July 2019 President's Report to the Membership
The amended by-laws recommended by the Bylaws Committee and Board of Directors has passed with 100% of the members who voted in the election casting their ballot for "Yes". Secretary Bear Siragusa will be replacing the outdated copy on the website with the new revision at his earliest opportunity. The new bylaws are applicable immediately. The directors would like to thank all of the members who cast their ballots in this important election.
With the assistance of subject matter experts recruited from the scientific community the Guidelines Committee has completed the full review of the current Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Sled Dog Care Guidelines (3rd Edition). They are still consistent with the best currently available scientific and experiential evidence. The Committee is nonetheless recommending that we begin the process of updating them.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), "Ensuring animal welfare is a human responsibility that includes consideration for all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia."
Until relatively recently, the major focus of animal welfare practices has been on avoiding negative experiences from the animal's perspective. Today it is recognized and emphasized that animal welfare management must also include the promotion of positive experiences and there is a good body of both scientific and experiential evidence that can help us produce practical guidelines that mushers and sled dog kennel operators can use to accomplish both.
While it's very early in the process and my virtual crystal ball isn't always clear, some of the changes we predict for a new edition of the Guidelines will include more emphasis on the responsibilities of individual mushers and kennel operators, a wider array of options for individuals to meet those responsibilities, more thorough explanations of the pros and cons of each option that is presented and a more thorough explanation of the evidence on which our recommendations are based.
As we launch this project all of the board members will do our best to keep our members informed. We will likely be asking our members to help gather data, review and provide input for drafts of each chapter and be active participants in the process.
Those who are not yet members of Mush with P.R.I.D.E. who wish to participate in the process are encouraged to join our organization.
Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Board Wastes No Time in Getting House in Order
Working together primarily online, the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Board of Directors has already begun much of the work required under our by-laws.
The first duty of the Board was to elect the executive officers. The result of that election is:
Thom "Swanny" Swan - President
Dan Phillips - Vice President
Barry "Bear" Siragusa - Secretary
Linda Newman - Treasurer
The next duty was to assign people to perform the duties of the 7 standing committees required under the by-laws. The president serves as an ex officio member of all committees. An ex officio member is a member of a body (a board, committee, council, etc.) who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. Committee assignments were completed on Friday, April 19th with the following results.
Executive Committee: The roles of the executive committee is to conduct the business of P.R.I.D.E. when the Board of Directors is not in session. Because we can communicate so quickly and reliably on-line, historically the entire Board has served as the executive committee, and we have elected to continue to do so.
By-laws Committee: The role of by by-laws committee is to "examine the by-laws annually and to recommend changes (amendments) to promote the expedient operation of PRIDE and attainment of its objectives. In addition to Swan, the members of the by-laws committee are Dan Phillips (chair) and Susan Terry.
Membership Committee: The role of the membership committee is to draft proposal for membership including: types of memberships; benefits derived from various types of memberships; suggested strategies for membership recruitment. In addition to Swan members of this committee are Ralph Schade and Helen Hegener. A chairperson has not yet been designated.
The Public Relations Committee is charged with "identifying: methods of communicating with the public and the media; methods of communicating, within PRIDE, public concerns so they can be addressed promptly and effectively; immediate issues which should be addressed by PRIDE; methods of membership recruitment." Members of the P.R. committee are Linda Newman (chair), Helen Hegener and Meredith Mapes.
The Educational Programs Committee is responsible for identifying potential audiences which PRIDE shall address with educational efforts; methods of delivering educational programs; ways to evaluate the effectiveness of educational efforts; general programmatic directions; and potential teaching resource groups." In addition to the president members of the Educational Programs Committee are Meredith Mapes (chair) and Barry "Bear" Siragusa.
The Nominating Committee is responsible for proposing director nominations to be voted on as per Article IV. Members of the nominating committee are Matt Failor and Ralph Schade. No chair has yet been appointed.
The Guidelines Committee has the most complex job in Mush with P.R.I.D.E. They are responsible for identifying specific areas of dog care for which PRIDE will develop guidelines; methods of guideline development; potential resource people and groups; and areas of needed research. Members of the Guidelines Committee are Janece Rollet (chair), Dawn Brown, DVM, Meredith Mapes and Bear Siragusa.
Committee assignment can be very fluid if necessary to efficiently conduct the work of each. Additional members may be assigned when the need for more manpower or the participation of those with specialized knowledge or skills is needed, and committee members may be shifted from one committee or another if circumstances require us to do so.
We will do our best to ensure that all Mush with P.R.I.D.E. members are kept well informed of our progress as we continue to provide responsible information on a dog's environment.
Directors Election Results
The ballots to elect a new Board of Directors were opened and counted twice yesterday by two board members, as required by our by-laws. We had a return of over 45% of the ballots mailed out, which is quite remarkable for an organization such as ours.
Members were asked to vote for 10 of the 15 candidates running for office. The gap between number 10 and number 11 was only one ballot, so it was indeed a very close election that reflects the quality of those who volunteered to run for office. I'd like to extend a special thank-you to those candidates who ran but were not elected. We very much appreciate their willingness to volunteer to serve in these difficult positions.
The 10 candidates receiving the most votes, in alphabetical order, were:
Dawn Brown, DVM (Alaska)
Matt Failor (Alaska)
Helen Hegener (Alaska)
Meredith Mapes (Alaska)
Linda Newman (Minnesota)
Dan Phillips (Colorado)
Janece Rollet (Kentucky)
Barry "Bear" Saragusa (Norway)
Ralph Schade (Ontario, Canada)
Thom "Swanny" Swan (Alaska)
As required in our by-laws, more than 2 of our new board members reside outside of Alaska. In fact, half of the new board members live outside Alaska and two of our new board members live outside the United States of America. Having elected a board member in Norway clearly ensures international representation.
We feel like this new board offers an unusually diverse range of dog mushing disciplines and demographics as well as professional backgrounds. The new board includes dry-land, commercial, recreational mushers as well as both sprint and long-distance racing mushers. It includes a doctor of veterinary medicine and a university certified canine behaviorist.
The next step in the process is to hold a general meeting to formally seat the new board. That meeting will be conducted by teleconference and Mush with P.R.I.D.E. members will be notified by mail giving the phone number, time and other details to log into the teleconference. This notification is required under our by-laws.
Once the board has been seated, the board members will need to meet in order to elect officers and organize the 7 standing committees required under the by-laws. Two of those committees, the by-laws committee and the guidelines committee will need to start work immediately to conduct reviews of those documents which are required by the by-laws but have been neglected for some time.
With two writers on the Board, one also an editor and publisher, you can be assured that regular progress reports will be forthcoming and I'm confident that members of P.R.I.D.E. will have ample opportunities to review the work being performed and offer their input into both the process and the final result.
Did you watch the Iditarod this year? Notice our name on the musher bibs?
The snow mushing season is in full swing, which means that most of our members are enjoying the busiest time of year. Our Board of Director's election is also in full swing. Ballots were mailed to our current members just prior to the first of the year. Our secretary estimates that about 32% of ballots mailed out have already been returned. She can't provide an exact figure because the envelopes won't be opened until the ballots are counted shortly after the March 1st deadline.
If you are a current member and have not yet received your ballot in the mail, please contact secretary Jane Fuerstenau (email@example.com) as soon as possible so she can get a replacement sent straightaway. Remember to vote for only 10 of our fifteen candidates and return your ballot no later than March 1st.
As sled dog races have become more visible this winter Mush with P.R.I.D.E. has received a few media inquiries. Our secretary has been referring most media inquiries to me (Thom Swan). My approach to such inquiries is to answer direct questions by providing information found in the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Sled Dog Care Guidelines, 10 Basic Kennel Standards and Voluntary Kennel Inspection Program documents. I provide direct links to those documents so reporters can download and review them on their own.
When practical for the reporter, I also try to refer them to nearby Mush with PRIDE members who are willing to show off their kennels and answer questions more personally. When seeking a PRIDE member willing to share his or her kennel with reporters, I first try to contact members who have had their kennels inspected and certified through our Kennel Inspection Program and who also have experience dealing with the general public. These are frequently members who offer sled dog tours, as tour operators must often answer similar questions from their guests.
Some animal control agencies rely on the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Sled Dog Care Guidelines as an official standard of care or 'Code of Practice' when inspecting or investigating sled dog kennels. In some of those jurisdictions animal rights activists have attempted to challenge the validity of the Guidelines. In a recent telephone conversation with the director of a Canadian provincial animal control agency I was asked if the 3rd edition of the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Guidelines (now 10 years old) is still current and if the information it contains still valid. I assured him that it is indeed current and valid and that our recommendations remain consistent with the best, currently available information.
Of course this begs the question of what constitutes the best available information? It means that the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. 10 Basic Kennel Standards and the Sled Dog Care Guidelines recommendations have a general level of acceptance among knowledgeable practitioners and experts in the field. Strong preference is given to peer-reviewed scientific literature. Where such scientific evidence is lacking, we recommend practices that have robust experiential foundations, are based on good sense, are practical and are thorough.
Winter is upon us and sled dogs throughout the northland are happily running the trails of the northland, bearing their mushers to a wide variety of destinations. The days are short and the trails are long and most dog mushers are deeply engaged in our avocation of caring for and running our dogs. It seems there is little free time to spend on anything not directly related to our teams and kennels. Nonetheless Mush with P.R.I.D.E. is also moving toward along our own figurative trail.
While making plans for your own limited hours of free time, please remember that ballots for the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Board of Directors election will be mailed to members on December 28th, and must be returned by March 1st, 2019. If you wish to vote in the election you must be a current (dues paid) member. Please note that only individual, family, junior and business memberships include the right to vote in P.R.I.D.E. elections. Associate members, including those whose membership was provided through entry fees in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, do not have voting privileges. Ballots will be provided to new members who join through the month of January.
The ballot will ask you to vote for no more than 10 out of the 15 candidates running for office. The ballots will be opened and counted in accordance with your by-laws within the first week of March and we will announce the winners very shortly thereafter. A special meeting, to be conducted via teleconference, will be conducted to officially seat the new board.
Meanwhile, we are delighted to report that a good number of our members have recently taken advantage of the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Voluntary Kennel Inspection Program to have their kennels inspected and certified. The intent of the V.K.I.P. is to have an unbiased third-party compare the infrastructure and management of the kennel to the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. 10 Basic Kennel Standards and the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Sled Dog Care Guidelines. We would encourage all mushers, whether seeking certification or not, to download the Kennel Inspection Forms and use them to evaluate their own kennels. Even if not seeking certification the form may provide insights you can use to plan your next kennel or sled dog care project.
Meanwhile we wish you and your family (both human and canine) safe and exciting trails and a most joyful holiday season.
The Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Nominations Committee is pleased to announce that we have recruited 15 candidates from which our members will elect 10 to serve on the Board of Directors. Ballots will be mailed to our members by the end of December and must be returned by March 1st. The new Board of Directors will be seated in a teleconferenced general membership meeting on or about April 1st, 2019.
Richard Meldrum - Alliston, Ontario
Richard Meldrum is joint owner of WolfStar Huskies, a kennel based in southern Ontario, Canada. Richard and his wife moved to Canada in 2010 with eight Siberian Huskies. They have been running in sprint and dryland competitions in Ontario since 2013, but have owned and recreationally run huskies since 2002. Richard is a passionate advocate for sled dog welfare. He is the current Vice President of the Sleddog Sports Association of Southwestern Ontario, a volunteer and advisor to the board of the Siberian Husky Assistance and Rescue Program and is on the organising committee of the MacGregor Point Dryland Derby. He is also a feature writer for the Sled Dogger magazine. In addition to his work with dogs, he has extensive board and administrative experience, including sitting on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Food Protection Association. He works as an Associate Professor in a university in Toronto, teaching and researching public heath. He has been the principal investigator on grant-funded research into the safety of dog food.
Dawn Brown, DVM - Salcha, Alaska.
Dr. Dawn Brown first starting racing sled dogs as a junior in the Northeast US in 1982, and still maintains a competitive limited class sprint team. She is a contributing author to Mushing Magazine’s “Vet Check”, and has several publications in Dog and Driver. She is a 1995 graduate of The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.
Jean Coffey – Canaan, New Hampshire
Jean Coffey is a recreational musher from the northeast. She began her mushing career later than most. She has a small kennel of Siberian Huskies. Her kennel has welcomed many re-homed Siberians over the years. She contributed to a MUSH with PRIDE project to create educational materials for community presentations on the sport. Jean has given countless presentations on mushing to school and community groups. She was the VP of the Vermont Mushers Association and currently Secretary for the New Hampshire Mushers Association .
Matt Failor - Willow, Alaska. Matthew Failor moved to Alaska in 2006 for a summer college job as a dog handler at Gold Rush Sled Dog Tours. He moved to Alaska permanently in 2008 to work with Matt Hayashida and train with him and his dogs. He has worked for various mushers, and in 2010 he started handling for Martin Buser and ran his first Iditarod as Martin’s handler. He recently moved to Willow to run dogs under his own name. 17th Dog, Matt is a 7-time Iditarod finisher, earning the Most Improved Musher award in 2018. He is currently a dog trainer and has been manager of Alaska Icefield Expeditions for 12 years.
Susan Terry - Willow, Alaska.
Susan Terry (screen name Su Fields) started recreational skijoring with her Siberian Husky in 1990 in Upstate New York. She has lived in Canada, Bermuda and the UK. She now has a small Siberian Husky kennel in Alaska and runs her dogs recreationally, does Dryland & limited racing. They also show in Conformation, trial in Obedience, Rally, Barn Hunt, Agility & Lure Coursing. She was a member of the National Ski Patrol for 15 years and certified in Mountaineering & Avalanche Search & Rescue. She is a 1985 graduate of State University at Buffalo Law School and admitted to New York and Massachusetts bar. She has served in private law practice, Assistant District Attorney, Assistant Public Defender and Assistant Attorney General for New York State. She has been actively involved in animal ownership issues for the last 12 years.
Ken Hagget - Elmore, Vermont.
Owner/operator of Peace Pups Dogsledding. I live in Elmore Vermont with my wife, and a "several" Siberian Huskies. We adopted our first Siberian husky named Jake from a local shelter in 2001. We blame our dramatic change in lifestyle on him. With the trend being toward Alaskan Huskies and hounds for racing we have decided to stick with Siberians because we love their personalities, their love of running and even their sometimes stubborn dispositions. I take pride in the fact that I am involved in all aspects of my business from scooping poop to answering the phone to driving the sleds. I feel that this allows me to provide a high level of care for my customers and my dogs. We are proud members of Mush With Pride; a organization that seeks to improve dog care by providing information on all aspects of sled dog care You can view Mr. Hagget's full profile at https://www.peacepupsdogsledding.com.
Helen Hegener - Eagle River, Alaska.
Helen Hegener has been an advocate and a strong supporter of Mush with PRIDE since 2007. She has been a volunteer for the Yukon Quest, the All Alaska Sweepstakes, the Northern Lights 300, the Copper Basin 300, and the Top of the World 350. She has written extensively about sled dog sports for publications such as Mushing magazine, Alaska magazine, Alaska Dispatch and many others, and she has written books about the history the Iditarod, the All Alaska Sweepstakes and the Yukon Quest. She created and manages two popular groups on Facebook: Alaska Mushing News and Mushing History. She organized and sponsored two ground-breaking Mushing History Conferences which drew some of the most respected mushers, historians, researchers, documentarians, and authors in the field, and in 2016 she helped create the informative website https://www.sleddoginfo.com.
Meredith Mapes - Palmer, Alaska.
Meredith Mapes - a 2016 graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage with a BA in theatre with an emphasis on dance, and current student at UAA going for a BS in biological sciences focusing on genetics, Meredith has been passionately involved in sled dog racing and training since she was six years old. Her first race was the Willow Winter Carnival 1-Dog race, which she won by 1/5 of a second, and never looked back - she was hooked! She now maintains a kennel of about 40 Alaskan Husky race dogs in Knik, Alaska (Fun On The Run Kennel), while working as a veterinary technician and training her race team. She met a lifelong goal in March of 2018 when she competed in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, finishing in 49th place with a team of dogs she’d raised and trained herself. She also enjoys dabbling in sprint, dryland, and skijoring with her distance dogs, and prides herself on producing well rounded puppies that can be solid race dogs or pet dogs as needed. She also has some purebred pet dogs with which she dabbles in agility, obedience, and protection training. A lifelong volunteer for both adult and junior sled dog races, she enjoys working with kids of varying ages as her junior mushers, to help promote good dog care and responsibility to the next generation of mushers. Meredith also enjoys traveling, and it’s her goal in life to someday compete in races across the world - particularly the Wyoming Stage Stop, and Finnmarkslopet in Norway! To learn more about Meredith and her racing career, feel free to check out her website - www.funontherunkennel.com or Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/FunOnTheRunKennel
Mitch Michaud - Soldotna, Alaska.
Originally from Madawaska, Maine, Mitch is professional forester residing on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. He has been active in dog mushing since 2000, focusing on recreational mushing and community sled dog races. Official positions held with dog mushing organizations include past President of Mush with Pride (2006-2008); Past President and race marshal for PSDRA (Peninsula Sled Dog and Racing Association); Chair of Dog mushing for 2006 Arctic Winter Games; and dog handler for Iditarod race starts. He helped write and edit the current PRIDE Sled Dog Care guidelines, and the USDA Dog Waste Composting Manual. He has also written articles for Mushing Magazine and participated in mushing symposiums as both a moderator and speaker. He has a part-time business building dog sleds, and has had a number of sleds complete both the Iditarod and Yukon Quest. His dog mushing philosophy is that mushers bear responsibility for the welfare of their charges. There maybe be a right of animal ownership but with this right comes substantial responsibility.
Linda Newman - Hovland, Minnesota
Owner/operator of Points Unknown Dog-Based Adventure. Linda grew up all over the United States in a U.S. Forest Service family. Linda has been training dogs since 1994. She got her first sled dogs in 2000 and thus began her sled dog training. Linda's dream of a career that included her passion for the outdoors and her love and respect for her canine companions became a reality in early 2005 when she started Points Unknown. Points Unknown was contracted to provide dog mushing adventures at a popular northern Minnesota Lodge in Grand Marais, MN, USA in the winters of 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 and Linda headed up this program, creating a number of different dog sledding adventures and experiences for their guests. She is currently a DNR Becoming an Outdoors Women program instructor, and is giving dog mushing instruction at her homestead in Hovland and providing demonstrations at local events. You can view Ms. Newman's full profile at http://www.points-unknown.com/
Dan Phillips - Snowmass Village, Colorado.
Current board member, Dan grew up in Northern Idaho in a logging family spending summers in remote logging camps. Dan's father was a natural horse trainer and taught Dan the natural ways of training animals. Dan started dog sledding in 1999 as a tour guide. In 2000 Dan started a four-year apprenticeship for a Iditarod race team. In 2004 Dan and his wife started a educational program teaching at risk youth dog sledding by using the sled dogs as therapy animals. Dan has organized and guided several remote expeditions with sled dogs during his career. In 2014 Dan bought Krabloonik Mountain Dining and Dogsledding. He where currently runs a touring company along with racing and doing international expeditions. Dan has chosen dog sledding as his profession and is involved with sled dogs every day of his life and would love to be a part of the future Mush with Pride. You can view his company's website at https://krabloonik.com.
Janece Rollet, CCB - Georgetown, Kentucky.
Ms. Rollet is a university certified canine behaviorist and was the long-time conference chairperson for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). In addition to working with dogs she has experience with small mammals, marine mammals and captive wolves, and was a founding faculty member of Dr. Karen Pryor's Clicker Training Academy. Ms. Rollet has traveled to Alaska several times to mush sled dogs and promotes and uses dryland mushing to assist in training and behavior modification of suitable breeds of dogs. She has served as a volunteer reviewer of Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Documents, helping to ensure that our Sled Dog Care Guidelines and other published documents are consistent with the best currently available scientific information.
Barry “Bear” Saragusa - Vestre Gausdal, Norway.
Barry "Bear" Siragusa Started running sled dogs with freighting teams in Maine in 1998. He has worked as a mushing guide in Maine, New Hampshire, Alaska, and Scandinavia --where he now lives with his wife, two sons and his kennel of Alaskan Huskies. Barry was a contributor to Mushing Magazine for their "Mushing Scandinavia" column, and a contributing web-editor for Hundekjøring Magazine. He is passionate about preserving our sport, and keeping any organisation or body that regulates it run by mushers, for the benefit of mushers and their dogs.
Ralph Schade, Ayr, Ontario.
Ralph Schade, like many mushers, started with one dog and decided that the dog needed company. Now he and his wife share a kennel of 27 pure bred Siberian Huskies, Ralph and his wife, Jen, have been mushing recreationally and competitively for 10 years. Kennel name is Rajenn Siberian Huskies. Ralph is honoured to serve as president of the Ontario Federation of Sled Dog Sports this year, where Jen serves as treasurer. Last year, they started entering short mid distance races. Ralph feels that exemplary dog care provides a sound foundation for happy, well-adjusted dogs. They've volunteered their dogs for nutritional and performance studies by the University of Guelph for the last 3 years.
Thom “Swanny” Swan - Two Rivers, Alaska.
Swanny is a recreational musher with 20 dogs, most of which are similar to historical descriptions of dogs used during the late 18th through early 20th centuries. His ultimate goal as a dog musher is to do back country traveling using only equipment and supplies that were in common use historically, while maintaining the highest standards of humane dog care and training. He has served on the P.R.I.D.E. board of directors since 2006. As chair of the Guidelines Committee he worked with a very diverse, talented and outspoken group of members to produce and publish the current edition of the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Sled Dog Care Guidelines to reflect a variety of sled dog care practices that have stood the test of time and remain consistent with best currently available scientific information.
On behalf of the Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Board of Directors I would like to extend our thanks to all who have renewed their membership or have joined Mush with P.R.I.D.E. over the past month. Your support has been very encouraging.
The Mush with P.R.I.D.E. revitalization project is moving along on schedule. Our focus during October was to encourage long-time members to renew their memberships, and to recruit new members as well. Thus far it’s been quite successful. Our most effective tool for communicating information, recruiting and promoting Mush with P.R.I.D.E. has been our FaceBook group “Mush With P.R.I.D.E. - Public Access”. Most of the posts on that groups have been widely shared with other popular dog-mushing related FaceBook groups. Most have been reports of various scientific studies that are of interest to dog mushers of disciplines ranging from small-team dry-land teams to large scale racing and touring kennels. I would encourage you to join the group and participate in information sharing and discussion. The group is closely monitored and when necessary will be moderated to promote civil and reasoned discussion. Thus far such moderation has not been necessary.
In addition to increasing our membership, we have also seen an increase in the number of kennels seeking certification through our Mush with P.R.I.D.E. Kennel Inspection Program. Mush with P.R.I.D.E. certification is evidence that one’s kennel has been inspected by an unbiased third party and found to be in compliance with the recommendations found in the P.R.I.D.E. Sled Dog Care Guidelines. In addition to a frameable certificate, PRIDE certified kennels receive a durable, attractive metal placard that can be posted at an entrance to your kennel or dog-yard to show you do, indeed take PRIDE in your kennel.
The nominations committee has been hard at work going through the membership roster and selecting a slate of candidates that we feel can offer our members great list of potential board members from which to chose the 10 required by our by-laws. The nominations committee is planning on presenting a slate of candidates that offer diversity in both geography, mushing disciplines and perspectives and professional credentials and experience that can all help us achieve our mission of providing responsible information on a dog’s environment. Once the nominations committee has finished their work the list of potential nominees will be turned over to the full Board of Directors for their review and endorsement.
Once the nominees have been officially determined by the Board, their names will be announced and Mush with P.R.I.D.E. members will have an opportunity to research the candidates and consider your choices. If you are a Mush with P.R.I.D.E. member, please remember that your vote will determine the future direction of Mush with P.R.I.D.E.’s activities.
Most Sincerely: Thomas “Swanny” Swan, President pro-tempore
Response to our current President's call for members to renew and establish new memberships in Mush with PRIDE has been overwhelming! Thank you for your support!
We would like to take some space here to recognize our newest Business Members:
North Ridge Ranch of Huntsville Ontario. Please visit their website at www.northridgeranch.ca
Erakeskus Wilderness Lodge and Husky Farm of Jongunjoki, Finland http://www.xn--erkeskus-1za.com/en/huskyfarm.html
Peace Pups Dogsledding in Lake Elmore, Vermont: https://www.peacepupsdogsledding.com/
We also welcome new Club Members:
SSASO: Sled Dog Sports Association of South-Western Ontario http://www.ssaso.ca/
OFSS: Ontario Federation of Sleddog Sports http://www.ofss.ca/
Thank you one and all for your support of Mush with PRIDE!
On August 8th director Thom Swan met with Alaska corporate attorney Danielle Gardner to determine the proper and legal process for electing a new board of directors. We learned that under Alaska corporate law, elected directors are considered to be the organization's directors until they either resign or are replaced by a successor in accordance with the organization's by-laws. We also learned a board election will need to be conducted in strict accordance with our by-laws.
Five directors fell under this provision, and all 5 have agreed to remain on the board until we can seat a new board. Those are myself (Thom Swan), Karen Ramstead, Jackie Wepruk, Jane Fuerstenau and Ben Woodard. The bylaws specify that at least 2 BOD members live Outside the State of Alaska. As Ms. Ramstead and Ms. Wepruk live in Alberta, Canada and Mr. Woodard resides in Maine we easily fall within this requirement.
Our by-laws require a quorum of 6 directors in order to conduct business, and also permit vacancies to be filled by the remaining directors. The first order of business in our September 14th teleconference meeting was to elect Colorado musher Dan Phillips as director in order establish the necessary quorum.
At that same meeting the directors elected me (Thom Swan) to serve as president pro tempore, a fancy latin term that means for the time being. Jane Fuerstenau, who has been instrumental in maintaining Mush with P.R.I.D.E. as a legal and functioning organization through this long period of inactivity retains her roles as Secretary and Treasurer.
Our by-laws are very specific about how director elections are to be conducted. Among the requirements is the presence of a nominating committee. In my role as president I appointed myself, Jane Fuerstenau and Dan Phillips as the nominating committee.
In order to give the nominating committee, secretary, and most importantly our members, plenty of time to accomplish our tasks during a busy upcoming mushing season; we established April 1st at the deadline by which ballots must be received in the upcoming election. Once we've reached that deadline, Dan Phillips and Jane Fuerstenau will count the ballots and announce the results to the board, and we will publish those results as soon as we can afterward.
Finally, we will schedule an Annual Meeting, open to the entire membership, to officially seat the new board and launch Mush with P.R.I.D.E. into the future.
Most sincerely: Thomas Swan, president pro tempore
As anxious as we were as a committee to reseat a board for the sole purpose of holding an election, we have had to reexamine our process due to legal concerns about how the interim board was being assembled.
We took the time to consult with an attorney specializing in corporate law for Alaska, and are confident that we are now on the correct path to form a board that can legally hold an election for a member- selected board.
We will update this page as we make progress towards being able to solicit nominations and issue ballots for the election. Thank you for your patience!
We are pleased to announce that SSASO: Sled Dog Association of South-Western Ontario has joined Mush with PRIDE as a new club member.
SSASO is a not-for-profit sled dog association dedicated to the education and preservation of Sled dogs, and physical literacy through harness activities for both humans and K-9’s .
The club focuses on the history and evolution of the working sled dog, and provides information and support for people interested in getting started in the sport.
Checkout their Mush with PRIDE club page at: http://www.ssaso.ca/2018/08/05/mush-with-pride/
And their Facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/groups/419623264844065/
Resuscitating Mush with P.R.I.D.E.
The Iditarod mandate that racers adhere to PRIDE Kennel Guidelines has resulted in renewed interest in the organization, and we are hopeful that can result in fully resuscitating the organization.
To keep everything legal, above board and transparent, here is the process we intend to follow:
1) Form Interim Board by appointment
2) Solicit nominees for election (filling 10 seats, with no more than 8 from Alaska)
3) Interim Board approves list of nominees 6 weeks before election date.
4) Secretary prints and mails paper ballots to all current members.
5) Secretary and one additional board member count ballots 4 weeks after election date.
6) Board certifies election and selects top 10 candidates based on majority of votes.
7) Election results are publicized and directors assume new seats immediately.
Check back often for more details!
To submit your name (or someone else's) for nomination to a seat on the Board of Directors you may do so by Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2019 Mush with PRIDE - All Rights Reserved.