2019 GSPCA election

Sharon FitzpatrickNorth Central Director: Sharon Fitzpatrick [email sharon]

When I learned that Terry Chandler was not going to run for President of the GSPCA again I thought long and hard before deciding to run for this position. I know the commitment that Terry, and Charlie Blackbourn before him, made in time and effort devoted to the position. I am fortunate that I have the support of my husband and to be at a point in my career where I am confident I have the ability to make this commitment.

I am running for President because as the sport of dogs evolves I want to do all I can to ensure that the GSPCA evolves along with it. I feel as the Parent Club we need to embrace the new Performance and Companion events offered by the AKC while maintaining interest in the traditional venues of Field Trials, Conformation and Hunt Tests and recognizing and encouraging the pursuit of Dual Champions. I believe it is important that we do all that we can to involve youth in our sport of dogs and hopefully we can continue to find creative ways to involve them more. Our Health and Welfare Committee has done a good job and I hope to be a greater part of helping them spread the word to all GSP breeders and owners.

I also decided to run because I feel strongly that it is important that our next President has served previously on our board. I have been honored to have served as the North Central Director for the GSPCA since 2011 and have learned a lot about the business side of running the GSPCA. As a member of the GSPCA Board of Directors I have worked on several projects including revamping the website and the title/award recognition program. Current projects include developing a plan to better involve and serve the member clubs as well as expanding recognition of members’ achievements in all venues.

For those of you that don’t know me - My husband Ron and I have been married for 34 years and after owning a Weimaraner we researched different hunting breeds and bought our first Shorthairs in 1991.  In July of 1992 we attended the Hunt Test Training sponsored by the GSPC of IL, in August we were at our first hunt tests walking behind braces, in September we got our first blaze orange Junior Hunt Test qualifying ribbons and have “gone to the dogs” ever since.  

We believe in doing our best in maintaining the versatility of the breed and have successfully competed in Hunt Tests, Obedience, Field Trials and Show. Our personal dogs have achieved the titles of Master Hunter, Senior Hunter, Junior Hunter, Companion Dog, Companion Dog Excellent and Show Champion as well as numerous other placements/points in AKC events. My husband and I are both AKC Field Trial and Hunt Test Judges and I am a CGC evaluator.

I am currently the Secretary/Treasurer and Show Chairman for the Fort Dearborn Club GSPC. I have served as Chairman and Secretary for Field Trials, Hunt Tests and Specialty Shows. While Obedience Chairman for the GSPC of IL, I spearheaded the effort to have the club approved to hold Obedience Trials. I am also a member of NAVHDA at the National and Local levels and NSTRA.

I do my best to stay up-to-date on legislation affecting dog ownership, hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. I am proud to be an Associate Director for the Illinois Field Trial Association, Field Director for the United States Sportsmen’s Alliance and a member of the IL Federation of Outdoor Resources.

Personally home is 23 acres about 70 miles south of Chicago which we share with our dogs, horses, cats, the “homers” and a few chickens. I received my BS in Business Administration from the University of IL at Chicago and achieved my Senior HR Professional certification in 2002 and my SHRM-SCP in 2015. I am a member of the Project Management Institute and I have been studying for my certification. I have held management positions in Human Resources at several companies including T-Mobile, Andrew Corporation, Durham School Services/National Express and Elevance Renewable Sciences. I now run my own HR/Talent Acquisition Consulting firm. I am a member of numerous professional HR organizations and served as Treasurer for the Kankakee Area HR Management Association.  I also have an Illinois Real Estate License.

If elected I hope to do more for the breed I love working with our great committee volunteers and our local clubs.

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime at 815-365-2819 or ncdirector@gspca.org.


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