Mon, 03/21/2022 - 5:59pm

Editorial: March 25, 2022

Apathy and Sympathy

A somber but celebratory day today. Many old and loyal friends of the late Ron Menaker gathered at the South Florida Veterans Cemetery to say our last goodbyes, from friends from his banking days at JP Morgan to some of his fellow board members that served with him at the American Kennel Club. Some American Kennel Club employees also flew down to pay their respects. All and all, a tribute to a man who tried and succeeded in bring the American Kennel Club to the fancy, breaking that old tradition of being in an ivory tower, oblivious to the realities of the sport. Always available, always listening, eager to find an answer to inquiries for which he didn’t have an answer. These pages have written about Ron throughout the years as he became more and more comfortable in his leadership role. We took exception to some of his decisions, but mostly we applauded those that brought the kennel club into present-day thinking. There was an open dialogue available for those who sought it. There were on-the-record interviews, and off-the-record conversations that to this day still are secret and not for public consumption.
Sadly, today that doesn’t seem to be the case. We hear Covid-19 as an excuse for silence, but this turn of events started before the pandemic. It was with the Class of 2023 that current chairman Tom Davies notified us that the whole slate would not be answering the Dog News questionnaire. This questionnaire had been asked of and answered by delegates running for the board of directors for more than 30 years. Asking a delegate body to vote for you to run a 60-plus-million-dollar not-for-profit organization and have the additional power to write and regulate rules that we all must abide by seemed and still does seem arrogant and dismissive. There is little or no dissemination of information on how and what these candidates think about major issues and how they see the future of the American Kennel Club and the problems it is facing. A brief biography on a delegates’ private email does little or nothing to educate those of us who are involved in the sport. The American Kennel Club is a club of member clubs that elect delegates to represent them at the delegates meetings and to vote on those delegates running for the board of directors. 
We are concerned as we bid goodbye to Ron Menaker earlier in the day that we have lost that openness and cooperation with the American Kennel Club, and the relationship with those who are seated on the board today. And so the three newly re-elected board members who ran unopposed become the Class of 2026. Let’s remember we are in this together, with one purpose, even if we take different approaches to get the final goal of keeping and enriching the sport and the governing body, the American Kennel Club. That would be a fitting tribute to the man, Ronald H. Menaker.

 

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