collie club of america -- Election 2007

Mike Van Tassell -- Candidate for the office of President
Mike and Debbie Van Tassell started in Collies in 1970. They purchased a rough male from a breeder that was going through a divorce. The dog was pure Parader breeding, and had his CD, and was the best baby sitter they ever had. "Tory" was never shown by the Van Tassells but made up for it at home by raising their oldest son Jeff.

Mike wanted a show dog and the only way he could come up with the money was to sell his 1955 Chevrolet 2-door hardtop that he dearly loved. Mike and Debbie purchased their first "show dog" with this money, and later purchased a Ch. WindCall NightHunter Daughter. They bred her to Ch. Shane McDuff of Koani. This started a lifelong friendship with the Forthals and gave them their first champion. In the '70s they bred a couple of champions and many point winners. In the '80s PRA was everywhere and they were right in the middle of it. Mike and Debbie decided to forego the showing and breeding and just enjoy the dogs and raise thier kids.

In 1991 the Van Tassells went on a family vacation to southern California and ended up at the Forthals for a visit. Later they bought a sable and white bitch that went on to become Ch. Shoreham "N" Hifiv Sparklin. This started Mike and Debbie back in showing and breeding.

What are the most important issues facing the parent club and its members in the next administrative term and what character qualities do you bring to the job that you have learned or developed while working on other CCA projects or from other areas of your life, inside or outside of the dog community, that will be needed to produce solutions? Please
be specific.

The most important issue facing this parent club and its members in the next administration is the unification of our membership. Many factions have developed in this recent election and many hurtful and vicious things have been said about some of the candidates running for office as well as some of our members. I want this to end. It is destructive and counterproductive for both our club and the Collie. No matter who becomes the next President of CCA, it is paramount that in their leadership role, they work with the District Directors and membership at-large to initiate a process of healing. I believe that every member of CCA should have a voice; the novice and the veteran, the judge and the exhibitor, the person with a passion for herding as well as obedience. No part will ever be greater than the whole or common good of the club or the Collie with me at the helm as your President.

Rescue – This remains a significant area of concern for me and our members. We as members need to get to know the prospective members, educate them, mentor them, and give them our years of experience to do what is right by our wonderful breed. We need to emphasize the importance of education.

Anti-Dog Legislation – The CCA is one of the oldest AKC parent clubs on record. We need to be in the forefront in all things. We are the protectors of the COLLIE; we need to start protecting our breed in all possible ways and that includes the support of other breed clubs and all-breed clubs in their fight against anti-dog/pet legislation. We need to form a strong committee to work with our Delegate, and support him in all ways.

Promote Educational Programs – We must identify and implement programs to meet the needs of all members. It is imperative that we continue with the interviews to record our breed history. We need to be in the forefront of educational initiatives on the health issues that affect our breed.

What character qualities do I bring to the job?

I’m honest, hard working, would never ask someone to do a job that I wouldn’t be willing to do myself. I am not afraid to ask for advice or input from any member of this club. I’ve learned that my way is not always the best way and it truly takes a unified effort and everyone working together as a team to build a successful organization. That is why it is so very important that we come together as one large family and learn how to support each other as well as embrace our differences

Within CCA, I have served as your First and Second Vice President as well as a District Director. I have been the Chairman of the Ethics Committee and the Chairman of the Committee to Revise the COE. Through this committee I was able to work with members who have been in the club for many years as well as new members, to blend our thoughts together and come up with a very workable document. I am the President of the Intermountain Kennel Club and the Chairman of the Utah Beehive Cluster. Being in these positions as well as other organizations, I have learned how to interact with people fairly and how to organize their input and get the best results for the people we serve. As a husband, parent, and grandparent, I have learned patience and respect toward others. Through all of life's experiences, I have used the good Lord above and my heart as a guide.

The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole.

– from the AKC Collie Breed Standard

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