Kathy Calhoun - CFA All Breed Judge
Kathy Calhoun was born and raised in Chicago, where she still lives. A CFA judge since 2007, Kathy founded her cattery, 5800 Dreams, in 1991, with her son. Her primary breed has always been the Maine Coon but she has also bred American Shorthairs, American Wirehairs, and recently began to breed Lykoi. Other breeds she has worked with include Persians, Orientals, Abyssinians, Chartreux, and Devon Rex. She has achieved national wins with both her Maine Coons and her American Wirehairs.
Her resume in CFA is extensive; she is not only a member and a Secretary for several show producing clubs, but serves as the treasurer for the Maine Coon Breed Council, the CFA Foundation, and the CFA organization itself. She also served as Midwest Regional Director.
Recently retired from her job as a Product Manager with Pepsico, Kathy has been a CFA judge since 2007. She has judged across the United States, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada, Russia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. When not involved with cats, judging, or her many organizational responsibilities, Kathy has been known to play the bagpipes.
Ellen Honey - CFA All Breed Judge
Ellyn Honey current lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to August 2013, she lived on the East Coast for 20 years working under the cattery name Myrlyn. Prior to that she was born and raised in Southern California and worked under the cattery name Rifkees. Her first cattery was registered in 1980, and her primary breed was Siamese. She is also known for her Oriental Shorthairs, having the second best cat in the world of the Cat Fanciers Association in 2000, Myrlyn Plain White Wrapper of Jamagz, a beautiful blue eyed white Oriental Shorthair. She has also had many Regional and National winning Siamese and other Oriental Shorthairs, and Colorpoints as well. Her cattery has earned 5 Distinguished Merit awards, three of which are generational from father to daughter to granddaughter. She has worked with and bred, Tonkinese, Persians, Birmans, Bombays, Maine Coons and Abyssinians.
In 1999 Ellyn applied to the CFA Judging Program as a shorthair trainee and in 2005 she was advanced to approved all-breed status. She has had the good fortune to have judged all over the continental United States and in Canada, Russia, Japan, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Hong Kong, and Italy and China. Ellyn mentors several upcoming new judges,and was on the Judging Program for CFA as a Domestic Training Administrator and has participated as Faculty in the several CFA Breed Awareness Orientation Schools as an allbreed instructor. She is also currently President of the Judges Association as well.
She has also done CFA breed presentations for the University of Virginia School of Veterinary Medicine, and worked with local high schools to bring the cat fancy to the community.
Darrell Newkirk - CFA All Breed Judge
Born and raised on a farm in the midwestern US, Darrell has loved animals since his childhood. His fascination with the cat fancy and his lifelong devotion to Abyssinians began when he visited a cat show in St. Louis with his late wife, Beth. Shortly thereafter, they purchased their first Aby and began showing and breeding. As Darrell worked toward a judging career, first in the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) and subsequently in CFA, they had many other breeds in their house but the Abys have always been Darrell’s first love.
Darrell currently makes his home in Las Vegas and has been a CFA Judge since 1996. He has also held many other positions within the CFA organization: Abyssinian Breed Council Secretary, Chair of the International Division, a Director-at-Large on the CFA Board, and most recently, was elected President of CFA. “Judging is a beauty contest,” says Darrell. “While the “dress” must be presented in excellent condition, the structure of the cat is the most important aspect of that cat. If a cat does not conform to the written standard, then it is difficult to win Best in Show!” He also notes, “I consider it an honor and a privilege to have your trust while I assess the beauty of your cats.
Jennifer Reding - CFA Specialty Judge
Jennifer Reding, a CFA judge since 2014, came into the cat fancy in a roundabout way. While in high school and for a few years thereafter, she was involved with horses, then began looking for a less expensive hobby once she was out on her own. In 1986, she visited her first cat show—Tails and No Tales CC in San Jose, CA—as a spectator and was immediately intrigued. She acquired her first pedigreed cat (a Himalayan) and took it to a show, only to discover that it was “very pet quality.”
A few years later, she made another attempt to show, this time with a household pet. It hated showing and was retired after one show. But at that show, Jennifer met a Birman breeder, eventually bought a show quality Birman kitten, and started showing in earnest. In 1990, she got a Japanese Bobtail to show “for fun.” That was the beginning of a 30-year love affair with the breed. Initially, her cattery name was Janipurr, but after acquiring a black smoke Japanese Bobtail import in 1996, she changed the cattery name to Ginchika and began focusing on silver and smoke Bobtails.
Jennifer has breed Birmans and Oriental Shorthairs in addition to her beloved Bobtails, and shown numerous other breeds, achieving Regional wins, Breed wins, and “even a few National Wins.” She has now spent more than half her life in the cat fancy and is currently licensed as a Double Specialty judge.
In 2006, Jennifer met Mark Campbell, and after a long-distance relationship that lasted several years, they were married in 2013. She is excited about judging this virtual show but “hopes that we are all back in real space soon so that I can see all my friends again!”
Lorraine Shelton - TICA Provisional All Breed Judge
Lorraine Shelton, a Provisional Allbreed judge with The International Cat Association and a CFA Master Clerk, registered Featherland cattery with CFA and TICA in 1988 to pursue the challenge of advancing the rare chocolate and lilac factored Persians, culminating in breeding the first chocolate CFA grand champion in the Persian Tabby Division. She bred her first litter of pedigreed cats, Tonkinese, in 1972 at the age of ten. With her husband, Michael, she currently breeds Norwegian Forest Cats and has also bred Turkish Angoras and shown Bengals and Somalis.
As the founding Vice-President of the CFA Selkirk Rex Breed Club, she assisted in the writing of the breed standard and campaigned for the advancement of the breed to Championship status in associations around the world. She recently authored the successful application for Miscellaneous status in CFA for the Khao Manee. She has authored numerous articles on breeds, feline health, genetics, and cat fancy history for various magazines, newsletters, books, and web sites, including the current revision of the seminal textbook, Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians.
As an approved Genetics Instructor in TICA, she has lectured on feline genetics at cat show events and continuing education events, including TICA breed seminars, CFA breed council meetings, World Cat Congress educational events, and FIFe judging seminars. She is a former board member for the Winn Feline Foundation and a current board member of the CFA Foundation and Feline Historical Museum.
Gary Veach - CFA All Breed Judge
A CFA judge for over 30 years, Gary was born in Michigan and currently lives in New Jersey. Gary and his partner Omar Gonzalez show under the cattery names Briar-mar and Veach and together have produced over fifty CFA National Winners. Best known for their Manx in recent years, their National Wins also include Persians, Oriental Shorthairs and American Shorthairs; in addition, they have worked with Cornish Rex, American Wirehairs, and Siamese, achieving numerous Regional Wins and Distinguished Merit awards.
Gary’s judging experience extends around the world and includes Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Malta, Japan, Malaysia, China, Belgium and the Netherlands. He has guest judged for Fife, Rolandus, and WCF in Russia as well as the Canadian Cat Association. In addition to being one of CFA’s best-known judges, he has also served on the CFA Board and has been a member of the CFA Clerking Program for over 40 years.
Gary and Omar also breed and show dogs, having started out with Pekingese and are now working with Toy Poodles. They have produced numerous Best in Show, Group Winners and specialty winning dogs.