Associated Koi Clubs of America
The Associated Koi Clubs of America (AKCA) was established in the early 1970’s. It was incorporated in 1980 as a California non-profit with 501(c)(3) tax exempt and 509(a)(2) public charity status (IRC).
The AKCA was created to promote our hobby, which involves the appreciation, care, breeding and showing of Japanese Nishikigoi (fish) — commonly referred to as koi.
Our goal is to improve and expand the hobby throughout North America.
The following objectives help us to achieve our goal:
- Support the formation of new koi clubs
- Provide knowledge and information about koi keeping
- Produce educational koi materials
- Distribute educational and souvenir items via web and magazine orders
- Publish a koi magazine though our subsidiary corporation, KoiUSA, Inc.
- Recognize excellence in koi husbandry and public service
- Conduct an Annual Seminar
- Facilitate communications between koi clubs and members
- Support local club’s koi shows
- Train, certify and provide Judges for local club’s koi shows
- Train and certify Koi Health Advisors for local club’s member needs
- Provide liability insurance for US club’s meetings and special events (shows, pond tours, etc.)
We currently have 97 member koi clubs in the AKCA. Dues are $100 annually. 94 member clubs are located in the US, while 3 clubs are located in Canada.
The AKCA has an Executive Board elected annually (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Chief Financial Officer) and a Board of Directors consisting of one representative from each member club. The various Committee Chairs may or may not be members of the Board of Directors.
Since the monthly AKCA board meetings are held at the below address in Orange County, CA, most clubs assign their votes to a “proxy” director that will actually be in attendance (either in person or, if a committee chair, via conference call). Board meetings are held on the second Friday of the month (no meeting in December) in the conference room at 529 Blueridge, Orange, CA, for which we pay rent to the landlord.
The AKCA has no employees. It is entirely run by volunteers with the exception of 1 independent contractor who processes our internet and mail Bookstore orders.
The AKCA Bookstore sells books, videos, guides, posters and pamphlets of educational materials about koi keeping (as well as souvenir AKCA items such as T-shirts, jackets, pins, pens, cups and baseball caps) on-line at our website (http://www.akca.org ) as well as via advertisements in KoiUSA magazine. There is no bookstore per se open to the public. An independent contractor handles Bookstore sales on a commission basis. Goods and mailing supplies are stored at the 529 Blueridge, Orange, CA address in a locked storage room, which is included in the rent we pay to the landlord.
The AKCA has a subsidiary for-profit corporation (KoiUSA, Inc.) which has its own volunteer Board of Directors and its own liability insurance coverage. This corporation publishes a bi-monthly 92 page full-color magazine. While it reports monthly to the AKCA Board of Directors, it otherwise operates independently. This corporation annually donates its profits to AKCA so we can continue to fund our charitable and educational activities.
The AKCA trains, certifies and provides koi judges for local club’s koi shows. They also act as ambassadors for the AKCA and the hobby while sharing their koi knowledge at various functions around the world. There is an entrance exam an applicant must pass to enter the program, a training program to be completed before certification and a mandatory annual one day seminar held at the site of the AKCA’s Annual Seminar. This prestigious program is limited to 30 certified and candidate judges.
Since 2001, the AKCA has offered an on-line Koi Health Adviser (KHA) course which is designed to educate hobbyists about koi so they can both expand their own knowledge and help other club members, too. The course has modules such as pond design/construction, filtration, water quality, physiology and anatomy, health and nutrition. The last section is a Wet Lab held at the AKCA’s Annual Seminar, which is taught by a veterinarian. When a student successfully completes the course they are certified. There is no charge for this course, except for professionals (who pay a nominal fee).
The AKCA administers Project KHV, which is a program to fund research re: Koi Herpes Virus (KHV), an extremely virulent virus with about a 90% mortality rate to koi with no known cure. The funds are collected from donations by individuals, koi clubs, etc. The AKCA matched the first $50,000 in public donations. Donations are used to fund research grants while the AKCA pays all administrative costs.
For 30+ years the AKCA has held an Annual Seminar each year in different geographic parts of the US; in 2010, it was held in Nashville TN. Not only has this met the annual meeting requirement of our By-laws, it also hosts other AKCA functions such as the KHA Wet Lab, the Judge’s one day training seminar, an Awards Banquet recognizing excellence in the hobby, seminars & workshops for the public on Friday and Saturday, and has vendors with koi & koi related equipment for sale to the attendees. The last day of an AKCA Seminar typically includes a pond tour, for which the AKCA hires buses to take the seminar attendees around. No Seminar was held in FY 2010/11 and none is scheduled for FY 2011/12; in lieu, Business Meetings combined with KHA Wet Labs have substituted.