Meet the Government Relations Team
In addition to our new director, the AKC Government Relations team represents a diverse wealth of experience and expertise. Each member of the team works to protect the rights of fanciers, breeders, and responsible dog owners.
Phil Guidry, Legislative Analyst
Phil's AKC experience began in the summer of 2002 when he participated in AKC's Summer Intern Program. He returned to AKC in early-2006 as a member of the Internal Consulting Group, and joined GR in January 2007. He was co-chair of Raleigh, NC's 2007 Responsible Dog Ownership Day.
In 1990, Phil began his longtime involvement in purebred dogs by competing in junior showmanship, the highlight of which was representing the United States in the International Junior Handler Finals at the 1994 Crufts Dog Show in England. He is a breeder/owner/handler of cocker spaniels, and is a past President of the Louisiana Kennel Club.
Sarah Sprouse, Government Relations Manager
During the battle over California AB 1634, Sarah traveled to CA to meet with legislators and staff to educate them about canine legislation issues. She has conducted trainings on how to effectively communicate with state legislators, and hosted Lobby Days in Pennsylvania and California.
Sarah has a degree from University of California Davis. She is the primary contact on local initiatives and works with local clubs and fanciers to promote legislation that protects responsible owners and breeders from unnecessary regulations and fees.
Jennifer Clark, Government Relations Administrator
Jennifer graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Messiah College in Grantham, PA, and also studied at Temple University in Philadelphia. Jennifer will oversee much of the department’s PAC activities, as well as department communications and many other projects.
Melissa Ferrell, Research Coordinator
Since coming to AKC, she has introduced and implemented new data analysis software and was also instrumental in the coordination of an interactive web site designed for AKC’s grassroots members to easily communicate with their legislators. Melissa also creates, designs, and maintains relational databases dealing with legislative issues that impact dog owners on local, state and federal government levels.
Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of North Carolina-Wilmington.