Rosemary Smart will be stepping down from her current role as Chief Executive, a role she has been undertaking since 2002. This follows the shock departure of the then Secretary of the Kennel Club Caroline Kisko, whose rapid exit back in September was soon followed by the Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources Manager, Kevin McGuirk, towards the end of the year.
This means in essence that the top three positions in the KC have been the subject of change and disruption in an unusually short period of time. Apparently KC staff were told of the changes internally on Monday and members of the KC then received an emailed letter from KC Chairman Tony Allcock The Kennel Club in its press announcement says it is delighted that : “Rosemary has agreed to remain with the business to support the Board in the successful transition to a new CEO, by continuing to work with the Club and the new CEO in an ambassadorial role going forwards.
In this ambassadorial role, she will continue to promote the work of the Kennel Club and its charities and will focus on building new and enhanced relationships with Members, external bodies and the welfare sector to enhance the reputation of the Club”.
The KC says that its Board has begun the search for a new CEO and has appointed a leading executive search agency to professionally assist with the process. Ambassador Kennel Club Chairman, Tony Allcock said: “I am delighted that Rose has agreed to continue to support the Kennel Club as an ambassador.
As one of the longest serving CEOs in the country, she has overseen the Club’s gradual modernisation and professionalisation, while retaining sight of its core purpose. Colleagues and Members alike have benefitted from Rose’s wisdom, stamina and infinite patience. “We will continue to work closely together.
I am confident that Rose’s knowledge, experience and passion for dogs will continue to benefit the Club for years to come.” Rosemary Smart herself said: “I am very excited to be taking up more of an ambassadorial role alongside the recruitment of a new Chief Executive. I will continue to play my part in the evolution of the Kennel Club, while stepping back from the day-to-day pressures of the Chief Executive’s job. The last 18 years have flown by, and I am hugely grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the Kennel Club in such a senior role for so long.
I would like to sincerely thank the Members, and my Colleagues, for all their help and support. I look forward to working with them again in the future, as well as supporting the Board in the successful introduction of my successor when appointed, to help raise the awareness of the Kennel Club and to enable it to continue to promote the health and wellbeing of dogs.”
OUR DOGS COMMENT: There is no doubt that those who have worked with Rosemary Smart in the past will agree that it is good that, even although as she says she is: “stepping back from the day to day pressures of the Chief Executive’s job”, her continuing involvement in an ambassadorial role is good news for the Kennel Club. Rosemary Smart’s relationship with the other canine bodies and charities in the welfare sector is and always has been, one which puts the KC and dog breeders in a good light.
Her continued participation in the Club’s affairs should therefore be welcomed. It is also true that with the huge changes at the top of the KC’s executive team in the past six months, including the departure of Caroline Kisko the KC Secretary and Kevin McGuirk the Chief Financial Officer, there is some need for a certain degree of continuity while a new team is assembled. Rosemary Smart’s continued involvement ought therefore to be welcomed whilst at the same time it seems essential for the Kennel Club to get itself back on track after the many disruptions witnessed in the last few years.