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The American Kennel Club is pleased to announce that John Lyons has been elected to the position of Chief Operating Officer effective March 1, 2004.

Lyons has over 30 years involvement in the sport of purebred dogs. He has served in numerous capacities including, breeder, exhibitor, multi-group judge, national and regional specialty chairperson, and AKC delegate. Additionally, John is the President of the Dalmatian Club of America and is presently Show Chairman for the Monticello Kennel Club, a position he has held since 1979.

According to Ron Menaker, Chairman of the Board, "The appointment of John Lyons is the culmination of a diligent search process which took place over the last few months. The search included the thorough consideration of almost 100 applicants, and eventually resulted in narrowing the field to six individuals from the sport and/or the business community. The Board believes we have found the right person for the right position."

Lyons joins the American Kennel Club following his upcoming retirement as District Manager at the Social Security Administration in Hudson Valley, New York, where he has been employed for the past 30 years.

"I am proud to welcome John to the AKC team," said Dennis B. Sprung, President and CEO. "He brings extensive management experience to the position, as well as a proven commitment and passion for our sport. His background in providing quality customer service to numerous constituencies, as well as his systems experience and knowledge of operations are valuable resources for the sport's future."

Lyons will be relocating to Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Sharon, also an AKC judge, and their five Dalmatians.