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The American Kennel Club® (AKC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 AKC® Lifetime Achievement Awards: Walter F. Goodman (Conformation), James J. Ham (Companion Events) and Jo Ann Frier-Murza (Performance). The three recipients will receive engraved silver Revere bowls on Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at the AKC Delegates luncheon held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, California. A sterling silver Tiffany and Co. bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, is on permanent display at AKC headquarters in New York City.

The AKC Lifetime Achievement Awards were created to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of purebred dogs on a national level. The recipients were selected from votes cast by AKC member clubs for nominees in the categories of Conformation, Companion Events and Performance.


The 2011 recipients are:

Conformation: Walter F. Goodman of Miami, Florida
A breeder-owner-handler of Skye Terriers, Walter Goodman has finished 35 champions, garnering 99 Best in Show awards and more than 300 Terrier Group firsts, including the 1971 Westminster group winner. His Ch. Glamoor Good News won Best in Show at the Garden in 1969. Mr. Goodman is a two-time winner of the Kennel Review Male Owner-Handler of the Year and the Quaker Oats owner-handler award.

A judge since 1977, Mr. Goodman is approved for all terriers, the Terrier Group, Toy Manchester Terriers, Best in Show, and Junior Showmanship. He has been a member of the Skye Terrier Club of America for more than 50 years and is a past president and vice president, as well as a member of the Palm Beach Dog Fancier’s Association. Walter is president and chief steward for the Montgomery County Kennel Club, host of the world’s largest annual terrier show. He holds membership in the Westbury Kennel Association, the Westminster Kennel Club, and The Kennel Club (England).

Since 1988, Walter has served on the AKC Board of Directors, chairing several committees. He is a director of the AKC Museum of the Dog and is on the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School. Professionally, Walter was a trust officer and assistant vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank, an associate producer for NBC Television and Mike Ellis Productions, and the retired president and senior partner of the Goodman-Flanders company. He graduated from Yale University.


Companion Events: James J. Ham of Harrison Township, Michigan
James Ham grew up surrounded by dogs, but didn’t attend his first dog show until well into adulthood. In 1970, he purchased a $100 pet Dalmatian. While attending a show, Jim saw the Utility Class for the first time. He thought that a clean run in Utility was a beautiful thing. He still does. That $100 Dal achieved American/Canadian Championship titles as well as American/Canadian UDT (Utility Dog/Tracking Dog) titles, the first to do so. 

Jim taught basic obedience and assisted more experienced instructors with advanced classes. He has trained and exhibited several other Dalmatians, two Smooth Fox Terriers, and now has Border Terriers. He also exhibits in breed, agility and rally.

He began judging twenty-six years ago, and has judged in every state, save one. In 1999, he judged at sixty-nine trials, and judged 1,980 dogs. During the early years in the sport, Jim admired two judges in particular, Hugh McLean and Chuck Bush, who were supportive and encouraging. Jim has tried to emulate these two wonderful gentlemen. He is also approved to judge the Terrier and Non-Sporting Groups, as well as some Hounds, Toys and Herding breeds, Junior Showmanship and Best in Show.

For many years, Jim has been the obedience, rally, and agility chairman for the Oakland County Kennel Club. Along with many years of obedience, tracking and agility experience, Jim has also been active in the breed ring, breeding and exhibiting several top terriers, both Smooth Fox and Borders.


Performance: Jo Ann Frier-Murza of Crosswicks, New Jersey
Jo Ann Frier-Murza has promoted, chaired, judged and hosted earthdog events and den trials (a precursor to AKC Earthdog) for over 35 years. She worked with the AKC advisory panel developing the earthdog program in 1993, and later, on its review panel. As a dedicated teacher, Jo Ann has developed a process to instill confidence in newcomers to the sport. Her facility, Village Green Farm Earthdog Center, introduces numerous new dogs and assists advanced level dogs each year through classes and fun days. She has also written Earthdog Ins & Outs, which describes the early history of earthdogs, breed characteristics, training techniques and hosting events.

Jo Ann has pursued earthdog titles with her own dogs, earning multiple Master Earthdog titles as well as field championships on four Dachshunds. She has also bred Border Terriers and shown them to conformation championships, and has achieved obedience titles on Bedlington, Bull and Border Terriers.

Jo Ann was the founder of the New Jersey Beanfield Earthdogs Club and has been an officer or board member of the American Working Terrier Association, the Border Terrier Club of America, the Garden State All Terrier Club, the Princeton Dog Training Club and the Allgemeiner Schutzhund Klub, in addition to membership in the Dachshund Club of America. She has also been an active member of other all-breed and obedience clubs during her 38 years with purebred dogs.