As published in the Retriever News issue October 2022. To read these letters online, scroll down ...
an announcement from our owners: national open and national amateur retriever clubs
An Announcement from the National Retriever Club and the National Amateur Retriever Club
September 11, 2022
As joint owners of Retriever Field Trial News, Inc., it is with great regret that we announce that the National Retriever Club and National Amateur Retriever Club have accepted the resignations of both President & Editor-in-Chief John Stracka and Managing Editor & Vice President Tina Styan. In conjunction with that news, Retriever News recently finalized the reconstitution of the Retriever News Board members and appointed new board members. We would also like to thank all of the prior Board members: Dennis Bath, Vice President, John Russell, Secretary/Treasurer, Grayson Kelley and Chris Hatch and express our appreciation for their years of service.
We are proud to announce the list of our sports people that have volunteered their time to work on the Board, especially the new officers. The newly appointed Board consists of: Retriever News Officers Jim Rickoff, President and Editor-in-Chief Paul Hanson, Vice President Bubba Joiner, Secretary/Treasurer Tommy Parrish, Co-Manager ESMC, LLC (EE) Retriever News Board Members Steve Bireley Alvin Hatcher Mark Medford Kirk Naisbitt Randy Spangler Jeff Talley This is the beginning of a very difficult transitional process, but we understand their sentiments.
John wants to spend more time with his family and dogs. Tina is retiring and wishes to enjoy her new exciting adventure overseas.
Since coming on board in 2010, John Stracka has provided a backbone for both Retriever News and its half ownership of Entry Express and had maintained a reliable operating format and a very successful entity meeting the ideals of the National Club’s Board of Directors while supporting the Field Trial Retriever Community. John has assured a positive image and reporting of 40+ National events, publication of the RN magazine and the Newsletter, and continued accurate tracking and recording of nearly 900,000 dogs entered through EE and RN. John had been an anchor to our field trial community in this capacity and will truly be missed.
Tina Styan has become the mainstay of Retriever News. She has published over 150 issues of the magazine, curating over 800 articles for those editions. In addition, the field trial community sits, eagerly awaiting each of the National blog updates and articles that Tina and her crew provide during our National field trials. Tina is always “there,” ready to answer her phone, help provide information, answer questions, put out “fires,” while always able to make you smile.
Both John and Tina have worked tirelessly to assure Retriever News has been an educational tool functioning year after year to enhance judging with hundreds of topics addressed in “Judges Corner.” Entry Express and Retriever News platforms have also motivated significant charitable funds and visibility for the AKC Canine Health Foundation. We expect this service to the community to continue as the publication approaches its 80th Anniversary year in 2024.
The two National Boards, and the entire field trial community owe these two wonderful people so much for their individual work, time, and their love for our sport. Thank you so much, have a happy future and be assured, you left RN better than ever. Respectfully, The Boards of the National Retriever Club and the National Amateur Retriever Club
a message from john stracka
A Message from President and Editor-in-Chief John Stracka Back in 2010, Dennis Bath needed some help with a “little project” and today I fully appreciate the role he filled, where volunteering at the “News” took him, and how many people and “projects” both he and the “News” supported. For me, that project turned into twelve years of volunteer work at Retriever News as President and Chief Editor. It has been personally satisfying to meet so many people, support judges’ education, the National Championships, charity towards the Canine Health Foundation, and also working to maintain a single community event entry system. Retriever News’ “little projects” touch virtually all aspects of our sport. I believe it is time for new volunteer stewardship for Retriever News as it continues its broad role in our community. To initiate this new beginning, I have been planning an orderly resignation as a Board Member, President, and Chief Editor of Retriever News and I am withdrawing as a managing member of ESMC, LLC (Entry Express).
Separately and unbeknownst to most, Tina Styan has decided to complete her transition to Scotland and also retire at the same time. We honestly did not know each other’s plans and it makes this more difficult, but it will also allow a clean slate looking forward for our new volunteer management. Volunteering with Retriever News has been a very consuming “project” as Dennis put it many years ago and I fully understand Tina’s decision.
Thank you Dennis Bath and Tina Styan from the entire Retriever Community! I also need to thank John Russell for all of us in the community. John has shared more of his time “keeping our sport together” than anyone else I know. The misquoted old saying is that “it takes a village” – and these three individuals have been critical to our sport and Retriever News and all it does for the community. There are too many friends to mention everyone that has helped make the Retriever News a special part of the community and I know they will continue to help when asked. Thank you all for your support. Additionally, we are grateful that Sara Sommerfeld and other staff members remain as the main point of contact with the community for continuity.
Our game has been played for many decades and I am humbled when I think about all the volunteers that made it possible, all the “projects” undertaken to make it better. Volunteering makes the game happen whether we are volunteering at the Retriever News, local clubs, judging, writing, or throwing birds. The sport isn’t possible without each of us working as volunteers. I am grateful many capable and trusted friends will be taking over at Retriever News. I will be continuing to help and also volunteer at events, training our dogs and keeping the grounds up!
Respectfully, John Stracka President and Editor-in Chief
A note FROM tina styan
A Note from Managing Editor and Vice President Tina Styan “You have a dream job!” I have been told over the years by my friends and colleagues. I don’t disagree. But circumstances change and time marches on … So, it is with deep sorrow that I have decided to leave my position as Managing Editor and Vice-President of Retriever News after a decade and a half of service.
Retriever Field Trial News, Inc. – RFTN – Retriever News – RN – or just the “News” – whatever you may call this amazing publication – has been in existence for more than 75 years “Serving the Sport Since 1944” – 2024 will be our 80th Anniversary! I am very honored to have played a role in its stewardship. I do feel a bit like a caretaker – an archivist of sorts – caring for an institution that has survived many changes and ups and downs over the years. I don’t doubt that it will continue for a long time to come.
My expectation is that these changes will open new doors and create new possibilities. Who knows to what lengths this institution can go? … Realizing new ideas and concepts to come. I think it will be a very exciting time for RN and I hope that our Retriever Community will continue to support its projects.
I will stay on through the National Open in Paducah, KY and will attend that event. I hope to see many of you there; both friends and colleagues to say “so long.” I am hopeful that I will be useful during the transition and will be working in the background to help out in any way that I can.
Retiring is often an emotional process and anyone who knows me will know that this won’t be easy … you know how strongly I feel about our organizations – both the magazine and the two National clubs. My heart will forever be in the Retriever Community’s debt for allowing me this remarkable opportunity – the job of a lifetime!
All the best, Tina Styan Managing Editor and Vice President