MASCUSA Slate of Officers

For the 2012-2014 Term

Presenting the

MASCUSA Slate of Officers

for the 2012-2014 term


Karen Keller

Vice President:

Judy Challinger


Patricia Davis


Traci Phillips

Board Member:

Sue Fontaine

Board Member:

Sharon Sloper

Board Member:

Position Vacant


Past President:

Linda Perry


One additional Board Member is needed. Nominations for this position will be accepted until the position is filled. Please submit your nomination by emailing the Board at The new slate takes office on July 31, however the newcomers will be sitting in on meetings during the next two months to get up to speed on the many tasks the Board is working on.

You can email the entire Board at

Bio for Karen Keller, President
Karen Keller

Since the early 70's, I have been a third generation breeder/owner/handler of Australian Shepherds and Miniature Australian Shepherds in partnership with my grandmother (Jeanine Perron) and mother (Cindy Taylor) of Taycin Kennels. In 2005 I made the decision to pursue breeding with a new kennel name, Timeless, in order to focus on the smaller sizes of our wonderful Australian Shepherds. Many of my dogs still retain the kennel name "Taycins". I live in a beautiful valley in Santa Barbara County where the sun is always shining. While I only have a few adult dogs here, I co-own dogs across the country which I use in my breeding program. Many of my dogs are conformation champions, but they also excel in activities like herding, agility, search and rescue, frisbee and flyball. And of course, they are all buckets of love and companionship for their happy owners, no matter what their size. Timeless was awarded the first Hall of Fame kennel within the miniature community. I currently have many dogs that have converted from the Australian Shepherd stud books into the Miniature American Shepherd stud books that are very active in the many sports that the AKC has to offer. Timeless has produced the First Miniature American Shepherd to earn an AKC Intermediate Herding Title. I produce dogs that can and will do it all. Pictured with me is Multi Gr Ch Taycins Savanna Blue Manna, CGC. For those that didn't know her, she was my "Heart Girl". Very few dogs are known Nationally and/or Internationally by one name. "Savanna" was one of those dogs. She was the highest accomplished conformation dog in any venue and any breed, holding 778 "Best In Show" wins. She will be forever missed and never forgotten! I served my first term as a NAMASCUSA board member in 1998. This up and coming term will be my fifth term as President of MASCUSA, formerly NAMASCUSA. I have a true passion and knowledge of the Minis and want to continue to share by serving the membership of the greatest Parent Club around. As the Miniature American Shepherd moves towards full recognition in the AKC, I plan to continue serving MASCUSA in anyway that I can.


Bio for Judy Challinger, Vice President

 Judy Challinger

I live in northern California, outside of a very small town called Vina. The 2010 census reported a population of 237, but I believe it is probably twice that. I have been married to Peter Challinger for 28 years. We have two grown sons, Michael & Jonathan. We have 40 acres on which I keep my menagerie of 8 horses, 14 dogs, 3 cats, 2 cockatiels that I inherited from my first son, and 2 turtles and an assortment of fish that I inherited from my second son. I have worked since 1999 as a Professor of Computer Science at California State University, Chico. I enjoy working with young people and sharing in their enthusiasm as they acquire knowledge and skills and confidence, and start their careers. The intellectual stimulation of academia suits me, and I love having summers off. I got my first Mini Aussie in 1996 from Tami Kelly. He was a Christmas present for my two boys. I still remember sitting on Tami's kitchen floor on Christmas Eve where Cocoa picked me. I ended up sleeping under the Christmas tree with him so he wouldn't howl and wake up the kids! In short order I was hooked on these wonderful dogs. I enjoy going to conformation shows, and breeding a couple of litters of puppies each year. I do comprehensive health testing and place puppies carefully, mostly on spay/neuter contracts. I have very much enjoyed the last two years serving on the Board of NAMASCUSA/MASCUSA. I have to thank Lynn Gray for that as she recruited me. It has been challenging at times, but so exciting as we enter the AKC where even more of the public will become aware of the beauty and intelligence and loyalty of the Miniature American Shepherd. In addition to the regular Board duties, I have also contributed my time and expertise in developing and hosting the current Club website, I am proud to have served on the Board this past term, and I am looking forward to serving for another term.





Bio for Patricia Davis, Secretary

 Patricia Davis

I have been involved with dogs all my life and my love of dogs brought me to this wonderful breed several years ago. Since then, I have bred a few litters but consider myself a novice as I have SO much still to learn! I am hoping to get more involved in showing in the near future and would love to train and show a dog in obedience and agility.


With forty-five years in the work force, over thirty years was spent in administrative and financial management, including responsibility for developing special reports, financial reports/spreadsheets, budgets, standard operating procedures, business correspondence, investigations, logistics and inventory, and a wealth of other duties. Part of this experience was gained while spending twenty years in the U.S. Army - which is an experience in and of itself!


Basically, I believe I have the experience and ability to help the Board during this critical time as we progress towards full recognition in AKC. It is very important that MASCUSA maintain proper records, ensure that we are meeting AKC requirements and timelines, and that we thoroughly develop the governing documents for this club. I am now retired and have time to devote to the requirements of this position.



Bio for Traci Phillips, Treasurer

 Traci Phillips 

I got my first Mini Aussie, Sunshine, from Karen Keller, and joined NAMASCUSA in 2007. By 2008 I was a Board Member, and in 2009 I assumed the position of Treasurer. I served on the AKC Committee, and I am currently the Registry Liaison. I feel very strongly that this is a member-driven club, and I fought for the right of the membership to decide whether we should enter the world of the AKC as the Parent Club for our beloved breed. I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and I hope to get more involved in herding if my body will allow it. I am 44 years old, but it sometimes feels like 60! I am married to Andrew and we have two girls, Samantha 12 and Allie 9, both of whom are home schooled. Like many dog people, I have also been part of the horse world. I was heavily involved with Paint and Quarter horses until 2007 when I decided my body couldn't take it any more, but I did continue managing a Thoroughbred farm until 2010. I was a Business Analyst for a major telecommunications company in the past, and my husband and I now own a telecommunications company. I am pleased to be able to continue to serve the membership of MASCUSA as your Treasurer for another term.



Bio for Sue Fontaine, Board Member


I am a native of NH and a 1974 graduate of Plymouth State University, with a BS in Social Science Education. I also spent many years driving a school bus and volunteering in the elementary school. I have spent much of my time around educators and still love it when the light bulb comes on over someone's head. It's such a rush when the expression of confusion gives way to the joy of understanding.

I became interested in learning about dogs and showing in the late 70's and was fascinated with the different breeds and standards, the obedience and canine competitions. I noticed the Mini Aussie in the early 90's and was so glad to finally have my first in 97. Within four years my husband and I were up to five. My love and thanks to Tonya for our Kato kids. They brought such joy to our lives. We still miss them terribly. I still insist that the little black spot on my currant puppy's nose is where the red dogs live and lead him astray!

I was the first treasurer of NEMASC (North East Miniature Australian Shepherd Club) and helped with getting all the paperwork and regulatory stuff done to establish the club in 2002, the first affiliate to NAMASCUSA. I now hold the position of VP.

My main interest in the canine world is the performance sports and the dog as an athlete, specifically, agility. I live in an area that I call "doggie nirvana", where so much is available that you would never have time for it all. I am hoping to continue learning as a member of the board and to continue to teach and hopefully, spread the word about our Mini American Shepherd and the positive aspects of being part of the AKC.


Bio for Sharon Sloper, Board Member

 Sharon Sloper

Hello, my name is Sharon Sloper and I am honored to be one of your new board members. I have been involved with our "aussie-some" breed since 2001 when I brought home to Minnesota my favorite boy, Tux. I thought I would be an agility junkie but it seems the conformation bug bit me instead. I still enjoy agility but conformation and breeding is where I have been focused for the last 10 years.


My background is in customer service. I was a travel agent for 10 years, I am the office administrator for my husband's cedar roofing restoration business for the past 18 years and 5 years ago started working in the winter season for HR Block as a Customer Service Professional.


I found that I really enjoy teaching whether it is Puppy K and Obedience or T'ai Chi Chih, a moving meditation, and I am hoping to be one of the Judges Education instructors for our club in the future.


I have been an avid proponent of AKC recognition for many, many years and was on the AKC committee for NAMASCUSA. I started the North Star Miniature American Shepherd Club affiliate in 2010 with several other enthusiasts and am currently the Vice President. In addition I am on the Breeder and Judges Education Committee and the Events Committee for MASCUSA. But the position that is occupying a lot of my time

right now is the Chair for this year's National Specialty being held at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Lake Elmo, MN from August 23 - 26. I am hoping to meet a lot of you folks out there. I will strive to do my very best for our club for the next two years. Thank you for the opportunity.


Bio for Linda Perry, Past President

 Linda Perry

I am the current "antique" on the Board and though I now have no voting power, I am perfectly content to strongly voice my opinion when I feel it is needed and our wonderful Board tolerates me well. Sometimes they even listen to me! I feel very privileged to be able to continue to serve with such a wonderful and hardworking group of folks as those who have served on our Board. Each brings their own talents and independent thoughts to the table and puts them all together to try to do the very best they can to support our dogs and our membership. The past 3 years has been especially difficult during our transition into AKC and I especially appreciate the "calm under extreme pressure" that I have seen in our current Board. I wish a wonderful time of "rest" for those who have decided to leave the Board for now and am excited to see what the new members will bring to the mix! Welcome ladies!


I have been involved in owning and breeding Australian Shepherds since 1968 and have devoted myself to just the Miniatures now since 1990. I acquired my first "Standard" Aussie in the summer of 1968 when I was training horses and traveling on the Quarter Horse Circuit. I was mesmerized by this very charming and extremely intelligent little "blue girl with the blue eyes" that was given to me by someone who couldn't keep her and she became so close to me that I could swear that she could read my mind. I became hooked on the breed and my favorite phrase was coined, "Once you have an Aussie, you can't go back!" I started breeding on a very small scale at that time and, in looking back, all of my dogs during that time would have been at around the 17 to 18 inch range which is the higher end of the mini range now. In fact, many of the "Standard Aussies" that I saw at that time were smaller than many that you see now.


During my early adulthood and time with my family and raising my kids, my dogs were mostly just family pets and companions and I wasn't involved in any organized "dog fancy". I continued to train and judge horses for 36 years in all breeds and disciplines from Western and Hunters to Gaited and Dressage until I sustained major knee damage which put an end to my beloved riding days. In 1990, I acquired my first Mini Aussie, Wanna'Be's Rag-A-Muffin - MASCUSA registered dog number 73. She opened up a whole new wonderful world for me. Through Rag's offspring and with the help and encouragement of Susan Sinclair, I became interested in raising quality Mini Aussies and showing conformation. For awhile, my daughter showed with me but eventually went her own way into training dressage horses. Now that my kids are grown and gone, my life has truly "gone to the dogs". In the mid-90's I became quite active in showing in Conformation and in supporting all of my puppy/dog owners who are doing the various more "active" events for which I am limited because of my knee injuries. What started out as my "little hobby" has become my "full time passion" and has pretty much taken over my life. I consider that a "good thing" and have met many wonderful individuals and families who, by virtue of adopting one of my "kids", have become part of my much treasured extended family.


For the past 15 years I have been very heavily involved in the NAMASCUSA, now MASCUSA, Club. I have tried to be there through the thick and thin as the Club struggled to grow and keep up with the challenges that always line the pathway of any rapidly growing corporation. In 1996, I began attending every meeting that I was able to and in 1998, took over the position of Secretary when that position had become vacant. I then served as Vice President until July 2001 when I was moved into the President's position due to the sudden resignation of the then President. Following completion of that term in September of 2002, I was away from the Board for a short period of time in 2003 for personal reasons as well as a Board imposed suspension that was later rescinded. In 2004, several Board members suddenly resigned all at one time and I was again called upon and asked to serve as a Board Member. I was also asked to be the Registry liaison at that time and served in that position for several years. In 2006, I was again voted into the position of Vice President and served there until September of 2009 when, upon receiving the overwhelming results of the Membership vote to seek information and possible Parent Club status for our dogs in AKC, several of the Board members who did not wish to pursue that direction resigned, causing me to have to step up into the President's shoes once again. During that time, I also chaired the newly formed AKC Committee which was responsible for doing all of the research and negotiations with USASA and AKC to try to get the best "deal" that we could get if we were thinking about becoming the Parent Club for the new breed that was going to be formed by AKC - regardless of whether we participated or not. Following the completion of that Committee's duties - after the vote of the membership to become the AKC Parent Club - and the elections, I chose to "retire" as Past President and am enjoying a much less stressed existence though I still feel it is my responsibility to attend the meetings and to contribute where I can. I will still make myself available to serve wherever needed as long as I am able to.


Because of the turmoil that I have seen this Club go through at times, I know just how important it is to have Board members who are really there to serve the membership and our dogs and they need to be a "different cut" of people. They need to be there especially when the going gets tough and can not just throw up their hands and walk away when another "train of thought" is chosen over theirs. Most of all, they need to be dedicated to making the Club be what the membership wants it to be and need to take seriously that we are a "member driven" club - we are NOT here to become dictators! I feel that our outgoing board has been all of that and much more and I, for one, deeply appreciate all of the time and effort that all of these folks have given freely.