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.