17 Jul 2023 News > Annual Meeting Minutes

AFTCA Annual Board of Trustee Meeting Minutes 2023, Summerville, SC

Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America, Inc.

Summerville, SC

June 23, 2023


President Frank LaNasa welcomed all Trustees to the Amateur Field Trial Clubs of America annual meeting of 2023.  He introduced a few non-trustees taking part in the meeting as Presidents of their Region.  Region 7, Shawn Rowan; Region 9, Richard Burgi; and Region 14, Alex Rickert.  He also welcomed Domenick Muoio of the UKC and expressed appreciation for the AFTCA’s relationship with the UKC.  He explained it has been a positive connection and critical to our sport to work together.
President Frank LaNasa asked for the roll call.  The following replied: Secretary Piper Huffman, President Frank LaNasa, 1st Vice President  Tony King, 3rd Vice President Larron Copeland, Region 1: Eli Richarson, Region 2: Chris Catazarite, Region 3: John Ivestor, Johnny Atkinson, Region 4: Jim Pendergest, Keith Wright, Region 5: Sean Derrig, Region 6: David Williams, Jonathan Burch, Fred Corder, Region 7: Buck Neil,Region 8: Brandon Johnson, Region 10: Todd Schaaf’ Region 11: Jarry Walton, Regin 16: Mike Moses Region 17: Luke Topp, Don Beauchamp

The group was advised the meeting was being taped to construct the minutes.

Minutes of the 2023 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 Mark Johnson and seconded by Eli Richardson.  The vote to accept was unanimous.

Brandon Johnson reported for the finance committee.  Mr. Johnson stated the AFTCA received a clean audit report from our AFTCA auditor with the 990 being filed and everything in order for the 501C 3.
After reviewing the Investment account at Stephens, he reported the interest rates are up, which is beneficial to the AFTCA and hopefully, our interest and dividends will be higher this year.   The AFTCA still depends on donations, memberships and sponsors for operations. With the Membership increase this year it should help increase overall revenue.  Mark Johnson accepted the financial report and Johnny Atkinson seconded it.  All were in favor.

President Frank LaNasa highlighted the insurance coverage for the AFTCA.  He stated our portfolio remains the same.  Mr. LaNasa explained our most significant liability exposures at these events is all the activities within the parking lot area where people, children & guests gather amoungst where horses and dogs are staked out.  With this package we have a total of 2M in coverage for any instance that may occur there.  The Business package covers the liabilities of the office as well as coverage for the annual meeting plus cyber coverage was added last year.  The Fidelity Bond is coverage for our employee Piper Huffman along with Workers Compensation.  With all the packages the premium is up about $100 over last year.  Larron Copeland accepted the Insurance report and David Williams seconded the motion.  All were in favor.

Dr. Buck Neil presented the 20th Century Fund report.  Dr. Neil apprised the group the committee met via conference call and granted money to 19 clubs totaling 20,000.  The grants wen to :  Association Field Trial Cubs of Florida, $1000.00; Bama Quail Club, $1250; Buck Tuck Field Trial Club, $1750.00; Cahaba Bend Field Trial Club, $500.00; Carroll County Field Trial Club, $1750.00; Central States Field Trial Club, $500.00; Continental Field Trail Club, $1000.00; Field Trial Clubs of Illinois, $500.00; Field Trial Sportsman Association, $1750.00; Georgia Field Trial Association; Holler Point Field Trial Association, $1500.00; Kentucky Field Trial Association, $1750.00; Northwest Field Trial Association, $500.00; Oil Capital Field Trail Club, $1000.00; Southern Illinois Bird Hunters, $1750.00; Virginia Amateur Field Trial Association, $1500.00; Youth Field Trial Alliance, $1500.00.  Dr. Neil expressed how important it is to support and donate to the 20th Century Fund.  This fund has given well over 350K over the years to help clubs and it is important that clubs give back.  It was discussed the need for visibility at the clubs and their venues that the 20th Century Fund supported their club.  The committee will get together and order signage to be placed in the club house or anywhere else to be viewed by all at the trial.  Luke Topp accepted the 20th Century report and Tony King seconded the motion.  All were in favor.

Frank LaNasa reported on the website committee.  He explained the AFTCA website has been a great investment to automate many of the office functions and has taken quite a few years to get where we are today.  Technology is moving faster and faster and many more things are done online than ever before.  Mr. LaNasa enlightened the group about adding a store on the website in the near future as well as a payment portal for payments of entry fees for National Amateur Championships for Piper to utilize.   Luke Topp accepted the Website Committee report and Tony King seconded it.  All were in favor.

The Top Handler Report was given by Frank LaNasa.  He explained the Top Handler was started to help clubs promote 30 minute amateur stakes.  Vision and goals of trial events have been lost on the grassroots impact of these 30-minute stakes.  The challenge for the blue Top Handler Award was created for this reason but in addition to also direct the attention to the excellence in amateur handling.  We now have seen not only the number of 30-minute stakes grow, but the entries in those 30 minutes stakes are growing as well.  The award is recognized as the Top Handler in each region and an overall Top Handler for the nation.  The Top handler Award total points continue to rise compared to prior years.  About 200 handlers were given points this past season.  The Top Handler gets a blue Crystal award along with a sterling silver belt buckle and the regional top handlers receive a blue crystal award.  Chris Catanzarite accepted the Top Handler report and Eli Richardson accepted it.  All were in favor.

Mark Johnson reported for the Continental Breed Working Committee. Mr. Johnson explained that as of July 1, 2022, the AKC will no longer register dogs based on their FDSB registration papers. He further explained that the AKC voted to no longer allow AKC clubs to hold events sponsored by the American Field, effective July 1, 2022. This means there will be no more AKC/AF dual sanctioned licensed trials, and further that AKC clubs may not hold separate trials under the sponsorship of the AF/UKC  or any other organization affiliated with the UKC. Mr. Johnson went on to further explain the ramifications of this decision and how it affects the AFTCA and the UKC/AF. He expressed that the AFTCA does not support the AKC’s decision and the elimination of the dual sanctioned events is detrimental to the overall health of the field trial community. He further stressed the concept of the “door is always open” and the AFTCA welcomes continental breed participation in AFTCA/FDSB sanctioned field trials. He then stated the UKC will recognize and register AKC registered dogs thus allowing the opportunity for AKC field trialers to participate in FDSB/AFTCA sanctioned trials. Todd Schaff accepted the CBWC report and Eli Richardson seconded it. All were in favor.

New Business

Two amateur reinstatement applications were presented to the Board of Trustees to review and vote on.  After a brief discussion on each it was voted unanimously to reinstate Mr. Jimmy Johnson of Ravenna, OH and Mr. Steven R. Levesque of Salem, MA.  Larron Copeland made a motion to accept Jimmy Johnsons reinstatement and Mark Johnson seconded it.  Eli Richardson made a motion to accept Steve Levesque reinstatement and Chris Catanzarite seconded it.  All were in favor.

Frank LaNasa discussed Trustee’s presence at National Events in their respective Regions.  He stated AFTCA member clubs host National Championships within a region and as trustees we are responsible that these events succeed in our respective region.   Mr. LaNasa explained that trustee presence will help make sure events follow tradition, AFTCA Running Rules as well as helping be a source of reference for issues that come up prior to and during the event. The hosting clubs and their trial chair remain primarily responsible, but it is important for the trustee to be available should they be needed. Mr. LaNasa wanted to make the trustees well aware of how important it is for them to be present during the National events.

Frank LaNasa brought to the floor Cash purses in Amateur stakes and the inconsistency in addressing cash purses in our running rules. After a brief discussion, 3 motions were made by Tony King to clarify our long-standing intentions.

Chapter 3 Rules and Regulations for Field Trials Article 1, Section 1, (h) strike out the word “amateur or” so the rule reads: Winner’s certificates will not be issued by this Corporation for wins in open stakes where cash purse is accepted by the handler, owner or owner’s agent of a dog awarded a placement

Chapter 3 Rules and Regulations for Field Trials Article lll strike out the words “Money as a reward is prohibited” so the rule reads: The rewards to go with the title of Regional Champion and Runner-Up must be trophies tack, or equipment, etc.

  1. In Chapter 3 Rules and Regulations for Field Trials Article, Section 1 add subsection (j) “Money or cash purse awards are prohibited in all Amateur stakes”.
    Sean Derrig seconded the motions all were in favor

Definition of an Amateur was brought to the floor by Fred Corder in an attempt to see if there was a way to more narrowly define a professional as it relates to pointing dog field trials. After a lengthy discussion it was determined Dr. Corder chair a committee for further discussion of this issue and get back with the Board of trustees at a later date.

Larron Copeland opened the discussion on Gas and Electric vehicle in field trials. A long discussion was made to review the AFTCA’s prior position on these bikes and ATVs use for handling in sanctioned events.  The Board determined this was a safety issue when horses are present and a club should never put riders at significant risk of injury. In walking events it is up to the discretion of the the club hosting the trial and more importantly the landowner if these bikes and ATV’s would even be allowed on the property for the purpose of handling a dog in the rare instances when participation would not otherwise be possible.

Payment of entry fees for National Amateur Championships was presented by Frank LaNasa and Piper Huffman. President LaNasa and Secretary Huffman spoke about entry fees at national Amateur Championships and explained it would be beneficial to be able to accept entry fee payment when a dog is entered instead of trying to collect it at the Championships. They explained the fees are many times 4-5 months late getting to the office and it makes it difficult to keep the books up  to date for the auditor. Receiving entry fees up front would allow the AFTCA to offer expense advances to the hosting club.  Plus, entry fees collected at the time entry is made eliminates having to track down handlers for payment during the event and clarifies when a dog is actually entered. After discussion it was determined it will be beneficial to the AFTCA to collect entry fee’s up front.

The practice of computer drawn field trials was brought to the floor by Frank LaNasa. He wanted to enlightened the group on this new and growing way of drawing ’s and how they are being done. A club hires a 3rd party to collect entries and the entry fee’s and do the random computer drawing.  Drawing are done according to the specific recognized running rules.  No motion was made addressing this issue other than to make trustees aware of this option that many clubs have been using and that clubs should obviously make note of this in their ad and name the date, time and place of the drawing certification.

Limiting Entries in 1-Hour Invitational Points qualifying stakes was brought to the floor by Tony King. After a lengthy discussion, it was determined that if a club advertises a 1-hour invitational points qualifying stake and there is potential for entries to be limited due to specific logistical constraints; the host club must advertise the specific dates the trial is being held and place a statement in the Field Trial advertisement regarding the potential for limiting entries. Specific language for the “limiting entries” statement was discussed but it was determined the host club shall be ultimately responsible for advertising the potential for “limiting entries” if warranted.

Purina Event Sponsorship Program was addressed by Frank LaNasa.  He made the group aware of a new program that will provide field trial support directly to member clubs.  The new Purina Event Sponsorship Program will launch in time for the 2023-2024 field trial season and offer sponsorship credits for a variety of field trials products including awards, branded gear, judge’s gifts and other dog-related items through a new AFTCA online store. Mr. LaNasa explained one way Purina provided support to field trial clubs was to pay for their trial ads at the UKC/American Field. Over the course of the last few years Purina felt they could better serve the sport by providing sponsorship assistance directly to the club, rather than indirectly through a third party.  This led to the new Purina Event Sponsorship Program. Purina will no longer pay the UKC/American Field for trial advertising.  Instead, the support will now be given directly to the AFTCA clubs through the new Purina Event Sponsorship Program.  It was stated this new program will not change the practice of providing dog food for the winners, but rather Purina will continue to provide food at the club’s events by utilizing an event food request process in the AFTCA online store.  More information will be released as the summer progresses.




Open Meeting Summerville, SC June 24, 2023


President Frank LaNasa called the meeting to order at 4:05 PM

Larron Copeland entertained a motion to accept the reading of the minutes. Tony King seconded the motion.

The various committee Chairmen gave their reports for the Financial, Insurance, 20th Century Fund, Website, Top Handler and Continental Breed Working committees.

President Frank LaNasa recapped old and new business of the trustee meeting held Friday June 23rd, at 9:00 AM.

Nominating Committee Chairman Jonathan Burch presented the renewal of the expired trustee terms and the new Trustee candidates for approval: Region 7 – Shawn Rowan, Region 9 – Jason Staley, Region 14 – Austin Turley, 3rd Vice President – Jim Pendergest.

Mark Johnson made the motion to accept the recommendations of the trustees.

Secretary Piper Huffman presented a Crystal to Frank LaNasa and thanked him for his leadership and guidance as his two year term as President.

Meeting was adjourned at 4:40 PM.