Minutes of the June 2009 Breed Council Meeting
Nancy Petersen called the meeting to order at 9 AM. During the course of the meeting, several more people joined us and participation was strong with 34 people in attendance.
The first topic of discussion was the CFA-AKC "Meet the Breeds" event to take place in New York City October 17-18, 2009. Nancy had print information regarding the event and was to join other Board members and BC Secretaries after this meeting for further discussions and developments as they have come about. She explained that our booth size will be 10 feet deep and 30 feet wide - triple the size of other breed booths yet we get the same funding, $2000, as all other booths. From this amount, an immediate deduction for electric hookup and bus transportation to/from hotel in Jersey City to the site must be taken, leaving a balance of not quite $1,800.00 towards the creation of the booth design and layout. Specific plans for the booth are underway and some exhibitors have already pledged to bring cats/kittens of various Persian divisions to be on display for two days, making an enormous impact of positive publicity for CFA and its various breeds. It was explained that due to union shop rules at the Jacob Javits Center, we will be limited to bringing in supplies and cats/kittens on hand carts with no more than two wheels. Cages will be set up in the booth on 6' or 8' skirted tables, and the Persian Breed Booth popup display is expected to be at the center of the 30' foot pipe-and-drape at the back.
It is hoped to have a continuous loop PowerPoint or slide presentation featuring high quality professional or amateur photos of cats and kittens from all Persian divisions, and Susan Cook Henry is asking that our BC membership send her photos so that this project can begin.
Susan will bring two clipped Persians to show the public that this is an acceptable alternative for those people who might not want to deal with Persian grooming with the intensity required for a fully-coated cat. There may be a video included in the photo loop showing a Persian being clipped at home to show this can be a "do-it-yourself" project. Nancy clarified that the 10-foot side drapes would be of equal height as the back; previous AKC events have had 3-foot divisions between booths so this is an improvement. Participants will largely be from the general "local" area although others have volunteered to come from more distant locales, all at personal expense. And that is an important fact - participants must be willing to cover their own travel expenses as the budget will be tight in procuring the needed supplies to decorate the booth space and cages.
Plans are to have special cage drapes made so that there will be consistency in the display cages (thank you Danielle Griggs for offering your sewing talents!). Another plan underway is to develop a time-line of sorts to show the history of the breed to the attending public, and Sophia Staples has taken on this project. As for the cats and kittens on display, they must be amenable to handling and that is why it is hoped that a number of "spare kids" will be available so that no one cat or kitten (unless they are exceptionally amenable and into it!) is made to spend too much time being admired and cuddled.
Attendance at this event is expected to be in the 20,000+ per day range, due not only to extreme interest but also reasonable admission fees. With that in mind, we may have grooming or small display tables for in front of the cages, possibly topped with a small "Persian-type" (but inexpensive) rug which will add to the decor. Sturdi tents may be set up under the skirted tables for cats and kittens to have some "time out." Of course, we will need several individuals to man the booth and answer peoples' questions. In many ways, this will be like a "show without judging" so while much will seem familiar, the unknown of doing it the first time and doing it right is a bit daunting.
This is anticipated to become an annual event and the amount of positive PR for CFA and its breeders/exhibitors can't be underestimated. As for Persian breed information being available, the Central Office will provide 200 breed brochures (all breeds get same amount) so it may benefit us to either purchase more from the Central Office or design a different type of handout perhaps containing more information including grooming tips.
Another great idea was to print business cards which can be done in very large numbers at a fairly reasonable cost; the cards could represent the Persian Breed Council - perhaps using the logo/graphics currently on the website. The web address is a valuable resource for a variety of topics pertinent to our breed, and Kathy Durdick has done a wonderful job as our webmaster, getting the current season Persian division winners and their photos up so quickly. Having the ability to put photos of the Top Ten in each division on the site is such a bonus, and it is hoped that more people will make photos available of their winning kittens and cats for the current season as well as the future. Please be sure to visit the website and see Kathy's work (www.persianbc.org) and send to her any photos that may be currently missing (email@example.com).
As for promoting the Persian in print, CFA will make available 200 breed pamphlets per booth. We may be able to negotiate a larger number due to the size of our booth and the several divisions represented. However, with such large attendance expected from the public, it was thought perhaps a different tool might be used. A good suggestion was to contact Cat Fancy Magazine to see if they would sponsor printing of business cards or other print material in exchange for their logo being included. Vendors of grooming items might also be a source of sponsorship in exchange for advertisement on the print material. A business card with promoting the CFA Persian Breed Council and its website would be invaluable as it is such a good resource of information on breed history, our winners, grooming, etc. And business cards are relatively inexpensive to produce in large quantities.
The discussion of "Meet the Breeds" took up nearly 50 minutes of the allotted hour; Nancy moved on to the subject of the LH Exotics and a brief "whys and wherefores" regarding the proposed Constitutional Amendments and Show Rule resolution presented the day before on this subject. Many Persian people feel the Board acted inappropriately in going through the back door, so to speak, in amending a show rule to make an exception putting the LH Exotics into Persian classes. It makes no sense to many of us that a cat compete as one breed yet be scored as another. Whereas it seems unlikely that these cats would be removed from competition at this point, it might make it easier for Persian breeders to go along if the LH Exotics were removed from the Persian classes and placed in a Longhair division of the Exotic. Granted, the Exotic standard would have to be rewritten to include a description of the long coat. The Board in its decision used part of the Breed Definition Report in putting the LH Exotics in Persian classes, wishing to avoid "mimics" being shown. Yet, it seems truly unfair to pick and choose certain parts of a policy which the delegation at the Annual Meeting made clear they had no use for any longer. The discussion will continue in advance of the late summer breed ballot deadline.
Susan Cook Henry
IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES:
Questions for Breed Council ballot due to Nancy by July 31,2009.
Last day to join the BC and be eligible to vote is August 3, 2009.