Mary Kolencik

for Southern Region Regional Director

Vote for the experience we need!

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As your Regional Director I will:

Provide Productive Communication through frequent newsletters, social media, and regional meetings. You deserve a higher level of communication in a much more-timely manner, and I am committed to delivering on a regular basis. I will be an effective voice and communicator for our region. My commitment to productive communication is proven with my past involvements with Cat Talk and the International Show Blog.

Communication is essential for all of us to work together. In this age of the internet-at-your-fingertips with tablets, laptops and smart phones, we should be able to share information quickly and frequently. My plans include a monthly online newsletter as well as a blog that I will update regularly. I will have an active Facebook and Twitter presence for regional news. You will hear from me often!

Increase Financial Stability with an aggressive overhaul of our finances, including an innovative fund-raising plan and cost-cutting of unnecessary expenses. I am passionate about changing the direction of our once healthy Regional Treasury that has decreased by more than half over the past 3.5 years. Our financial stability will be a priority during my term as your next Regional Director.

In the past 3.5 years, our regional treasury has decreased by half from $59K to $28K. Our regional banquets have lost money for the past 5 years (I don't have financial data going further back than that). At this rate, we will have an empty bank account just in time for the 2018 annual in Atlanta. We need aggressive action on our treasury.

Your clubs pay a $2 per entry surcharge and only 25 cents of that comes back to your region. Your club also pays a $30 delegate registration fee and in the year of our region's annual none of that will come back to the region, contrary to the constitution. Whatever the region spends on the annual (and we will have some expenses) must come entirely from our own treasury and our own fundraising. CFA is currently making a profit and has a sizeable safety net from the sale of the Manasquan building, yet continues to charge the clubs $2 per entry returning only 25 cents to the region, and now claims the full delegate fee. It is time that your hard-earned money comes back to your region. I plan to bring motions to change this unbalanced redistribution scheme.

Fund raising is a must for our yearly expenses. Having a fund-raiser show is a great idea, but as anybody who has ever managed a show knows it is a lot of work with a very big risk. Shows can and often do lose money. We need to also try more lucrative methods with a positive rate of return. I am planning a pin sale and of course raffles. I coordinated the sale of pins for the 2015 International Show and raised nearly $3000 that contributed to the show's profit of $28K. We could also hold an online auction or a silent auction at a show with donated items. How many of you have cat related trinkets that you are tired of dusting, or extra grooming equipment that you no longer need or other items that might be of value to someone else? Would you donate those to the region to auction?

As Awards Committee Chair for CFA, I am keenly aware of the cost of trophies. Trophies are a loss leader for our region because we do not take in enough sponsorship income to cover this cost. We need to innovate how we handle our awards. I have proposed a sponsorship/contribution plan for the national level that we could apply at the regional level as well (see my February 2016 awards committee board report for details). In addition, we really should not be trying to find the cheapest possible trophy to give you for all of your hard work. We need to explore ways to fund nicer trophies. We could give people the option to purchase their own more expensive award if they want something better than what the region can afford. Another example, we could have an opt-out for the trophies and rosettes for those who really don't want them.

Execute Creative Effective Show Scheduling and respond quickly to your requests. We must work as a team to regenerate a strong CFA presence throughout the entire region. You have my commitment to quickly resolving scheduling issues and to working with all clubs to maximize available show dates to meet your needs.

When a club asks for a schedule change or a show date, they deserve a quick response. I have worked on shows and know the difficulties that can arise with show halls, cancellations, etc. I will be dilligent in my communications with you when you ask for scheduling assistance and will resolve your issues as quickly as possible.

I am very concerned about the decline in the number of shows in some parts of our region, in particular Florida and the Carolinas. As your regional director, I will actively work to add shows to the schedule in under-served areas. My first step will be to create an "available date" schedule with areas of the region where a new show might work within the overall show schedule. While a regional director cannot physically host and put on shows on every weekend every where, she can assist clubs with finding dates, monitor the schedule to determine when one-time dates might become available, proactively try to match volunteers with clubs that need workers, encourage new people to get involved with show production and facilitate matching them with active clubs looking for new members, and more.

CFA offers sponsorship money to many shows throughout the season. Yet not every show applies for these funds. This is free money! I will assist every show in the Southern Region in getting sponsorship money. Better yet, let's work to find a better way to handle this sponsorship money. Instead of CFA giving a club $500 to spend on advertising, CFA could be doing the advertising for the shows! There are so many possibilities here. CFA has a website with hundreds of hits every day - collect information from cat fans from all over, including their geographic location, then send targeted notices to them when there are shows in their neighborhood. CFA could invest in advertising on social media for shows, and instead of giving clubs the money and expecting clubs to put the ads in newspapers and local media, CFA could be doing that. Clubs would tell CFA where to advertise, and CFA would do it, without the club having to be the middleman. Clubs could collect names of spectators at their shows and forward that information to CFA to create a database of potential spectators for e-mail announcements of shows. As RD, I would work on making this happen to help you advertise your shows to the general public.

Maintain CFA’s Global Viability. CFA has grown into a global association, and as our International Division expands rapidly, we must be concerned about the declining counts at our shows in North America, Japan and Europe. We need to focus on supporting all Regions in order to keep CFA and CFA member clubs strong. Our show rules, scoring, titles and customer service needs must keep pace with the dynamic global changes of our association. I will continue to work on innovative ideas that will help our clubs and our association succeed in order to increase show entries and provide enhanced customer services.

The recent action by the board to expand the NW titles is only a first step in addressing flaws with our titles/scoring. I believe our system is holding us back because it puts people who only want to show their cat occasionally at a disadvantage making them less inclined to participate. Other than the Grand and Grand of Distinction, our titles and awards are based on point accumulation on year-end boundaries. If an exhibitor does not want to campaign a cat for a year-end award or show the same cat for three seasons for the GD, there is little to do once the cat grands. There must be something in the middle to keep the interest of exhibitors who do not want to pursue year-end titles. If we can find that middle layer, it will increase entries and enable more of our clubs to hold profitable shows.

As a customer of CFA, I notice the customer-unfriendly policies just as you do. One example was the Almanac. It made financial sense to discontinue the Almanac, but it left a void in our community and should have immediately been replaced with a different less-costly tangible publication. A few years later, I was a co-founder of that replacement - Cat Talk. I view our association as a community. The board and central office exist to provide services to our community, not the other way around, and we need to always remember the needs of the community. Our board members must be actively engaged in managing our community, and as your region's representative on the board, I will participate in online voting on emergency motions, will participate and speak up on your behalf at board meetings, and will put the community first.

CFA Accomplishments:

These are just a few of my accomplishments in my 20+ years with CFA:
  • Member of multiple clubs working in many capacities including show manager and various offices
  • 20 years as a Ring Clerk and 15 years as a Master Clerk
  • Member of Siamese & Colorpoint Shorthair breed councils
  • Past Colorpoint Shorthair Breed Council Secretary
  • Recipient of three CFA Service Star Awards including the first Gold Star Award
  • Awards Committee Chair
    • Contributed to the new NW scoring expansion plan recently adopted by the board.
    • Developed fund-raising plan for CFA's trophies and rosettes
    • Architect of the HHP scoring/title program
  • Cat Talk:
    • Co-founder of the magazine and editor for two years.
  • 2015 CFA International Show:
    • Assistant Show Manager
    • Designed and maintained the show blog
One thing that should be clear from my accomplishments is that I stand behind my ideas and make them happen. I do not make suggestions expecting others to carry them out. I do the work.

Additional accomplishments:
  • Wrote the show rules to remove winners ribbons so that opens could compete for champion/premier points.
  • Assisted in the development of the TRN scheme, which needs a facelift.
  • Architect of the compromise between the Colorpoint Shorthair, Oriental, Balinese and Siamese breed councils which ended the decades long argument over the showing of pointed Orientals as Colorpoints.
  • Assisted in the development of the Grand of Disctinction title.
  • Produced the On The Road Again video for three SR regional banquets.


  • Bred Siamese and Colorpoint Shorthairs exclusively in CFA for over 20 years.
  • Bachelor of Science in Math and Computer Science from California University of Pennsylvania
  • Department of Defense in Maryland for 29 years (in computer security)

Your Club’s support is greatly appreciated!

Email me with your comments, concerns and questions –

Download a pdf version of my flyer

Top left, me with some of my bribes for benching the CFA International show. Top middle, me with Ambassador cat Jaded. Top right, me with 2015 Southern Region's 25th Best Cat and CFA's 2nd Best Colorpoint Shorthair GC, RW Katsmith All of Me, Ollie!

Middle left, me being eaten by a fake alligator at the 2014 regional in St. Augustine Florida. Middle middle, me with 2015 Southern Region's 14th Best Cat in Premiership and CFA's 2nd Best Colorpoint Shorthair in Premiership, GP, RW Maryk's Rock Shrimp, my Rocky! So happy to get two RWs last season! Middle right, me at Mt. Hood right after the 2013 Vancouver WA annual, you can see Mt. Hood's reflection in the lens (love those annuals out west!).

Very bottom, me and Lucy on a quick stop at Niagara Falls on our way to the 2015 Toronto annual. The picture with Lucy was the day after my father's funeral, I was so happy to have her along with me to keep me company and thankful that she was allowed to be at the annual. I don't know what I would have done otherwise. My CFA family graciously accepted her and helped me through a dark time.