Thank you to all of the members who volunteered to be on the MSCA Board of Directors pro tem for the remainder of 2022. The BOD had more responses and offers than positions to fill and we are beyond excited for the future of the Maremma Sheepdog.
MSCA 2022 Board of Directors The MSCA BOD is proud to preserve and protect the integrity of the Maremma Sheepdog, as well as support and encourage a growing membership. We look forward to a bright future for the breed and for the Club.
Fiduciary duties are bundled into three, sometimes four, different specific responsibilities.
Duty of Care
An officer or director’s duty of care is found in their duty to exercise sound business judgment. They use consideration when making decisions for the non-profit. Exercising proper duty of care looks like prudently considering business options and making a reasonable decision, based on the information, in a good faith act. The standard for the duty of care is based on what a person “in a like position would reasonably do under similar circumstances.”
Duty of Loyalty
This duty exemplifies the selflessness that defines a fiduciary duty. The duty of loyalty commands a director to always act responsibly for the corporation and always act in the corporation’s best interests rather than oneself. The duty of loyalty is expected when making decisions and when refraining or excluding oneself from making business decisions.
Duty to Act Lawfully
This duty is self-explanatory. Expected to act per the law is part of an officer’s fiduciary duties. Reasonably, one would not merit trust from the corporations members if an officer did not follow the law when making business decisions. Duty to Act With/In Good Faith
This duty is not always recognized explicitly because it can be inherent to the first duty. This duty, as mentioned previously, represents an officer or director’s genuine belief and trust that his decision for the business will be beneficial to the organization. As a fiduciary, the rule of thumb is to always act in your client’s best interests or the corporation and member’s best interests.
Kate Sorensen President
Westlope Ranch Bozeman, MT I am passionate about the beautiful Maremma breed, providing support and education for owners, and helping any dog in need of rescue. As President of the MSCA, I am in the position to help this beautiful breed grow and thrive as well as support fellow Maremma owners.
I grew up on a farm in South Dakota where my family raised hogs, cows, and grain crops. My father, brother, and I are still active in the operations of the 100+ year old family farm.
I got my first dog as a present when I turned 5 from my parents. It was a rough collie named Muffy, who lived on our farm for a happy 14 years. This started my love for dogs, especially the working dog breeds.
After receiving my Bachelor’s in elementary education, I moved to Montana to teach school. I have spent most of my adult life living in Montana, except for a five year sojourn to SoCal.
My husband and I currently raise Maremmas and Border Collies as well as operate Montana Dog Rescue, which focuses primarily on the working dog breeds. We live in the mountains of Montana with goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, and most recently pigs. Our Maremmas guard the livestock, protecting them from the local predators which include mountain lion, fox, coyote, bear, wolf, skunks, weasel, and occasionally raptors. Our Maremmas not only guard but are our friends and working companions and their temperament is such that they are happy and well equipped to work in the field but also love being loved by our grandchildren.
When I am not working here on our property with dogs and livestock, I teach 4th grade at our local Catholic school and piano lessons to a small group of students.
I am a third generation Seattleite, I graduated from WSU Magna Cum Laude and raised my family in Seattle as well as in on the Coast. 10 years ago we made the decision to relocate to the Family Farm in Oakville, Washington. It is here, nestled in the foothills of the Willapa Hills, that I started my adventure with farming. My focus was the gorgeous and practical Icelandic sheep of which I am now a top breeder in the NW.
I chose Maremma’s to guard my flock. This is when I fell in love with the Maremma’s and became a breeder of these amazing dogs. I have raised over 70 puppies over the past 10 years. I feel that each special puppy is deserving of a wonderful home and while I focus on working homes, I have made rare exceptions for companion homes. I am a hands on breeder and every owner has my consultation for the lifetime of their puppy.
I have long been concerned about the direction of the Maremma Club, as it has become increasingly exclusive and punitive. Breeders left, many offended, and who lost in the end and the biggest victim of this elitist club approach was our beloved Maremma Sheepdogs.
I am for the Maremma Sheepdogs first and foremost. I love these dogs, we have 13 of them. They are so much more than a working dog. They are the heart of our farm, they protect our livestock, our property and our family. They are our friends, our helpers and true members of our family. I have a great love for every single Maremma for they are a truly noble breed.
I am running in this election because I have a vision of a club that puts the Maremma Sheepdogs first. I want to see inclusivity and a camaraderie that is essential to every great association. I want to see networking and the ability of breeders to find amazing homes for their puppies. I want a see breeders to be self regulating to a large degree that allows them to design a program that truly works for them and their dogs and clients. I want to see education and support for the breeder on a myriad of issues. I want to see every single Maremma to have the home of its dreams!
My vision for the club is a different look than what we have seen for the past several years. If your vision is what I have described, I truly hope that you will vote for me to be on the board of the Maremma Club as a Board Member at Large.
Below, I listed the following questions we were asked by the board with my answers for your information. I want you to feel free to connect with me through email or a PM if you have any questions or thoughts. I am always accessible!
Experience you have that would be helpful in this Board position?
As I mentioned in my biography, I have had 10 years of experience raising Maremma’s. I have raised over 70 puppies and I have 13 Maremma’s here at our farm. I have a good relationship with other breeders that shows my workability, integrity and ethics. I also have 10 years of experience breeding livestock, working with my dogs in training with my sheep and mentoring many, many people in this arena. I am a hands on breeder, I am always there for my clients and have helped innumerable people with their Maremma sheepdogs so that they could have a happy and healthy Maremma that is successful in their respective homes.
Why do you want to hold this position on the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America Board of Directors?
My goals for becoming a Board Member at Large is to enact the the vision that I and others have for this club. The key component of this vision is for an inclusiveness, to allow us to become a united association that puts the interests of the Maremma Sheepdog first. I want to see breeders feel welcome and to feel supported. I do not want to see exclusive, elitist behavior that alienated new breeders and members in the past and I want to be part of a new chapter for this club.
Any further information you would like the Membership to know about you?
I have a scholarly, practical nature that would greatly benefit the club in its future endeavors. I want to see this club flourish and I would like to be an integral part of that.
What is your vision for the future of the MSCA?
My vision for the MSCA is a vision of renewal and renovation, for a construct that people feel welcomed in and for a club that people will be truly excited about joining. This will bring about the overriding goal in having our Maremma population protected.
What are your top 3 priorities for the MSCA in the next three years?
1) Bringing back alienated breeders and members and making them feel welcome and bringing in new breeders and new Maremma owners. 2) Seeing to the top paramount needs that are present for the Maremma Sheepdog, such as rescue, etc. 3) Encourage and facilitate networking, marketing, education and supporting the breeders.
I spent 33 years in law enforcement, where I worked both patrol and detectives for a municipal and later a university police department. I retired as a detective sergeant in 2021, having supervised the Violent Crimes Detective Unit for over 7 years, then investigating sexual assaults on campus for another 7 years.
For the past 25 years I’ve lived on a small property with my horses, goats, and dogs. My first goat was a rescue, and that led to more pet goats as time went along. Due to increasing coyote pressure, I found myself in need of a way to protect my goats. I researched livestock guardian dogs and decided Maremmas were the dogs for me and my little property. I found a mature dog in Washington, and added a puppy a few months later. As the first dog aged, they were joined by a third dog, and the trio guard my motley group of rescue and retired goats.
I also became fascinated with training Maremmas. I was already a positive reinforcement trainer with my companion dogs, so took full advantage of the opportunity to assist a “local” breeder with training puppies. That breeder has now become a professional trainer, and I continue to attend classes and learn from her and the dogs, who are the ultimate teachers.
I look forward to serving this club and this incredible breed.
Hope's Farm Hackettstown, NJ I have raised and bred Maremma Sheepdogs for over 20 years. I have a large flock of commercial wool sheep that I rotationally graze in a mountainous area with a high predator load of coyotes, coywolves and mountain lions.
Maremmas are clearly the best breed of livestock guardian dog for my operation because of their close guarding nature and their incomparable intelligence. They quickly assess and understand what they are being asked to do and they are an absolute blessing to a shepherd. I raise my pups directly with lambs, sheep and chickens and they have excelled on farms throughout the Northeast.
I also raise and train Border Collies and compete in Open sheepdog trials throughout the US and Canada. I am so happy to be able to serve the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America as Corresponding Secretary. I hope to assist every member I possibly can on their journey with these brilliant dogs. Please be encouraged to reach out to me or any Board Member at any time, we are here for you."
Kara Marx is very active in the breeding industry. She is a Code of Ethics Breeder and a member of the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America. She is also a Bred With Heart breeder with the American Kennel Club, a Code of Ethics Breeder with the United Kennel Club, a Good Dog Certified Excellent Breeder, and a certified BAB puppy temperament evaluator.
Kara continuously pursues higher education by attending classes and seminars offered by BAB, Avidog, Good Dog University, Madcap University, Puppy Culture, the AKC Canine College, and more. Kara received certificates and badges of recognition from the AKC, BAB, Good Dog, and Avidog. A sampling of the seminars she has attended include:
~ Genetics with Dr. Casey Carl of Paw Print Genetics ~ Immunology with Dr. Ben Hatler of NeoTech ~ Neonatal care with Dr. Marty Greer of Revival Animal Health ~ Savvy Socialization with Dr. Gayle Watkins of Avidog.
Maremma Sheepdogs are her passion. She loves their work ethic, loyalty, loving nature, intelligence, and graceful style. She also enjoys connecting Maremma's with new families. Kara loves traveling with her own family to deliver Maremma puppies to their new homes.
Experience you have that would be helpful in the Board position?
Marketing and management experience: Kara owns and operates a family farm. She handles accounting, purchasing, marketing, social media marketing, project management, and performance improvements.
Why do you want to hold this position on the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America Board of Directors?
I was honored to be nominated for a board of directors position. My family and I love the Maremma Sheepdog. I enjoy working with fellow accomplished Maremma Sheepdog enthusiasts to secure a future for this loyal breed. It is a privilege to serve the members and work together to rebuild the MSCA.
What is your vision for the future of the MSCA?
I envision a bright future with a diverse and sustainable membership. The MSCA should attract and serve those interested in this magnificent animal: reputable breeders, hobbyists, owners, those researching LGD's and those rescuing Maremmas. We should form committees focused on health and genetics, pedigrees, education for potential new owners, mentorship for breeders, rescue, and more.
We should increase the membership base and implement new bylaws and a new website. We should also look for ways to raise money to benefit the MSCA. It would be helpful to invest funs and utilize an open accounting financial statement, perhaps printed in the newsletter.
What are your tope three priorities for the MSCA in the next three years?
1. An advanced pedigree database that is accessible to all members. 2. Establish committees to preserve and protect the breed. 3. Facilitate an atmosphere of inclusivity, accountability, and fun.
BNG Farms Prince George, VA Dan Robinson lives on a small family farm in Virginia with his family raising Boer and Kiko goats. He has raised and bred Maremmas for the last three years. The breed saved their farm after successfully solving the growing SE Virginia coyote problem. The three years prior to getting their Maremmas, there had been multiple predation losses of his goats.
Dan is the founder and CEO of ByreBarn.com. He started the company to make farm-to-farm animal sales more convenient, more secure, and healthier for the animals and their handlers.
He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a Systems Engineering degree, a former U.S. Army Officer, and has an MBA from the Melbourne Business School in Australia.
As a child growing up in Oregon on a horse farm, we always had farm dogs steadily working by our side. Today our family homesteads on our vineyard land using regenerating farming practices. This way of farming is important to us and our Maremma Sheepdogs are an intricate part of our farm’s ecosystem. Regenerative farming starts with life beneath the soil and expanding to life above the ground. Our dogs assist in keeping life above ground working safely and more efficiently.
Our Maremma’s guard our Katahdin sheep, Alpine goats, chickens, geese, ducks, pigs, and people. The dogs keep mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, and raptors on the outskirts of our property.
I fell in love with the Maremma breed for their passionate yet serious affectionate nature. Each day I’m stunned by the majestic animals as they seriously yet instinctually work with our livestock.
I am a newcomer as a Maremma breeder. I am detailed oriented, thoughtful, and thorough. I value the ancient breed and will dedicate myself to keeping it correct and true to the standards of the breed.
What experience do you have that would be helpful to the Maremma board?
I run and manage not only our farm but also Compton Family Wines. Compton Family Wines processes the fruit from our farm which we distribute throughout the U.S. I have real life practical expertise in sales and marketing. I know firsthand the importance of being able to communicate the value of how farming practices impact the products which end up on our family’s tables. I currently serve on two other nonprofit boards. Having other board expertise will help me better serve the Maremma board.
Why did you want to hold a position on the Maremma Sheep Dog Club of America?
I would like all persons to feel supported by the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America. I’m passionate about the breed and would like others to learn about and love our wonderful dogs. I want everyone to be informed, so they too can appreciate Maremma dogs.