club of Beverly Hills.
In addition, Alan Kalter (American Bullmastiff Association, Inc.) was elected as chairman of the board and Dr. Robert D. Smith (Memphis Kennel Club, Inc.) was elected as the vice chairman of the board at a meeting of the AKC Board of Directors, convened after the delegates meeting.
Alan Kalter, of Ann Arbor, Mich., brings a unique combination of experience in the world of purebred dogs, business, and marketing to the AKC Board. As an active breeder/exhibitor of Bullmastiffs for over 20 years, he has produced 160 champions including BIS, BISS, and five generations of Group winners under the HappyLegs registered prefix.
He serves as president and delegate for the American Bullmastiff Association and was the vice president and treasurer of the Detroit Kennel Club, where he was responsible for the marketing of two benched shows that attract tens of thousands of purebred dog lovers each year. Alan was also one of the original board members of the AKC PAC and on the three-person committee responsible for evaluating recipients of legislative donations.
Professionally, Alan was the CEO and owner of a multinational, multibillion-dollar advertising agency employing 1,000 people throughout 11 offices in three countries. The company developed Morris Animal Foundation’s communications including the Canine Cancer Campaign, as well as AKC pro bono marketing, and originating “We’re more than champion dogs. We’re the dog’s champion.”
Dr. Robert D. Smith of St. Stephens Church, Va., has been involved in the sport for more than 50 years, primarily as a breeder/owner/handler of American Foxhounds. Elected to the AKC Board for the first time in 1997, he served for five years, proposing the creation of a Registered Handlers Program and the Breeders Education Program. Both initiatives were adopted and ran successfully.
He served as Huntington Kennel Club’s Delegate from 1996 until 2002 and has held every office and most committee positions in kennel clubs in several states. Currently, he serves as the Delegate from the Memphis Kennel Club.
Approved by AKC to judge two breeds in 1966, Dr. Smith became an all-breed judge in 1996. Still active today, he has judged in 49 states and many foreign countries, and presided over Best in Show at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in December 2008. Professionally, Dr. Smith ran highly successful small business programs for the states of Mississippi and Virginia, retiring in 1996.
AKC Board of Directors Class of 2016
Patricia M. Cruz, of Coram, N.Y., has been part of the dog world for more than 40 years and currently serves as delegate for the Heart of the Plains Kennel Club. She is a former AKC Field Representative, a member of the Afghan Hound Club of America, Long Island Kennel Club, Morris & Essex Kennel Club and an officer of the Ladies Kennel Association of America, Riverhead Kennel Club, and Afghan Hound Club of L.I.
She is also an internationally-experienced judge for over 40 years as well as one of the founders of the Owner-Handler Association. Professionally, Patricia is a journalist and board member of Dog Writers Association of America. She is the former president of a civilian employee union in one of the largest police departments on the east coast and secretary of a county-wide union representing over 10,000 employees. She also served as sales manager and marketing consultant for radio stations in the number one market in US.
William J. Feeney, of Cotati, Calif., got his start in the dog world 33 years ago in Golden Retrievers. Bill and his wife Sylvia breed Goldens under the Birnam Wood prefix. He served the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) from 1988-1997, initially as chairman of the Bylaws Committee and later as a director and officer. In 1994, he was elected GRCA president and served in that capacity for two years. He is currently the Sir Francis Drake Kennel Club’s Delegate to the AKC. Since 1997, Bill has devoted time to working for canine health as vice president of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Inc. In addition to his regular work as a lawyer, Bill has also judged several specialty sweepstakes and futurities.
Thomas S. Powers, of Northridge, Calif., is a second-generation dog fancier. He has participated in the sport as a breeder, club president, show chair and delegate. He has also served on the AKC Board’s Constitution and Bylaws Committee and currently sits on the Southwest Trial Board as Chairman. Thomas breeds and exhibits Irish Wolfhounds with his wife and has also exhibited and finished a number of Dachshunds, Beagles, Mastiffs and Harriers, including the number one Harrier in 1990, Ch. Powerscourt Patience DeAmo. Professionally, Thomas has practiced law in California for 35 years, with clients including major Fortune 500 companies. He has also owned and operated a chain of dry cleaners, a chain of retail pet supply stores and a veterinary hospital.