From our President
Greetings fellow NAHRA members!
I appreciate the opportunity to serve you as your new President through the best and most comprehensive hunting dog testing program in existence. I will do my best to promote NAHRA in the deservedly best light possible and enable your Board of Directors to serve you in a collaborative effort. I’d also like to welcome John Giudice to the EBOD as our new Treasurer, Graham Wood as the new Alaska Regional Director, and Paul Zurka as the new East Region Director.
As I begin as your new President, simply put I see my charge as Growth! I won’t be able to do this on my own and will need help from our Executive Board, our entire Board of Directors, and most all of our clubs and membership. I’d like to lay out my three pronged approach to growth for NAHRA:
1) Maximize the use of our Future Retriever Program memberships and extend the free membership to as many friends, relatives, hunting buddies, puppy buyers and pro trainer customers possible. To build on this, I’d like to issue a challenge to each and every member this year- bring a friend to experience NAHRA and sign them up as a new member. If we did that our membership would swell to over 1000 people by 2017. This would be nearly triple our membership just 2 years ago!
2) Conduct a membership drive contest rewarding the highest performer. The future growth of NAHRA is in the Started and Hunter handlers. This needs to include people that have not experienced our game before by encouraging them to find the fun in the NAHRA program while increasing their dogs hunting skills and abilities. The member who signs up the most new paid members for NAHRA in 2016 will win their choice of an Annual Individual Sponsor Membership or a 2-Day Guided North Dakota Pheasant Hunt on all wild birds on private land.
3) Promote the formation of new clubs holding field tests. Encourage growth in each Region through formation of new clubs and/or regrowth through the resurrection or renewal of membership of previous NAHRA clubs.
Two initiatives to encourage growth and recognition at the club level include the establishment of a new membership level and an opportunity to enhance visibility. The Executive Board has created a Club Life Membership to recognize those clubs with the financial resources to be held as Lifetime Members in support of NAHRA. Any club purchasing a Life Membership for $1000 will be rewarded with their choice of a pair of large NAHRA logo decals or magnetic signs. Please consider joining Midnight Sun Gun Dog Association, Four Points Retriever Club, and the Northern Piedmont Retriever Club in supporting NAHRA as Club Lifetime Members.
Additionally, to maximize club visibility online, for any club that missed out on the promotion of placing a banner ad on our web site during our initial offer while creating the new web site several years ago, we are reaching out and extending the same offer once again. This allows a club to place a lifetime banner ad on our web site for only $250 with no recurring fees or maintenance fees. Club reps should expect to see this offer with specifics on how to take advantage of this in a separate communication soon.
Congratulations to all those with 2016 NAHRA High Point Dogs and thank you for supporting NAHRA and your local clubs! The NAHRA High Point Dog program will once again be conducted in 2017. One tweak will be in the event of a tie in any Region at any level, the tiebreaker will be dog that accumulated the points in that stake with the fewest number of tests entered. In order to keep the stats posted as quickly as possible, the BOD is imploring all the field test secretaries to get results finalized and submitted as soon as possible following the test.
Speaking of hitting the field, I’d like to remind you of a change that affects some of our members: last May the EBOD clarified the rule on training and/or handling a dog and subsequently judging that dog that relaxes a piece of our rules (Chapter 1 General Procedures, Section D. Eligibility, paragraph 3 on page 7). This rule is strictly intended for those that train or handle professionally for a fee, not friends that may handle or train with each other’s dogs. The time period for this rule was also changed between the time a dog has been owned or trained and the time that same person may judge the dog. This following was implemented through a policy change effective immediately and will become a rule change upon rule book reprinting. “No entry shall be made at any field test in any stake if the judge of that stake, or any member of their immediate family or household, owns or has owned, sold, held under lease, retained financial interest in or trained professionally the dog within 6 months of the starting date of the field test.”
I’d like to announce the awarding of the 2017 Invitational to the Puget Sound Retriever Club of the West Region to be held June 18-21, 2017. The Invitational will be held on privately leased grounds in Tahuya, WA near Hood Canal and chaired by Harry Williams. Please consider joining me in a beautiful area of our country on very nice grounds that I know will be a very well run event.
I’d also like to announce an offer we are able to extend courtesy of Hubbard Feeds, the Kinetic Performance Dog Food distributor. Each NAHRA club will receive a 3’ x 4’ NAHRA logo vinyl banner for display at your events. Additional banners may be available to clubs for a $50 fee, including shipping. As an aside, our Platinum Sponsor, Kinetic Performance Dog Food, has now gone national with their sales in the lower 48 states through chewy.com. Please consider them in your future dog food purchases as they continue to support us in many ways.
I’d like to formally thank our recent President Frank Plewa. Frank took on the Presidency with a firm and resolute manner and guided us through some rocky times. As our NAHRA President of several years, Frank demonstrated leadership and helped us to stretch in ways we hadn’t necessarily planned for. We have come out all the stronger and I want to personally recognize him for taking the helm and guiding us to a place where we are now poised to grow. For those of you who think they know our outgoing president, I’d strongly urge you to check out the real Frank Plewa on the NAHRA blog site “Retriever Nation” @ nahratalk.com.
I’d also like to thank the outgoing members for their service and commitment to NAHRA: Tom Johnston as Director-At-Large on the EBOD, Mike Hemmer as our Alaska Region Director, and Tom Rourke as our East Region Director of the BOD. Thanks much for your time, energy and efforts to make NAHRA better!
Hope to see many of you at the 2016 Invitational on the Willson Farm in Clear Lake, WI this June!