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The American Kennel Club and the Board of Directors extend their best wishes and thanks to the recent executives who retired at the close of 2003. These exemplary employees are recognized for many dedicated years of service and commitment to the organization and sport of purebred dogs.

  • Alfred L. Cheaure joined the American Kennel Club in 1996 as Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer, later becoming President and Chief Executive Officer, which he served as until his retirement. Cheaure also served as a Director of the AKC Museum of the Dog and Assistant Show Chairman for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. While in office, numerous steps were taken by the organization to position itself for the twenty-first century. His business experience, integrity, loyalty to the AKC and devotion to the sport has been an invaluable asset.
  • Dolores Alonso has served the AKC for over forty years. In 1971 she became the Supervisor of Registration and continued to move up the ranks in Registration Services, being promoted to Director in 1998. Alonso became Assistant Vice President for Registration Services in 2001. In her accomplished years of service she has experienced many procedural innovations including computerization, use of DNA profiles, and online litter registrations.
  • Barbara Schwartz joined the AKC as Director of Show Event Operations in 1998. She has served in various capacities, becoming Director of Show Operations in 2001 and later Assistant Vice President for Show Operations. In 2003, Schwartz became the AVP for Pet Insurance Coordination and also administered the AKC's Veterinary Outreach Program and Raleigh Support Services. She served as the first Show Chairman for the inaugural 2001 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship show (then the AKC/Eukanuba American Dog Classic) and played a vital role in subsequent shows.
  • Robert H. Slay has served the AKC over thirteen years, beginning as a member of the Executive Field Staff in 1990 where he also served as Director of Performance Evaluation Testing for seven years. Slay became Senior Director of Investigative Services and Compliance in 1997 and in August of the same year was promoted to AVP of Compliance Operations. He then became Vice President, Compliance Operations, serving this post until his retirement. During his tenure in Compliance, new initiatives were developed including the DNA certification program, and the requirement of DNA for frequently used sires, among many other programs that enhanced the AKC.
  • William Speck joined the AKC as a Field Representative for Performance Events in 1993, serving in this capacity for three years. In 1997, Speck became Assistant Director, Performance Events, and by fall of the same year he was promoted to AVP of Performance Events. AKC Performance Events thrived during his ten years of service. His own enthusiastic admiration for the sport was an invaluable asset to the AKC.

“On behalf of the American Kennel Club and the Board of Directors, I would like to thank these dedicated executives for their outstanding commitment to the organization,” said Dennis B. Sprung, AKC's President and Chief Executive Officer. “Their contributions and expertise have resulted in countless innovations and improvements to AKC and we are sincerely appreciative of their service.”