Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America, Inc.
June 21, 2019
President David Williams welcomed all the Trustees to the 102nd Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America Annual Meeting of 2019. He thanked the Trustees and especially the Executive Committee for helping him throughout the course of his 2-year term as President. Special thanks went to Secretary Huffman. The meeting was called to order at 10:05 AM. The group was advised that the meeting was being taped for the purpose of constructing the minutes.
President David Williams asked for the roll call. The following replied: Secretary, Piper Huffman, President David Williams, Region 1: Eli Richardson, Region 2, Dr. Hunter Wilcox, Region 3: John Ivester, Johnny Atkinson, Gary Winall, Region 4: Ray Wheeler, Jim Pendergest, Region 5: Tony King, Sean Derrig, Region 6: Michael Shears, Dr. Fred Corder, Region 7: Dr. Buck Neil, Region 8: Gary Young, Brandon Johnson, Region 9: Harold Chadwick, Region 10, Todd Schaaf, Region 11: Torben Hansen, Region 12: Ric Peterson, Region 13: Jeff Haggis, Region 14: Lou Qualitere, Region 16: Rick Stallings, Larron Copeland, Mike Moses, Region 17: Dr. Pat McInteer, Don Beauchamp, Region 19: Frank LaNasa, At Large Trustee’s: Dr. Bob Rankin, Mark Johnson.
Bernie Matthys of The American Field was present for the meeting. President David Williams made the group aware of the absence of 2 trustees’, Dr. Pat McInteer and Brian Sanchez. Both gentlemen expressed their regret for not being able to attend. Ray Black arrived near the end of the meeting due to a flight change.
Minutes of the 2018 AFTCA annual meeting were presented by Secretary Piper Huffman. No corrections or changes were made following the reading. A motion was made to accept the minutes by Eli Richardson and seconded by Mark Johnson.
Ric Peterson reported for the financial committee. Mr. Peterson stated the AFTCA financial statements have been reviewed and audited by the independent CPA firm of Dempsey, Vantrease & Follis PLLC. The CPA issued a “clean opinion” with no adverse financial findings for all periods presented. Mr. Peterson also reported that we are current with our IRS filings on Form 990. This form has been prepared and filed by our CPA firm. The AFTCA will need to continue focusing on increasing donations through sponsorships and donations. It is also equally important to focus on our expenses and find opportunities to save on expenses. Both will be key objectives in the coming fiscal year. A motion was made to accept the financial report by Harold Chadwick seconded by Mark Johnson. All were in favor.
Frank LaNasa highlighted the insurance coverage for the AFTCA. He explained there are 5 policies and all of them are simple and basically the same. Our coverage costs went up slightly but remain the same as it did in 2017. The portfolio should remain as is. Johnny Atkinson made a motion to accept the Insurance report seconded by Dr. Bob Rankin. All were in favor.
Dr. Hunter Wilcox presented the 20th Century Fund report. Dr. Wilcox apprised the group that 21 clubs had applied for 20th Century Fund grant money. He stated his committee consisting of Ray Wheeler and Buck Neil discussed in length each club who had applied. All 21 clubs were granted money in the amount of $18,000.00. The grants are as follows: Ames Amateur Field Trial club, $1000.00; West Tennessee Field Trial Club, $500.00; Ohio Valley Field Trial Club, $750.00; Field Trial Clubs Of Illinois, $750.00; Cockade Bird Dog Club, $500.00; Holler Point Field Trial Club, $500.00; Georgia Field Trial Association, $500.00; Moran Field Trial Club, $1000.00; Field Trial Sportsmen’s Association, $2000.00; Cahaba Bend Field Trial Club, $1000.00; Columbia River Field Trial Club, $500.00; St. Croix Valley Brittany Club, $250.00; Kentucky Field Trial Association, $1500.00; Virginia Amateur Field Trial Association, $750.00; West Texas Field Trial Club, $500.00; Wolf River Field Trial Club, $750.00; Southern Illinois Bird Hunters, $1500.00; Camp Robinson Field Trial Club, $2000.00; Stranger Creek Field Trial Club, $500.00; Continental Amateur Field Trial Club, $750.00; North Carolina Field Trial Association, $1000.00. Dr. Wilcox encouraged the clubs who are associated with AKC, NBHA or any club that received money and uses the same grounds to please give back to the 20th Century Fund. The AFTCA has granted out to date $276,970.00. Dr. Wilcox reported Kentucky Field Trial Association donated $2500 and Field Trial Sportsman’s Club donated $1000. He explained that when a Club receives a grant check it has a letter enclosed with it requesting that the club must respond with an explanation of how they used the funding for habitat improvement by December 1, 2019. A motion was made to accept the 20th Century Fund by Johnny Atkinson and seconded by Bob Rankin. All were in favor.
Frank LaNasa enlightened the group on the website report. Mr. LaNasa explained that Chris Mathan is on a retainer with the AFTCA to work on the website including marketing and social media communication to keep it current, fresh and up to date. The biggest change to the website, we are taking on right now. We are converting our membership payments from the Neon system to Simple Pay through Stripe (a technology firm that provides the technical, fraud prevention, and banking infrastructure required to operate online payment systems) directly on aftca.org. Through the website an individual member/club member will be able to pay their dues with a one click login and never have to leave the website. There will only be one login instead of two. The AFTCA will not to store or keep any credit card information. Simple Pay through Stripe will handle all of that. We have a lot of autopay’s through the Neon system that come due at the end of June. We didn’t want to interrupt that process, therefore the switch over won’t occur until the middle of July. In addition, the reports through the website will be much more efficient and current. The AFTCA will be sending monthly mass emails to all members to better communicate with them. A positive aspect moving forward is an online store and being able to add classifieds to the website. This can all be done with little cost to the AFTCA. Tony King made a motion to accept the website report seconded by Ric Peterson. All were in favor.
Piper Huffman presented the membership report. She stated there are currently 1151 members. She explained a lot of people simply forget to renew and some get frustrated when trying to login. It was made clear that field trial chairmen should make sure a member has a current membership before entering a trial. The new changes to the website and the easier login will help members to renew successfully. David Williams took a vote to accept the membership report. It passed.
The Continental Breed Working Committee was presented by Tony King. The committee members represent their Continental Breed, Mark Johnson, Vizsla, Bob Rankin, Brittany, Don Beauchamp, Red Setters and Todd Schaaf has joined the committee representing the West Coast to give insight on the continental breeds in that area. The committee discussed three items on their agenda. The number of amateur handled dogs run in each continental breed stake. Open issues-opportunities and concerns that their breed groups have expressed and recommendations as to how this committee could be more effective in attracting additional members/participants from within their respective breed groups. The Continental Breed Committee will be working with Frank LaNasa and the website to promote a membership drive. The drive will consist of ways to approach the continental breed members and clubs on the benefits of the AFTCA and what we have to offer. The committee is hoping to acquire new memberships with little or no cost and reach people who have never been involved with the AFTCA. The Continental Breed Committee report was accepted as presented.
David Williams updated the group on the 5 Year Plan for the AFTCA to improve the organization. He commended all the Trustee’s for their work on the Plan. The goals of the 5 Year Plan are as follows:
1. Increase participation with trustee’s taking leadership roles by enlisting mentors to youth trials and bring your dog.
2. AFTCA forms a participation committee to help find local sponsors and help with fundraisers.
3. Organize an Amateur Sportsman of the Year award presented at the annual meeting.
4. AFTCA encourage clubs to include more entry level stakes as walking dog stakes, puppy stakes, gun dog stakes and host fun trials.
5. AFTCA forms Sponsorship Committee to seek out sponsors to help finance current and future endeavors.
6. The financial committee is working on a budget.
7. Insurance Committee is looking into liability insurance for paid club members through their regions.
8. Lastly, social media-our footprint is vastly improved.
David Williams brought to the floor an idea to allow an in-kind tax deduction for field trial venue owners by virtue of our 501c3 tax status. This program will allow member clubs the ability to fill out a form on our website for the AFTCA to provide a tax-deductible letter for an in-kind contribution to private landowners. After a lengthy discussion, Rick Stallings made a motion to accept the proposal of a $2,500/day allotment credited to the landowners for each trial and contingent on the approval of the accountant and tax attorney’s to see if they think this number is in line with average costs. Frank LaNasa seconded the motion. It was approved. Sean Derrig amended the motion stating the letter to be sent out to the landowners be approved by the AFTCA Financial Committee Chair, Ric Peterson. Mark Johnson seconded the amendment. It passed.
Jim Pendergest informed the group that the World Class Expo was sponsoring the AFTCA luncheon and the cost of the meeting room. The AFTCA agreed to do a couple email blasts to members about their event and promote their event as much as possible through social media and our Website.
David Williams discussed the minimum number of entries required to grant a championship or make it a classic. Numbers are getting smaller and it something he felt the Board of Trustee’s needed to discuss. Michael Shears brought to the floor a motion that the Trustee’s come up with a minimum number of entries for a championship and if that number isn’t met it’s automatically a classic. Setting an absolute number was determined to adversely affect certain regions where there are fewer dogs in competition. A motion was made by Rick Stallings to leave the By-Laws in this matter as is (in National Amateur Championships a Champion will be named and in Regional Championships it is at the judge’s discretion). Seconded by Eli Richardson. All were in favor.
Frank LaNasa brought to the floor a motion to change the title of our booklet from Guidelines to Field Trial Procedure and Judicial Practice to: Standards of Field Trial Procedure, Judicial Practice, Handler and Bird Dog Performance. It was seconded by Johnny Atkinson. An explanation by Sean Derrig and Frank LaNasa was discussed on the subject relating to historical correspondence regarding the handbook. A spirited discussion regarding the changing of the title from Guidelines to Standards took place. In the end it was agreed that Standards are the expected performance, but not the rules of performance. Judges should still use subjective interpretation of what is occurring. Changing the booklet term does not change the Running Rules of the sport, but more clearly indicates what is expected of both handlers and dogs. Michael Shears amended the motion stating when we change the name of the booklet and include the minimum requirements in the booklet. Harold Chadwick seconded the amendment. After a brief discussion the amendment was withdrawn. Frank LaNasa brought his original motion back to the floor to change the title. It was seconded by Mark Johnson. Mark Johnson amended the motion stating that in the booklet where references to guidelines are made be changed to standards as well. Johnny Atkinson seconded the amendment and it passed. Original motion passed.
Johnny Atkinson made a motion to prepare a Resolution of Appreciation for Dr. Angelo Lurus (past AFTCA President) for his contributions to this organization. Tony King seconded and all were in favor.
Frank LaNasa discussed how to best use, sell, and distribute the booklets. He explained there is a digitalized copy ready to print. Mark Johnson made the motion for reproduction and distribution of the new booklets for expediency. Sean Derig seconded the motion. All were in favor.
Frank LaNasa moved to add 5-6 informational situations on recovery devices in the new print of the Standards of Field Trial Procedure, Judicial Practice, Handler and Bird Dog Performance and present it to the overall board for approval. Sean Derrig seconded the motion. A brief discussion stating that recovery device rules would not be put into this book, only situations that could arise from the use of the recovery devices. All were in favor the motion passed.
David Williams discussed the need for a Sponsorship Committee that works continuously throughout the course of the year. Mr. Williams would like to see the committee consisting of AFTCA Trustees and outside sources. Mr. Williams explained he felt so strongly about this committee that he would Chair the committee to include Ric Peterson, Jim Pendergest and Joe Worsham, and hopefully others. He stressed that to accomplish the many things the AFTCA wants to do, we need additional sponsorship support. We simply don’t have enough income for new programs. He urged for anyone that has any connections with potential sponsors or wants to work with this Committee to please reach out to him.
Dr. Hunter Wilcox brought up the issue of possibly creating a policy for paying club dues. The discussion consisted of clubs being required to pay dues each year regardless of whether they hosted a trial or not. It was decided club dues policy should remain as is.
With no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 3.10 PM.
Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America, Inc.
June 22, 2019
President David Williams called the meeting to order at 5.05PM with a nice crowd.
President Williams entertained a motion to accept the reading of the minutes. Mark Johnson spoke up for the motion and was seconded by Todd Schaaf.
The various committee chairmen and secretary Huffman gave their reports for the financial committee, Website committee, Insurance committee, 20th Century Fund committee, Membership committee and Continental breed committee.
President David Williams recapped old business, the five year plan and the new business of the trustee meeting held Friday June 21 at 10.00 AM.
President David Williams thanked Purina for their continued sponsorship and support. He introduced the Garmin representative, Rehan Nana to the crowd and thanked him for all Garmin does for the AFTCA.
Nominating Committee Chairman Larron Copeland presented the following candidates for trustee by region.
Region 2, Dr. Hunter Wilcox; Region 3, Johnny Atkinson; Region 4, Ray Wheeler; Region 7, Ray Black; Region 14, Lou Qualitere; Region 4, Jim Pendergest.
The slate of officers was presented by the nominating committee. President Rick Stallings; 1st Vice President Frank LaNasa; 2nd Vice President Tony King; 3rd Vice President Ric Peterson. The Nominating Committee’s recommendations for Trustee’s and Officers were elected by acclimation.
Piper Huffman presented David Williams with a glass plaque and thanked him for his service and leadership as President. She spoke kind words on how he helped, guided, advised and was there any time she needed him. She thanked him for going above and beyond over the last 2 years for working hard to better this organization and this sport.
President David Williams adjourned the meeting at 5.42.