New York, NY - The Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Dennis B. Sprung as acting President and Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 2004 following the retirement of Alfred L. Cheauré.
"Dennis brings years of experience and expertise to this position, having been involved in the fancy for 35 years as a breeder, exhibitor, club officer, judge and delegate," said Ronald H. Menaker, AKC Chairman of the Board. "This expertise, coupled with the broad scope of his responsibilities over the last 15 years, make him most qualified to take on this role. The Board has every confidence that his proven leadership abilities will enable the AKC to achieve its goals and fulfill its mission in the future."
Sprung has been involved with AKC shows since 1968. He and his wife Susan served in many capacities in clubs and bred Afghan Hounds and Greyhounds. Dogs they owned or bred have won both Parent Club national specialties and over 175 all breed Best In Shows.
He joined the AKC as an Executive Field Representative in 1989. In April of 1990, he was promoted to Assistant Vice President in the Dog Events department and a year later assumed the additional responsibility of Director of the Field Staff. In March of 1994, he was appointed Vice President of Dog Events. In 1997, Sprung took over the responsibility of Vice President of Planning and Development, which included relocating the AKC headquarters. In 2001 he was named Vice President of Corporate Relations. In 2002, Dennis created DOGNY, a fundraising and public art project which increased awareness of the AKC's commitment to Search and Rescue dogs, raising $2.5 million. Most recently, he was elected as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Kennel Club in April, 2003. He also serves as Vice President of AKC Companion Animal Recovery a 501C(3).
Prior to joining AKC, Sprung was a Delegate for 10 years from the Bronx County Kennel Club and also served as President. In 1993 he was honored with the "Fido" award for Dog Man of the Year. The Sprung's share their home with Ruby, a five year old Pekingese.