This bulletin is in response to some questions that have been asked, both on the Yahoo list and by private email to the Board. We wish to share the answers and explanations with the entire membership.
Changes are always stressful, even good changes, and our club is having some growing pains as we move forward as the AKC National Parent Club for the Miniature American Shepherd. These changes are essential, however, and we would like to share some of the reasoning and driving forces behind them.
The Board of Directors has been aware for some time of issues with the club's business processes and information flow. We had been discussing for months potential changes to these processes, modernization, and the structure of the relationship with the registrar. The membership itself provided the final impetus for some of these changes when some members asked for an audit of the treasury at the recent transition to a new Board of Directors. We very much appreciate this request from the membership as it impelled us to form an independent Financial Review Committee, and they have been hard at work making recommendations for us to implement to improve our club's processes.
Change to the club address: The purpose of the address change is to implement one of the recommendations of the Financial Review Committee and have all paperwork and checks logged by an independent third person before forwarding the money to the treasurer and the paperwork to the registrar. This will allow the Financial Review Committee to reconcile income with paperwork processed. One member expressed concern that perhaps Mindy was no longer our registrar. Nothing could be further from the truth! Mindy Stevenson is still the registrar for our club and a highly valued asset. More on that below.
Changes to registry rules: The changes to the registry rules are intended to both simplify things where possible, and most important, to ensure the integrity of the studbook. In addition, some changes are due to the ongoing transition of the role of our registry to keeping the AKC studbook open. One member asked if the upcoming changes could be highlighted. The major changes are as follows. Some have been previously announced and are posted on the website.
- You may or may not be aware that ASDR has always been a hardship registry for dogs coming into NAMASCUSA, and recently MASCA formed a partnership with ASDR. This put us in a dilemma as to whether to make MASCA a hardship registry too, since they now accept ASDR registered dogs into their registry with no questions asked. In the end we decided that we had to take that step in order to protect the integrity of our studbook. So one rule change is that dogs born after January 1, 2013 with one or more MASCA registered parents must use the hardship registration process.
- In keeping with our new role of providing a means for dogs to enroll in AKC as a Miniature American Shepherd, hardship applications will no longer be processed unless the applicant dog is also applying for enrollment in AKC/FSS.
- Ef fective for litters born January 1, 2013 and later, litters with both parents registered as Miniature American Shepherds must use the AKC litter application process and are no longer eligible to register with NAMASCUSA. This change was driven by an agreement with AKC.
- Several things will be simplified for NAMASCUSA registered litters and dogs in order to conform to the way AKC does things. Photographs will no longer be required except for hardship applications. Information on tails and eye color will no longer be collected. Etc.
Changes to fees: Our fee structure was long overdue for review. Since all the registry forms were being updated to reflect the new rules, it was decided that fees should be revised where needed at the same time. In addition, another recommendation of the Financial Review Committee was to enter into a contract with Mindy that clearly identifies her as an independent contractor and not an employee. As part of this contract, some expenses that were previously covered by the club will need to be covered by Mindy. These changes are driven by IRS requirements. So in addition to reviewing and revising the fees charged for each service, the fees paid to Mindy to perform these services needed to be reviewed as well to ensure that she will be able to cover all of the additional expenses she will incur.
Notification: One member asked why the traditional 60 day notice has not been given for the changes. The Board discussed this at length, and in the end we decided that this particular set of changes - the forms, the rules, the contract with the registrar - are so intertwined and complex that it all needed to be implemented at the same time and as soon as possible. We had been targeting the first of the year, but we just could not get everything ready in time. So we are currently shooting for February 1.
More changes are coming: We aren't done yet! Some changes you can expect to see fairly soon include:
- Moving memberships to a calendar year so that all membership dues are paid at the first of the year. This is how AKC wants member clubs to operate, and it will greatly simplify the work and expense associated with collecting membership dues.
- Revision of the bylaws. Our constitution and bylaws need to be revised to conform with AKC requirements and voted on by the membership. Once approved they will be submitted to AKC for their approval. This is a step that must be taken prior to requesting full recognition.
The entire Board is working very hard to make our club more professional and businesslike, to protect the integrity of the studbook as it develops in AKC/FSS, and to take all of the steps necessary for the breed to become fully recognized as soon as possible. We appreciate the involvement and interest of the membership, and we thank you for your support!
As always, you are welcome to email the entire Board at email@example.com.
MASCUSA Board of Directors