My name is Sarah Hodges. I currently reside in Fort Dodge, Iowa. I have 1 American Cocker Spaniel and a black lab. My start with NAHRA, was 17 years ago, when I started helping to train dogs in Southern Iowa.
Growing up I kept busy between school, sports, work, helping with the boarding kennel, and hunt test training. At NAHRA tests I helped throw birds, marshal, and even handled dogs for some family friends. After high school I moved almost 4 hours away from home for school. It took much of my time away from dogs, but thankfully, I never lost touch completely. After finishing school, I moved back closer to home and was able to get back into the world of hunt tests and training. I became involved in the local Skunk River Hunting Retriever Club.
Fast forward to December of 2014. I was finally living in a location where I could have more than 1 dog. I started figuring out where and who I wanted a pup out of. April of 2015 I brought home my new little lab puppy. This past year we started our NAHRA journey as owner/handler. It has been quite a journey, am looking forward to our future. When test season is over we enjoy upland hunting, and it has been a joy watching my girl mature in the field.
I am excited to start my journey as regional director for the Central Region. I am excited that I am able to be a part of an organization that has given so much to me. I am looking forward to my future with NAHRA.
Fort Dodge, Iowa
Hello. My name is John Giudice and I live near Stacy, MN. I’m a wildlife research biologist with the Minnesota DNR, but my real love is Labrador retrievers and bird hunting. I started dabbling in retriever games while in graduate school (late 1980s) and thankfully someone steered me toward NAHRA. I joined the Spokane Bird Dog Association in circa 1993, and if not for the people I met there I probably would not be where I am today. I was very fortunate to find a mentor (amateur field trailer) and training group that took pity on my woeful ignorance and helped me put an MHR on my first dog (without the aid of an e-collar, which helped me appreciate the importance of teaching, patience, repetition, and problem solving). They also mentored me as a young NAHRA judge. That seems like a lifetime ago.
I’m currently an active member of the Four Points Retriever Club (FPRC) and I recently joined the 50-pt judge’s club. I am first and foremost a hunter, and I strongly believe that NAHRA has the best all-around program for training and testing retrievers in realistic hunting scenarios. I look forward to serving on the NAHRA Board of Directors and working with you to keep the NAHRA program strong and viable.
John H. Giudice
6855 227th Ave NE,
Stacy, MN 55079
DOB: March 29, 1949
Married to Linda Sperco: April 11, 1981 Retired Materials Manager: June 28, 2013 Lives in Maplewood, NJ
Current Retrievers: Goldens, Rye Leigh and Rudy
My family has included dogs as far back as I can remember…… all kinds of dogs, primarily Frisbee chasing couch potatoes. However, our first “field golden” came to us in 1997. We called her Trifecta’s Jersey Girl, call name “Maggie”.
How we were introduced to the “game”
We had no idea that people did such things as “field work”, “field tests”, “obedience” or any of the other organized dog activities until the day we picked Maggie up from the breeder. Before we were able to take Maggie home, the breeder invited us to their field to “see something”. So we went and watched Maggie’s father [Rudy, with a bunch of acronyms before and after his name] do stuff that would change our perspective on what our new “working dog” was bred to do.
After witnessing Rudy perform a “triple retrieve” and a simple “dead bird blind” [the dog actually stopped, turned and looked on a whistle and redirected through hand signals], I was like……….. “Wow, I gotta get me one of those”. So I began to travel the 100 miles to the breeder’s place every Saturday and Sunday for the next 2 years to train for and compete in field trials and hunting tests. I was also introduced to more new and exciting stuff, such as shotguns and upland hunting through my training group.
We joined several dog clubs, two of which were the Navesink River Hunting Retriever Club and the Garden State Golden Retriever Club. We are still currently members of these clubs as well as being current members of the Pinelands Retriever Club of NJ, the Eastern Shore Retriever Club and the North American Hunting Retriever Association.
I am a past president of the Garden State Golden Retriever Club and am currently the Membership Chair and Hunt Test Secretary. I also currently serve the Navesink River Hunting Retriever Club as the NAHRA Representative.
I am also a certified NAHRA judge and have judged all NAHRA levels including the new Upland Retriever tests.
Unfortunately, Maggie left us at an early age but she helped us cut our teeth in the game we have come to love. Our current golden retrievers, both born in 2007, are both fine examples of the breed doing what they are bred to do.
Rye Leigh is my girl and team mate. Together we have achieved the NAHRA Master Hunting Retriever and the AKC Master Hunter levels. We were also invited to and participated in the 2015 NAHRA Invitational in Baldwinsville, NY. Rye was also the 2014 NRHRC Gun Dog Competition winner. She is also a highly decorated Obedience competitor.
Rudy is primarily Linda’s project, however, I have been known to insert myself in his education. He is my goose dog and is currently working on his NAHRA Master Hunting Retriever and the AKC Master Hunter titles.
We have spent the last 18 plus years in the company of some very special dogs and friends that we might have missed if it weren’t for that simple demonstration of the bond of a working dog and its handler.
On any given weekend or weekday, you will find us in 1 of 4 places…… hunting, testing, training or just hanging out being pals.
My name is Graham Wood and I am running for the Regional Director position for the Alaska Region of the North American Hunting Retriever Association. I have been a member of the Midnight Sun Gun Dog Association since 2009 and a continuous member of NAHRA since 2011. I am currently married to my wife of 13 years, Mary and we have two children Rachel (6) and Ryan (4). Back in 2009 I was drawn to the NAHRA program after participating in a MSGDA picnic event. My wife and I found the club to be a welcoming place as well as the judges running the mock test to be very informative and willing to assist. Shortly after that event I was entered into the next started event. Since then, I have put both of my dogs through the started level and have tested at the hunter level. I hope to put a hunter title on my younger dog this season. Additionally, I’m hopeful to judge my first NAHRA test this season.
The Regional Director position is a position that must possess leadership and professionalism. These skills are important due to the interaction this position has with other retriever clubs and that that this position serve as an ambassador for our state and the MSGDA. I believe I have both of these skills, and have demonstrated them through my military and professional career and as a board member of the MSGDA. As a board member of MSGDA I have assisted our club with broadening our membership base by helping organize training classes and promoting the future retriever program at events held by our club sponsors.
I would consider it an honor to be elected as the NAHRA Regional Director for Alaska. I vow to bring leadership and professionalism to the position. Something, in my opinion that has been lacking for some time. I can’t wait to further work with NAHRA to make it a nationally recognized retriever organization. Please contact me if you would like to discuss my qualifications further.
MSGDA Board Member
Member of the United States Coast Guard 1996-2005
Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation 2005-Present.
MSGDA Board Member 2011- Present
Owner of two dogs: SR Sleeping Lady Maggie Mae and SR Quartz Creek Double Fat Dolly Varden
Adam Ackermann, Central Region Director
Growing up in a small town in Eastern Iowa in the late 80's and early 90's the opportunities in hunting were great. I spent a lot of weekends and after school hours chasing game when I was not working or involved in extra curricular activities.
In the late 90's I got involved with the local rugby club that drew much of my attention away from my love of the hunt.
In 2002 I was beset by an opportunity to own my first hunting dog, a Labrador retriever, and I set myself to a task of training that dog to be better than the run of the mill farm dog that most knew in our area. To that end I consulted an uncle of mine who was known in our area for being a dog man. He pointed me to several books on training retrievers including "Game Dog". What an eye opening experience was the bumpy road training that first dog! Neither of us had a clue what we were doing!
That determination to have a better dog in the face of dwindling bird numbers led me to join my local retriever club so I could get my dog the work he needed, and eventually run a NAHRA event. Though not without taking our share of blows, that team reached the title of MHR (Master Hunting Retriever), forever setting in motion events leading to the culmination of a childhood dream.
Accepting position as the Central Regional Director is my way of trying to give back to the people of NAHRA and the Central Region, as was becoming a judge. I have been truly blessed with my "dog family" and hope that these people and dogs are a part of my life for many years to come!