CFA VICE PRESIDENT
I Want To Work ON BEHALF of CFA’s Clubs, Breeders, and Exhibitors To Build a Stronger, More Cohesive Future For Our Organization
We must work together
or we will find ourselves standing alone.
Personal agendas, grudges, and perceived power have no place in the hobby we love.
Let’s help clubs in need as we continue to return to the show hall.
Clubs were already facing hardships prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. CFA helped clubs to produce shows then. Let’s see how we can continue to help them!
PROMOTE & EXPAND
Don’t you wish that people knew more about cats and cat shows?
Let’s look at ways we can inform the general public about our cats and our shows? And not just in the US! Countries are becoming more interested in our beloved hobby. Let’s help CFA grow there!
More and more CFA business is being conducted behind closed doors? Why?
Yes, some business does need to be held in a closed environment. But over the past couple of years, the amount of closed session business has greatly increased. And should it?
Graduated Queens College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business
Proven Business Experience
Forty-plus years working in the financial sector with Fortune 500 businesses.
Investment manager for Asia while I was with Salomon Brothers.
Sat on two financial boards.
Currently manage a 85-member team for the largest employer in Long Island.
Began breeding Cornish Rex with my partner in 1990 under the name WhiteWeb and produced many regional and national-winning cats.
I have also bred Devon Rex and Sphynx.
I have been involved in every aspect of show production and show management.
I currently belong to CFA clubs Cats Incredible, Feline Forum of New York, Garden State CC, and Steel City Kitties.
I entered the CFA Judging Program in 2009. My extensive judging career has allowed me to judge around the world, as well as judge several CFA International Shows.
I have personally met a large number of fanciers throughout CFA’s worldwide exhibitor base, and my global business background helps me to understand their unique issues.
I am currently the chair of the International Division-Mainland China. Within that position, I have shown the ability to work with people of vastly differing views, achieving a sense of unity and fairness amongst our Chinese exhibitors. I aspire to bring this same sense of togetherness across CFA.
Let’s focus on what we CAN do and be positive…for a change!
I want to help CFA grow TOGETHER. In many instances, we have become a house divided against itself. How can we expect to move forward, if we can’t move together? In many cases, some parties seem to have taken their eye off of CFA’s entire reason for existing – the cats.
I wish to help individuals and groups focus on not what they can gain for themselves, but what they can do FOR CFA. We must become united towards the common goal of what’s best for CFA or the cat fancy we love will no longer exist.
I have experience working with groups who are at odds with each other find common ground and look past perceived differences and focus on what really matters. I believe that cat fanciers from all areas of CFA should take a more positive approach in achieving our goals. HOW can we do something? HOW can we work around a problem? Saying that “we can’t do that because…” achieves nothing but acrimony, and it holds us back.
Thanks to the business acumen of Rich Mastin, CFA is no longer in an economic slump. However, our clubs were already suffering from rising costs of show venues and show production prior to COVID-19, and returning to the show hall has been difficult. Clubs are the face of CFA to the general public. They are a primary way to bring in new cat fanciers. Let’s help CFA begin to grow again by supporting our clubs.
Currently, clubs receive back 25 cents from the two-dollar surcharge on every entry. I propose that that amount be increased to 50 cents. The region can then decide how to disperse those funds to help their clubs continue to produce shows and attract new people into the cat fancy. This is a readily affordable increase that will help clubs AND help CFA.
PROMOTE & EXPAND
How many times have you heard someone say “CFA? A cat show? They have those?”
We need to promote CFA to the public. They need to discover our breeds, learn about feline health care, and that CFA stands for the health and welfare of ALL cats.
Think about it – higher public visibility about CFA and what it stands for is one of the best deterrents against animal rights groups pushing breeder-restrictive laws. Learning that our breeders and exhibitors care about our cats and their wellbeing shows these groups that we are not the problem.
CFA – Expanding Horizons
CFA should continue its global expansion. Other countries welcome and encourage our presence there and want us to help them expand their current cat fancy. They are a great untapped resource and we would do well to align programs together now.
ALL fanciers have the right to know where their elected officials stand on (almost) all matters. Officials would do well to reveal to their constituents just how they arrived at the decisions that were made. Yes, with the minutes now being transcribed, and most recently, the advent of Zoom meetings, that information is more readily available than ever.
BUT – why is so much of CFA’s dealings done behind closed doors and out of sight? Certainly protests, the licensing/relicensing of judges, and contract discussions should be done in closed session; that’s exactly what closed session is for. And while I can appreciate board members’ wishes to be able to speak with candor, closed session should not be a harbor for defamation, political manipulation, and pushing personal agendas. Too many decisions are currently being made out of the public view. One has to ask why the need for secrecy?
I propose that only items such as protests, contract discussion, and the licensing/relicensing of judges should be held in closed session.
Updates From Russell
I know that fanciers what to know my opinions and stances on what continues to happen in CFA. Know that I’ll be commenting on them in this space.
You have questions? I have answers! Please feel free to email me with questions or concerns, and I’ll address them here for everyone.
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