IWCA Committees & Advisory Teams

Standing Committees & Advisory Teams


Helen Philpott, Chair
Melanie Mercer, DVM
David Smith

Breed Ambassador (Advisory Team to Education)

Ellen Kroll, M Ed., Team Lead
Jeniffer Johnson, Team Lead
Ms Risha Cupit-Berzins
Angela Knight
Alissa Muffley
Michael Muffley
Ms Amiee Bunny Ryba, RTR

Judges Education (Advisory Team to Education)

Linda King, Team Lead
Amy Benjamin
Donna Smith


The purpose of the Judges' Education Committee shall be to educate current and aspiring judges in the evaluation of Irish Wolfhounds in the show ring according to the official AKC breed standard.


The Committee shall consist of at least three members: a chair and at least two other members chosen by the chair and approved by the Board. The Committee shall develop project ideas for Board approval, and design and produce audio/visual programs, articles and brochures as approved by the Board.

Chair Responsibilities

The Judges' Education Committee Chair shall:

  • Oversee the work of the Judge’s Education Committee.
  • Act as the Judges' Education Coordinator to AKC, the point of contact for judges' education with AKC and with judges and aspiring judges seeking information.
  • Assume leadership in arranging for mentors, seminar speakers and materials, and work with the sponsoring club in making the arrangements for IWCA-sponsored seminars.
  • Maintain Committee records.
  • Provide successor with all records and materials.


  • The Committee Chairperson shall be an organized, effective leader with good interpersonal skills and shall have been a IWCA member for at least twenty years and shall have had at least twenty years of documented experience in showing and breeding Irish Wolfhounds, having bred at least five litters of Irish Wolfhounds, and produced at least four AKC Champions of Record from those litters.
  • It is preferred that the chairperson be an AKC approved judge, but barring that, the chairperson shall have Irish Wolfhound judging experience minimally at the Sweepstakes level.
  • Each general Committee member (except the person defined in the previous bullet) shall have been an IWCA member for at least fifteen years and shall have had at least fifteen years of documented experience in showing and breeding Irish Wolfhounds, having bred at least five litters of Irish Wolfhounds and produced at least four AKC Champions of Record from those litters.
  • At least one of the three on this Committee shall have entirely breeder/owner/handled an Irish Wolfhound to an AKC conformation championship.

Typical Topics/Projects

  • Audio/visual programs, articles, brochures and seminar handouts which help illuminate and clarify the judging of Irish Wolfhounds in the conformation ring, according to the AKC approved breed standard.
  • Maintain a list of seminar speakers and tutors, selected by the subcommittee and approved by the Board, for presenting programs to judges and others around the country.
  • Maintain a list of mentors, selected by the Committee and approved by the Board, for providing one-on-one mentoring to judges and aspiring judges.

Approved February 4, 2012

Public/Members Education (Advisory Team to Education)

Helen Philpott, Team Lead
Melanie Mercer, DVM, Team Lead
David Berzins
Casey Kilcullen-Steiner
Linda King
Angela Knight
Emma Lambeth
David Smith
Briget Wandruff
Mrs Margaret Wolfe


Irish Wolfhound education for the Public: develop info packets sent when requested of the IWCA. (From old Policies doc., undated)


Develop programs and procedures for educating the public on responsible dog ownership.


  • Research areas of need and attempt to develop materials to fill those needs.
  • Organize materials for "Meet the Breed" type events so that they are readily available for presentations.
  • Revise/ update AKC Handout that goes to IW Owners registering a dog.
  • Co-ordinate with the website Chair.

Effective October 2010; revised-J Mattson-03/03/2014


Kim Staman, Chair
Eugenia Hunter
David Smith


The Finance Committee is established to oversee the funding of the club.  


Its membership consists of the President, Treasurer and one other Board member, appointed by the President.


  • To prepare a budget for the fiscal year beginning in January of each year and to submit it to the Board at its regular Winter meeting.
  • As needed, to prepare amendments to the budget for the current fiscal year, which may be adopted by a majority vote of the Board.
  • As requested by the board, to review project proposals and/or projected expenditures for potential impact on the club’s financial position, and prepare recommendations to the Board.

prepared- P. Cobb 2/22/14

Company Store (Advisory Team to Finance)

Harp and Hound

Sue Williams, Interim Editor
Linda King
Jeanne Patterson

Committee-wide email address:

Statement of Purpose

Harp & Hound (H&H), founded in 1949 as successor to the News Bulletin and the biennial Yearbook, is the official print publication of and for communication with and education of members of the Irish Wolfhound Club of America, Inc. (IWCA). It is published quarterly, in color and in black and white. Content consists of information that appeals to all owners of Irish Wolfhounds: breeders, conformation exhibitors, participants in both companion and performance events, and, most importantly, those who have our hounds simply to enjoy their good company. This includes material on training, health, veterinary issues, history, art, shows, activities and anecdotal stories of the joy of our wonderful breed, among other topics. 

Harp & Hound serves as a permanent record of the history of the Irish Wolfhound in the United States and of the official business of the club through publishing the minutes of the club’s board of directors and membership meetings throughout the years. H&H is charged with documenting the IWCA’s Annual National Specialty Show, as well as the results, judges’ critiques and certain photographs of the eleven (11) regional Irish Wolfhound specialty shows in the US.

Other than the one (1) National Specialty Issue, H&H focuses on a specific topic of interest to the membership in the remaining three (3) issues per year, while providing regular content in the form of coverage of the regional specialties, club minutes, publication of applicants for membership, letters to and from its editorial board, a letter from the club’s president, remembrances of IWCA members who have passed and other items of historic significance. IWCA members are encouraged to contribute material and to advertise in H&H within specific guidelines, which aids in offsetting the cost of publication and distribution.

The Editorial Board is dedicated to providing a publication that is on-time, balanced in recognition of the diversity of the IWCA membership and reflective of the guiding principles of the club, while diligently maintaining the budgetary limits established by the board of directors.

Health and Research

Mariellen Dentino, MD, Chair
Tina Berry
Beth Chastain, MD
Melanie Mercer, DVM
Beth Renstrom
Kerri Shandro, DVM
Dr. Alice Timmerman

CHIC (Advisory Team to Health and Research)

Lynne Rosebrock, Team Lead


It is the responsibility of the AKC/CHIC Liaison to act as the representative for the IWCA to the AKC Canine Health Information Center.


  • Receive quarterly reports of the Irish Wolfhounds newly enrolled or status updated in the CHIC roster.
  • Make this information available to the Board and to the editor of Harp and Hound.
  • Make periodic appeals to the membership through the Harp and Hound, the IWCA Website and at public forums regarding the CHIC Database.
  • Encourage breeders to perform the recommended health screens and submit the information to the database.

Effective October 2010

Reviewed by Lynne R, 2/27/14


Jeniffer Johnson, Chair
Peter Brown
Emma Lambeth
Mary O'Malley
Courtney Smith
Kim Staman

Committee-wide email address:


It is the responsibility of the Internet Committee to oversee the Irish Wolfhound Club of America’s electronic communications with its members and the public.


  • Maintaining and updating the IWCA Website.
  • Maintaining and overseeing the Official IWCA email list.
  • Maintaining and overseeing the Irish Wolfhound Club of America’s Facebook page.


  • Makes and carries out recommendations for appropriate use of email list, Facebook page and website.
  • Provides support to the Webmaster.
  • Reviews, maintains and updates website content to assure that it is presented in a manner that accurately reflects the club. Assures content is accurate, current, useful to readers and is suitable for electronic media, particularly webpages and documents that are available to the membership and general public.
  • Publicizes website and related internet resources.
  • Communicates and implements the club's policies regarding how electronic tools are used and monitored.
  • Oversees administration of the club’s internet privacy and security practices.
  • Provides basic information to members about accessing the club’s website, email list and Facebook page.
  • Determines who is appropriate to join and participate in email lists and Facebook page, taking appropriate action in situations of improper use that may include removing a participant.

Prepared-M Lubera-02/21/2014

Social Media (Advisory Team to Internet)

Jeniffer Johnson, Team Lead
Emma Lambeth
Mary O'Malley
Courtney Smith
Kim Staman

Website (Advisory Team to Internet)

Jeniffer Johnson, Team Lead
Peter Brown
Emma Lambeth
Mary O'Malley
Courtney Smith
Kim Staman


Carole Silverthorne, Chair
Peter Brown
A.I. (Nina) Gottsch
Joseph Roland


See IWCA Bylaws, Article II and Membership Committee .

  • Receive applications for membership in the club. Provide list of applicants to the secretary and to the editor of Harp and Hound for publication, and receive resulting letters of comment.
  • The membership chairman will keep files of membership applications.  
  • An applicant for active membership should be an associate member for at least two years.
  • New associate members are sent both Harp and Hounds for the year to which their dues are first applied, even if they join after the first issue has been mailed.
  • Associate memberships are not transferable.
  • Retain the procedure of charging for IWCA membership list.


To facilitate the process by which new members are brought into the IWCA.


  • Provide, receive and retain all applications for membership in the Club.
  • Assure that all requirements have been met by the applicants.
  • Collect and submit all application fees to the Treasurer.
  • Send each applicant a Board-approved letter of receipt of application.
  • Provide a list of all applicants by name, city and state (names of each active applicant's sponsors are also required) to the Harp & Hound Editor and to the Club Secretary, for publication in the next issue of Harp & Hound or the next general Club mailing, for comment from the membership.
  • Receive resulting letters of comment, if any.
  • Bring all applicants' names before the Board for approval or rejection not sooner than 30 days, nor later than 60 days following such publication.

Effective October 2010 Reviewed 3/5/14 Glynis Littlewood

Club Liaison (Advisory Team to Membership)

Angela Knight, Team Lead
Tina Berry – Irish Wolfhound Club of Willamette Valley
Patricia Cobb – Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast
Maureen English – Irish Wolfhound Association of the Garden State
Linda King – Potomac Valley Irish Wolfhound Club / Irish Wolfhound Association of the Carolinas
Sherry Mayo – Irish Wolfhound Association of New England
Marilyn McClaskey – Northstar Irish Wolfhound Club
Belle McCluskey – Irish Wolfhound Club of Puget Sound
Dick Morrison – South Central Irish Wolfhound Club
Joseph Roland – Irish Wolfhound Association of the Delaware Valley
Sarah Shorey-Wickholm – Rocky Mountain Irish Wolfhound Association
Courtney Smith – Great Lakes Irish Wolfhound Association
Sue Williams – Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club


Present issues that concern our regional clubs and other IW groups regarding the IW. This group meets at the Nationals.


It is the responsibility and opportunity of the liaison committee to initiate and follow through with communications between the IWCA and the local regional clubs, and any club or group relating to Irish Wolfhounds, creating a positive opportunity for these organizations to maintain and continue dialogue about any club business, concerns, and experiences, regarding clubs and Irish Wolfhounds.


This should be facilitated by ongoing dialogues, through the Regional local club liaison people, the website, and a formal meeting at the National Specialty, chaired by the chairman of the Liaison Committee for the IWCA.

Effective November 9, 2011

Reviewed-C Smalley-02/21/2014

Longevity Recognition Program (Advisory Team to Membership)

A.I. (Nina) Gottsch, Team Lead
Maria Lubera

Outstanding Sportsmanship (Advisory Team to Membership)

Joseph Roland, Team Lead

Performance and Versatility

David Berzins, Chair
Donna Cassini
Carole Silverthorne
Courtney Smith


Lure Coursing Committee. Coordinate IWCA sponsored coursing and racing events at National Specialty and at regional events.

Obedience Committee. Coordinate IWCA obedience events at the National Specialty. 


  • To coordinate IWCA sponsored performance events at National Specialty and regional events.
  • To direct and oversee the process for Versatility awards. 
  • Additional duties as indicated and/or needed.


The IWCA Performance & Versatility Committee shall consist of: 1 Chairperson, 2 Co-Chairs, and 3-4 additional committee members.

The Committee shall coordinate the performance events at the IWCA National Specialty, consisting of Lure Coursing, LGRA, Obedience and Rally.

  1. The co-chairs shall work with the specialty show chair to approve a show committee person to select sites for the performance events.
  2. Make the necessary applications to AKC, ASFA, and LGRA to hold events.
  3. Co-chair may do or have done the premiums for each event.
  4. Suggest judges for each event to the performance chair, who will present the proposed judges to the IWCA board for approval.
  5. The performance chair shall write the contracts for all performance judges. These contracts shall be sent to the IWCA treasurer for approval and mailing.
  6. The performance committee chair and co-chairs will solicit sponsors for all performance trophies. They will contact the Trophy chair for current price list and provide a list of trophies needed to the trophy chair. The number of ribbons and rosettes needed for each event will be provided to the show Ribbons chair.

The Committee chair shall coordinate the Versatility award process.

  1. Annually accept and review all applications for Versatility and Versatility Excellent awards.
  2. Have all performance certificates and medallions made, and have ready to award at the National Specialty judges dinner.
  3. Review Versatility award guidelines and suggest and or make corrections or additions as needed. This would include contacting the other sighthound parent clubs and discussing any possible changes to the current guidelines, i.e. obedience and rally.

Additional duties of the performance committee shall include:

  1. Search National Specialty records to compile a list of all previous Lure Coursing, LGRA, Obedience and Rally top winners at the annual specialty show and have this list included in the specialty catalog.
  2. Develop a new Performance award/trophy to serve as a special award for a special Irish wolfhound, i.e. “IWCA Hound Hall of Fame.” Develop a name for the award and the criteria to be nominated for this award and determine how often it could be awarded. Once developed, accept applications for the award, review applications and present this information to the IWCA board.

Effective October 2010; updated-M Demeter-03/07/14


Melanie Mercer, DVM, Chair
A.I. (Nina) Gottsch
Eugenia Hunter


The IWCA establishes a Rescue Committee chaired by a National Rescue Coordinator.

Responds to inquiries from the public, providing breed and rescue information.

  • Arrange for reimbursement funds, with proper documentation. Maintain a Reimbursement Journal, with monthly totals to be included in the committee board reports.
  • Produce a Rescue Directory and keep the website directory up to date.
  • Coordinate rescue help for owners/shelters, using local rescue contacts.
  • The IWCA will consider payment of up to $500 for medical costs, additional funds require board approval.  Reimbursement will then be authorized upon a veterinarian statement of spay/neuter and receipted bill.  All requests for rescue reimbursement will be sent to the National Rescue Coordinator (NRC). The NRC will direct parties to regional clubs in their area. If the request is not or cannot be addressed by an appropriate regional club, then the costs, up to the approved limit will be paid out of the IWCA Rescue Fund according to our guidelines. Reimbursements are to be on a first come, first serve basis until monies have been exhausted.
  • With proper documentation, the Rescue Assistance Chair may reimburse gas mileage for rescuing hounds.

Rescue Protocol

After receiving a Rescue Grant Application and a copy of the animal hospital bill, the Rescue Chair will approve the grant request sending it to the IW Foundation. Note: The Irish Wolfhound Foundation requires a Rescue Grant Application be completed and approved (by the Rescue Chair) before any grants are released. The Rescue Grant paperwork is posted on the Foundation’s website at

  1. The IW Foundation will send a check directly to the animal hospital for the full approved amount.
  2. The Rescue Chair will send a copy of the Rescue Grant Application and the animal hospital bill to the IWCA treasurer.
  3. The IWCA will then respond by sending an earmarked rescue donation to the IW Foundation for 50% of the bill.

The IW Foundation will acknowledge that donation in writing to the IWCA treasurer.


The NRC will communicate with the general public and our rescue volunteers, returning their phone calls/emails in a prompt, friendly manner.

All new rescue volunteers applying to be listed in our Rescue Directory will be asked to supply the NRC with their rescue paperwork – primarily a Rescue Application, Release Form, & Adoption Contract. If help is required, example forms will be provided by the NRC. The IWCA does not cover rescue volunteers with liability insurance. Removal from the Rescue Directory will be handled by the IWCA Board (in executive session).


The Rescue Assistance Committee shall consist of: 1 Chairperson and 2 additional Committee Board Members. The NRC will share the IWCA and the IW Foundation rescue funds equally, for each rescue request.

Effective 04/28/2013; reviewed-J Minnier-03/10/14

Specialty Oversight and Development

Kim Staman, Chair
Angela Knight
Ms. Tracey Luty
Doug Marx
Helen Philpott

Angela Knight & Helen Philpott - 2024 National Specialty Chairs


Responsible for the overall planning, execution and reporting of results of the National Specialty, utilizing the AKC Show/Trial Manual from the American Kennel Club as the principal guide. Appoints and oversees the various Show Committee Chairs and ensures that all planning details of the Specialty are completed by the deadlines.


  • Appoints standing committees to perform the many functions of the National Specialty and recruits individuals to Chair each committee. Distributes copies of all committee descriptions and responsibilities to each Committee Chair.
  • Ensures all planning details are completed in time frame indicated.
  • Participates in site and host hotel selection and prepares and assists in submission of proposal to IWCA Board for approval.
  • Works with the Show Chair to secure host hotel and site contracts.
  • Works with the Show Chair, IWCA Treasurer and Board to establish an initial budget. After budget is approved, informs all committee heads of the funds available for each activity.
  • Works with the Show and appropriate committee chairs to set rates for entry fees and activities such as banquet meals, catalog advertising, seminars and other activities.
  • Works directly with the Show Chairs in the coordinating of the events and setting the tentative schedule of events and activities.  
  • In conjunction with Show Chair, responsible for contracting judges and other professional services including Show Secretary, AKC Superintendent, Emergency Veterinarian, Event Photographer and Videographer, professional stewards (if desired), etc.  
  • In collaboration with Show Committees, prepares all information needed for AKC and IWCA event applications.
  • Collaborates with Show Chair to prepare mailing list/labels for all the required mailings (e.g. premium list, judging programs, etc.).
  • Works with the Committee Chairs to gather content needed for the Specialty Premium Lists.

Prepared 03/06/14

Advisory Teams Reporting to the Board


David Smith, Team Lead
Mary Ellen Shriver


Store, organize and maintain the archives documenting the history of the club. (From Ongoing Assignments section of old Policies document)


The Archivist is responsible for maintaining as much of the IWCA’s historical documentation as possible. Included are bound copies of Harp and Hound, secretarial correspondence, marked catalogs of IWCA specialty shows, donated books and pamphlets, videos of specialty shows (when such are arranged for) etc.


  • The Archivist maintains a documented list of all items in the archive.
  • The Archivist finds and maintains a secure location for the archive.

reviewed by J Pitt 2/19/14

Film and Photo Library

David Berzins, Team Lead
Mark Berry
Jeniffer Johnson
Mindy Levin
Mary O'Malley

Committee-wide email address:


Collect, organize and maintain still photos and moving pictures of Irish Wolfhounds.


  • Collect and store photos and film of Irish Wolfhounds.
  • Organize such items in a useful format.
  • Obtain clearances from photographers for use in Club publications.
  • Contribute photographic material to the IWCA website when needed.
  • Contribute photographic material to Harp & Hound when needed.


  • Obtain clearances for use of photos and film from the owners of the work.
  • Store materials in the most popular and useful formats for use in Club publications.

Prepared-M O'Malley-04/08/15


Eugenia Hunter, Team Lead
David Smith
Kim Staman


The job of Governance Committee is to assure that the Board of Directors operates under the legal requirements of the State of Illinois, the Bylaws of the American Kennel Club, and the Bylaws of the Irish Wolfhound Club of America. The Governance Committee is responsible for reviewing the IWCA bylaws and recommending amendments needed to remain current with changes in state laws and AKC policies.


The job of Governance Committee is to assure that the Board of Directors operates under the legal requirements of the State of Illinois, the Bylaws of the American Kennel Club, and the Bylaws of the Irish Wolfhound Club of America. The Governance Committee is responsible for reviewing the IWCA Bylaws and recommending amendments needed to remain current with changes in state laws and AKC policies.


  • Make and carry out recommendations for changes and clarification to the Bylaws of the IWCA.
  • Review and update the Bylaws of the IWCA.
  • Assure that the procedures outlined in the Bylaws are followed at Board meetings and all other club sponsored events.
  • Assess and recommend changes necessary to keep the Bylaws of the IWCA up to date with changes in state laws and AKC policies.
  • Continually review the IWCA’s Bylaws and recommend alterations to clarify, simplify and modernize the club’s operations.
  • Implement Bylaw revisions once approved through the channels outlined.
  • Oversee the administration of the IWCA’s Bylaws.

Prepared-B Stolpe-03/05/2014

Judges Selection

David Smith, Team Lead
Doug Marx
Kim Staman

Policy and Procedure

Pamela Boles, Team Lead
Kim Staman


It is the responsibility of the Policy Committee to ensure that the IWCA’s policies, procedures, codes and standards of ethical conduct and behavior remain current for the Board of Directors and the general membership.


Maintain and update the club’s policies, procedures, codes and standards for the Board of Directors and the general membership.


  • Make and carry out recommendations for changes and clarification to the club’s policies, procedures, codes and
  • Review, maintain and update the policies, procedures, codes and standards.
  • Assure that the content of these documents is accurate, current and pertinent for conducting club business.
  • Communicate any changes to the policies, procedures, codes and standards to the Board for approval and assure
  • Implement the club’s policies once approved.
  • Oversee administration of the club’s policies, procedures, codes and standards.

Prepared-B Stolpe-03/05/2014