Posted Date: November 4, 2015
A look at all the people involved in making Cynosport a wonderful event!
Being behind the
scenes of Cynosport for the first time is a bit like being Dorothy and landing
in Oz. There is so much to take in and those behind it are truly magical in what they can accomplish.
So, in no
particular order, here are those who are responsible for creating the grand
event that is the USDAA Cynosport® World Games:
Kenneth Tatsch - USDAA President, Ken is dedicated to
the improvement of the Cynosport World Games each year. It is his vision that
has led the shaping of the event over the years, and his goal is to provide the
best competitive experience for handlers while at the same time showcasing dog
agility's best to the public. He provides a
watchful eye to head-off potential problems that could arise during the event.
He, along with Andy Hartman and the rest of the USDAA staff, works year round
on the event, planning for not only the next year's Cynosport World Games, but also the
years following. Ken also serves as Executive Producer for the live stream on
Cynosport.TV, setting parameters and providing guidance to the live stream
production team for the finals webcast.
USDAA President Kenneth Tatsch assists with the return of equipment and supplies from Tennessee to the USDAA office. A final task that has to be done is putting items back in storage.
Andy Hartman - Vice President of USDAA, Andy took
over management of logistics for the overall event in 2015. The tasks are too
extensive to list, but include all things needed for the event and setting the
timeline leading up to the event to assure everything is in place and ready to
go come show day. He oversees the opening of the facility each day and assures
that the course building crew has everything in place when the doors open at
5:00am. He and Ken work together in pre-event planning and have as a goal to
integrate the competitors suggestions
into future Cynosport events while adhering to the integrity of the event.
Tom Kula - Show Chair of the USDAA Cynosport
World Games, Tom is the man in charge of putting together all things related to
judging, scheduling, and staffing, while responding to needs arising during the
event. His role is to bring the vision and requests from Ken and Andy into an
efficient, seamless weekend event that competitors from around the world can
Helen McNenly - Event Secretary of the USDAA World
Games, Helen is the person on the receiving end of the thousand-plus Cynosport
entries and numerous more inquiries. She, along with Tom, works tirelessly
toward creating a schedule that allows handlers to compete with as few
conflicts as possible, and keep the event moving efficiently. She also
coordinates with ring scoring personnel to facilitate the scoring throughout
Tim Verrelli - The Official Scorekeeper of the USDAA
Cynosport World Games, Tim is responsible for integrating the scores from five
different rings into one final results document. He is the person in charge of making sure
scores are entered correctly and reviews any grievances filed regarding
potential mistakes in scoring.
Annie DeChance - The Head of Public Relations for
USDAA, Annie works year round to engage media with local,
regional, and national USDAA competitions. She also helps ease communication between the local clubs and the USDAA
office, and continuously brings focus to the ever-growing United States Dog
Mychelle Blake - The News Editor for USDAA's
web page, Mychelle solicits, edits, and writes informative new material for the
USDAA website, and assists Annie DeChance with the Cynosport website,
coordinating news and social media posts for the event and USDAA throughout the
Chuck Kirlin - The Announcer & DJ for Cynosport.
Chuck is the voice behind the announcements and is responsible for the creative
selection of music for the entire event.
Jan-Paul van Es - The Instant Replay Engineer for Cynosport.
Jan-Paul is the person who consulted on the instant replay system that
was integrated into Cynosport this year. He travels all the way from
Netherlands to set up and operate the incredibly complex system that will now
allow judges to review runs from Finals classes in order to ensure accuracy in
calls placed (or missed) during those runs.
Leslie Bickel - The Volunteer Coordinator for
Cynosport, Leslie works in conjunction with Tom Kula and Helen McNenly to
create a volunteer schedule that provides the incredible ring crew at
Cynosport. She devotes herself to finding a way for competitors to volunteer without
conflicting with their runs as well as finding people who are interested in
volunteering that are not competing.
Feathers - The Production Manager for
Cynosport. Feathers orchestrates the
assembly of the infrastructure of Cynosport, to assure it is set up and
functioning smoothly each day of the event. He is a professional production
manager brought in to see that the many small pieces that work to create the
whole that is Cynosport, comes together as planned. Feathers supervises more
than a dozen hired hands to assemble the event in the two days immediately
preceding competitor arrival and taking it all down and packing it away in less
than a day following the event.
Greg Fontaine - Live
Stream Color Commentator, Greg served as analyst and commentator on the
Cynosport.tv live stream of each of the tournament Finals, along with Andy
Hartman and nick Sparks as co-hosts. This was his first year, taking over from
Julie Daniels, who served this role for the past several years.
Nick Sparks - The Live Stream Interviewer for Cynosport.tv. Nick is the person who is given
the task of interviewing the winners of each Finals class in each height as
part of the Cynosport.tv webcast. He is also the person who can be heard
filling in for Andy Hartman as a play-by-play commentator on the
Merlene Stiles - A member of the
USDAA Staff, Merlene is responsible for the vendors and their booths,
coordinating their arrival and participation in the event, and responding to
their needs during the event. When not working with vendors directly, she can
be found in the USDAA booth. She also is responsible for coordinating the
selection and ordering of polo shirts that are awarded to Semifinalists,
Finalists and tournament winners, as well as the event T-shirts.
Heather Smith &
Tev Brannan - Members of the
USDAA Staff, they work together at the event to provide check-in, awards
ceremonies, and hospitality for sponsors, vendors, judges and volunteers.
Heather also provides administrative support for Ken, Andy and Tom throughout
The Judges - Each year an incredible lineup of
USDAA judges is selected to design courses and judge at the Cynosport World
Games. The judges are responsible for
accurately judging hundreds of runs each day, and maintaining a professional,
happy atmosphere with competitors. In 2015, each played an added role in
supporting the officiating judge by reviewing video in the instant replay
Tim Laubach - Chief
Course Builder for the USDAA Cynosport World Games, Tim is an official judge of
record for the event, whose role is focused solely on course building. Unique
to the event Tim signs off on all course builds, relieving the officiating
judges from this responsibility and providing a more cohesive build in each
ring. Tim leads a team of non officiating judges, including Carol
Voelker, Randy Holford, and Seth Dunn, along with an equipment management
group, including Al Lamphere and John Marcus, among others. This unique, high caliber
course building crew have total responsibility for getting the courses built
each day and approved for running, as well as clearing the rings each night for
dragging the arena floor. They often work through the night to be sure the
event is ready to go when competitors arrive early each morning.
Bill Smith - Freelance
Producer & Director for Cynosport.tv, heads a full production team for live
streaming the tournament Finals, providing graphics, audio and video support
and feeding the production to the web. His team also was able to place captured
streams on the web for on-demand viewing within two hours of the conclusion of
the each live event.
The Volunteers - There are numerous people who step in
each year to assist those who are mentioned above. In fact, so many people (more than 100)
support the USDAA Cynosport World Games that it is impossible to list them all,
but without them, the event would not be the incredible phenomenon that it is
Thank you to each
and every person who is a part of the USDAA Cynosport World Games! A special thank you to all of the volunteers
who graciously give their time. The Cynosport World Games is a huge display of
teamwork at its finest!