2918 TICA Annual Logo

2018 TICA Annual

Our Judges

Royal Canin

Dr. Elsey's

Events: August 29 - September 2, 2018
Show: September 1-2, 2018
Awards Banquet: September 1, 2018






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No photo available Luiz Paulo Faccioli
Region: SA

I was born in 1958 in Caxias do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, South Brasil. My very first interests were always music and literature, but I decided to study IT, was hired by a federal bank where I worked for 27 years, 22 of them as manager, and was retired due to health issues.

I started publishing one year before my retirement and have already published four books that include a novel, two short stories collections and a novel for children that is obviously about a cat. I am a book reviewer and have a column of literature on a local radio.

I like to play piano and guitar and also to sing.

My passion for cats was late. When my wife and I moved to our house in 1986 we decided to have a dog, and we did, but my mother-in-law suggested a cat. She brought a Siamese kitten for us to take care, but we were not lucky with Siameses at all. I still love pointed cats! After three trials, we finally found out the Birmans and started a breeding program with registered cats and everything on the right way.

I am a TICA member since 1991. I became Allbreed judge by Federação dos Criadores de Gatos do Brasil, that was TICA affiliated, in 1992. Specialty Judge by TICA in 1993, full Allbreed status in 2000, Ring and School Instructor in 2005.
TICA South America Regional Director Interim, 2003-2005; Interim, 2014-2015; Elected, 2016-2018. TICA Judging Administrator Assistant for South America, and Clerking Administrator Assistant for South America.

I have judged for TICA many times in Europe (France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, England), United States, South America (Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Brasil, Peru), and Malaysia. As guest judge, I judged once in New Zealand and nine shows for different Associations in Australia.

No photo available Robby Whyte
Region: SE

Robby has been active in the Cat Fancy for over 30 years, starting when he was 21 years old.  He became a member of The International Cat Association in 1986 and has been an active member of Mississippi Cat Fanciers since then.  He has been a Licensed TICA Judge since 1997. 

Robby bred and showed Persians and Exotic Shorthairs.  He has had many regional winners and 4 international winners over the years.  Other breeds that he has either owned, co-owned or agented include: Burmese, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Maine Coons, Manx/Cymric, Oriental Shorthairs, Siamese, and Sphynx. 

Over the past 20 years, Robby has judged over 350 cat shows all over the US, Canada, South America, Europe and Asia and says “I have LOVED every minute of it.  Sure, the travel, airport delays, etc. can get really old, but handling and judging all of the cats in the show make it well worth it!  I love what I do and plan on judging at least another 30+ years.”

When Robby is not off somewhere judging cat shows, you will most likely find him on a beach somewhere in Florida or at home painting acrylic landscapes.  Robby is also an RN Care Coordinator in the department of Cardiology for the University Of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.  He is married and has two children and one grandchild.

No photo available Laura Cunningham
Region: MP

Laura Cunningham resides in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and is an allbreed cat judge, bringing close to 19 years of judging expertise to the Alabama Paws and Claws Annual Awards show in Birmingham, Alabama.  

Laura has judged TICA cat shows throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  She has also guest-judged for several Australian and New Zealand cat associations. 

While actively breeding, Laura served on the TICA Maine Coon breed committee for 12 years; 9 of which as the chair. 

She started in the cat fancy in 1988 with a blue point Birman, and in 1989 began showing and breeding Maine Coon Cats with her mother, Sharon Cunningham under their cattery prefix Coonyham.  Laura also has bred Japanese Bobtails and been “owned” by a tortie-point Siamese, and a mischievous Chartreux.  

In addition to judging, she appeared on Animal Planet’s show “Trophy Cats” (which aired in the UK) and was interviewed about Maine Coon Cats by the Financial Times of London. 

In real life, she keeps busy doing consumer marketing for an aesthetics brand in medical devices.  Laura enjoys traveling the world, loves to read, and is an avid fan of the Outlander books and TV series.  She says judging complements her joy of cats and she cherishes her friendships with cat-lovers around the world.

No photo available Chris Unangst
Region: GL

I have been an approved allbreed judge for The International Cat Association (TICA) since 2001 and  have been involved in the cat fancy since 1989. 

I basically grew up in TICA as I was only 14 when I started to show cats. My father started breeding Burmese and Bombays. Within a few years I started to breed American Shorthairs and Exotic Shorthairs, with my father, under my cattery name of Chrischat. 

At that point in time I made the decision to become a judge.  It was something I knew I wanted to do almost from the start of my showing. I was very fortunate to have some great mentors along the way. 

My judging has taken me all over the world. I have had the privilege to judge over 400 cat shows traveling within the US, Canada, England, Brazil and all over Europe. I truly have friends and “family” around the world. 

I have bred American Shorthairs, Exotic Shorthairs, Tonkinese, Burmese and Bombays. I have had many breeds over the years but some of my favorites are my rescues I have gotten from shelters and shown alongside my pedigree cats. 

I currently share my home with a Tonkinese, 2 Exotic Shorthairs, a handful of rescues and one very spoiled Cornish Rex. I am not currently breeding cats due to space limitations in my home but I hope to, in the future, have the chance to breed Cornish Rex. 

In my “real life” I have an office job that gets me out of the house in addition to being the editor of TICA’s yearbook which showcases our regional and international winners each year. 

Things I enjoy not related to cats…well that list is a bit short. I like to read, do needlepoint, and do random crafting projects such as scrapbooking. But my favorite thing is to just sit and enjoy my furry four legged children!

No photo available Monika Dany
Region: ES

My cat fancy life started in 1990 in Austria at a Fife show - as that was all we had at that time – when I started showing my blue British Shorthair neuter. Soon I was asked to help out as a steward which in Fife than was the one handling the cats that were up for judgement – turned out that was a great way to learn a lot about all the breeds. 

In 1993 I started breeding British Shorthairs and still do. 

When I was clerking at my first TICA show 1996 – the first TICA show in Austria and the first I ever attended – I had a hard time just putting up numbers and marking the catalogue and not being allowed to touch any cats. So the obvious decision was I need to become a judge so I may again touch all the cats. 

Pam Barrett agreed to be my Albreed sponsor and 2002 I got my first judges license - the rest is history.

For a living I am an engineer planning heating, plumbing, cooling and ventilation for buildings of all kind. I am interested in homeopathy and like to do creative crafts though the cats leave little room for that and kind of limit my projects to things that are useful for them.

No photo available Francine Hicks
Region: NE

We always had cats growing up.  Always household pets. 

My sister, Donna Madison, took me to my first cat show when I was 16.  I was amazed by all the different cats but fell in love with the silver American Shorthair.  I swore that when I got my first place, this would be the cat for me. 

As it turns out, my first cat was Sugar.  A solid white domestic shorthair.  My 2nd cat was a domestic cat also, this time a blue with beautiful green eyes.  

When my husband and I returned from living in Sicily, we moved to Brunswick, Maine. Donna called me from a show and told me about these cats that looked like little ocelots.   Soon thereafter, she came to my house with my first purebred cat, a  beautiful chocolate spotted Ocicat.  He was certainly the most exotic cat I had ever seen.  

After some research we found a suitable female and began a breeding program.  We bred specialized in silvers for many years. 

I stated showing in TICA in 1995.   I was persuaded to clerk at one of the shows and was mortified at having to speak on the microphone.  This is very hard to believe for anyone that knows me.  I clerked for years and then found the master clerk position.  I loved master clerking and going to the shows.  

I envied the judges at the show. They got to handle all the cats in the show and it looked like the best job in the world.  I became a judge in 2002.  It is the best job in the world.  I have enjoyed meeting so many people and going to so many places that I never thought I would visit.  

I've been privileged to share my home with an Oriental Longhair, Sphynx and a Balinese and have shown all these cats including a Maine Coon.  I was Northeast regional director for 6 years.  I am a founding member of Nauticats cat club and we host shows in Maine, Montreal, Quebec and Sherbrooke. 

I love judging cats and I am truly blessed to have the best job in the world!

No photo available Harley Devilbiss
Region: SC

I came to the cat fancy through my parents.  They needed a new hobby after following my brother and I around for sports in college.  My parents were also both college athletes and so also had a competitive drive.  They enjoyed a great time showing cats and made many new friends and “family” members through the cat world.  I wanted to support them in their hobby, since they supported my brother and I in our hobbies. 

I had raised animals in 4-H so it was not a stretch for me to show cats.  I enjoyed the camaraderie in the cat fancy as well and have been fortunate enough to enjoy many friendships around the world.  Since 2003, I have judged over 66,000 cats; flown almost 1.1 million miles; driven another 50,000 miles; been on over 1000 airplanes; and I have been away on the road for almost 860 days – that’s 2 ¼ years – WOW! 

Outside of breeding/showing/judging cats, I am an avid sports fan – specifically college sports – and even more specific – Texas A&M.  I have also followed my dad’s footsteps, and I have coached youth football teams for the past 8 years.  My first players are starting their college careers now with many more behind them hopefully vying for college scholarships as well.  I love continuing to be a mentor to them as they grow and develop into great young men.

No photo available Elaine Hawksworth-Weitz
Region: NW

Elaine has been judging since 2005. She has judged in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, France, Austria, Denmark, United Kingdom, Japan, China, Australia, Belarus, and Russia.

In addition to being an Approved Allbreed judge, Elaine was TICA’s Entry Clerk Administrator from its inception through April 2017. She has conducted numerous TICA seminars including Ring Clerking and Entry Clerking schools, and breed seminars. Elaine is currently serving on the TICA Maine Coon Breed Committee, and served additional 10 years prior to the current term. She is also involved with TICA University.

She, and her husband, Fred, bred Maine Coon cats from 1994 to 2011 under the cattery name “SmokeyCoons”. During their 20+ years of working with Maine Coons, they obtained special recognition for 1 outstanding sire, 2 outstanding dams, and 2 Lifetime Achievement awards.

Elaine has shown Maine Coons, an Oriental Shorthair, Himalayan, Exotic Shorthair and Household Pet to regional wins, and has achieved International titles for 6 cats including 4 Maine Coons, a Himalayan, and a Household Pet Kitten.
When Elaine isn’t judging or showing cats, she enjoys playing the piano, gardening, knitting, crocheting, and watching their 1,200+ DVD and BluRay movies.

Elaine has an MBA with a Higher Education specialty certificate from City University and is a Certified Construction Associate through the National Association of Women in Construction. She recently retired from “work” so she could concentrate her efforts in the love and protection of the domestic cat.

No photo available Hisae Tasaki
Region: AA

From the time I was born, cats lived in my house.

In Japanese, ‘Nyan' is the sound a cat makes and 'Wan' the sound of a dog. In Japan, Feb.22nd (02/22) is day of Cats. “Nyan Nyan Nyan” My birthday is Feb.21st (02/21). “Nyan Nyan Wan” Now, I have 28 cats and two dogs (Chihuahuas).

I started breeding American Shorthairs in 1983 and became a TICA  Life Member in 1993. I started breeding Norwegian Forest Cats in 1993 with an imported Norwegian Forest Cat from the United States.

From 1995 to 2000, I showed in CFA. In those days, American Shorthairs had over 30 cats entered in every CFA show. In the
1998-1999 show season, my American Shorthair was 3rd Best American Shorthair and Best American Shorthair in Japan. Each year I went to the CFA International Show.

In TICA I also bred American Shorthairs and Norwegian Forest Cats.  From 2000 onwards Norwegian Forest Cats had over 30 entries in Japan's TICA shows.  In 2002 I achieved my goal of breeding a Norwegian Forest Cat who was International Best Norwegian Forest Cat in TICA.  

I entered the TICA juding program in 2003.  My first training teacher was Mrs. Nancy Parkinson at a show in Green Bay, Wisconsin in the U.S.A.

I remember Mrs. Nancy's first instruction:  “When you open the cage, you call out to the cat. So the voice makes the cat feel at home.”

 Even now, I say “Hello”  “How are you ? ”  “Are you fine ? "   I like talking with cats.  Cats understanding me.

My sponsor is Chieko Ohira. As you know, She served as Asia Regional Director for a long time. So when she went foreign countries (Europe, U.S.A., Canada, Asia) I went with her as her  private secretary. People always asked “Are you mother and daughter ? “

From 2011 through 2013 I also served as TICA's Asia regional director.

Mr. Yukimasa Hattori is also popular across the world and I went with him to Europe and U.S.A.

I became a TICA specialty judge in 2005 and an allbreed judge in 2008.

In 2007 I helped form the Cats Paradise Party club and serves as club president.

Luckily, I have a lot of friends all over the world. Truly, I am deeply grateful to my teachers.

I’m fortunate to judge beautiful and sweet cats.  I try to do so with sincerity not forgetting my original intentions.

My hobbies are karaoke and playing golf.  I have also produced four CDs.  I like to sing.  But for now my favorite hobby is playing and talking with cats!

No photo available Vlada Beninya
Region: EN

Vlada is an allbreed judge living in Russia.  She has been a TICA licensed judge since 2006.

She has worked with Maine Coons and the Persian breed group.

No photo available Alexandra Chisholm
Region: SW

I have always been involved in animals, particularly horses. 

About 25 years ago, I started off in Andalusian horses and bought my first young filly and stud colt.  While waiting for them to grow up I dabbled in breeding Rottweilers, but decided that puppies were way too intensive in work and training.  So only did breeding for about 3 years.  

After getting out of the dogs, I saw an ad in the Las Cruces, NM paper for a breed of cat called Ocicats.  On a lark, and to assuage my curiousity, my husband and I went and visited the breeder.  

We walked away with a breeding pair, knowing nothing about cats (except good conformation).  The rest is history.  I was extremely lucky in that the male I bought was outstanding and the female OK.  

We slowly started showing while in NM and continued to do so when we moved to CA.  

I kept active in the horse breeding, but the cats slowly took over as my main hobby.  

As I showed more and more, moved into clerking and master clerking, it just became a natural move to become a judge.  I have to confess it was my way of being able to handle all breeds, but not have to take them home with me.  

I have continued to stay active in several clubs and put on 2 to 3 shows directly per year.  I continue to show my Ocicats, though not quite as much.  I still have a lot of my horses, but showing them fell by the wayside.  Sigh.  

I have also moved into representing the SW Region by becoming a Regional Director.

No photo available Rene Knapp
Region: SE

Cats have always been an important part of my life.  In 1994 my husband Clint and I started a cat rescue organization, Helping Paws, which continues to exist today.  One weekend, on a whim, we entered one of our little rescues in a TICA cat show. That weekend completely changed our lives.

As we continued to get involved in the wonderful world of cats, we began to put on cat shows as fundraisers for our rescue cats. I found myself drawn to the people who made up the cat fancy and the cats who made up the people. I began to do cat behavior for the exhibitors and learning about the different breeds. We fell in love with the Abyssinians and added them into our lives.

Clint and I truly loved every cat that came into our lives, whether as a permanent resident or a guest waiting for their forever home. We produced a TV show, I wrote a pet column for a local newspaper and we also started breeding and showing our Abys. And I knew that the next goal in my life was to become a judge.

In 2006 I proudly judged my first TICA show in the Northeast region. Today, as an approved allbreed judge, I have the honor of being on the judging slate for the 2018 TICA annual.

Even my free time is taken up with cat hobbies. I have written and published two wonderful cat books and enjoy growing and sewing special catnip flings to share with cats all around the world.

No photo available Phillipa Holmes
Region: EW

Phillipa grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, as a student she moved to London, England to study Dentistry. She moved to the south coast on qualifying and has remained there since it is warmer.

She bought her first two pedigree cats a Maine Coon and a Norwegian Forest Cat in 1987. She had her first litter of MCs in 1988 and her prefix is NORACOON. Showing lead to show management and the judging program – qualifying in 2000. It also meant work on various club and breed committees, not least of which was as Treasurer of the National Cat Club ( the oldest known CC in the world ), all this was within GCCF. 

In 2006 she bought a MC from Mainlysilver and whilst he was fulfilling his requirements for entry into the UK he was shown. He did rather well. So his breeder requested he was shown at least once in TICA in the UK. Phillipa did this and very soon became hooked on the new judging system. This in turn lead to clerking, master-clerking, show management and a judging licence in TICA (2009). Attaining the level of Ring and School instructor in 2017. She sits on the MC breed committee and still runs one or two shows a year.

Phillipa is now retired, and has time to indulge her passions of travel and judging. She still breeds her cats but in a small way. She’s very pleased to have found TICA and is always thankful for the opportunities it has given her.

No photo available Brenda Russo
Region: MA

Brenda Russo is Vice President and Director of Marketing and Business Development for Russo Financial Group, Royersford, PA. She is a graduate of Albright College where she received a BA in Fine Arts & Interior Design. She has served on several boards, including The Camp Fire USA. After college and working in the design field for several years, Brenda acquired her ASID license and owned an interior design firm before marrying. She continued in the design field lecturing at Albright College while raising her family.

While visiting a local cat show, Brenda became intrigued with the organization and soon after bought her first Abyssinian. To say she became smitten by the cat fancy would be an understatement.  She became passionate with regards to the Abyssinian breed and has remained active and enthusiastic throughout the years. She has served as Abyssinian breed chair /committee and is currently serving as co-chair with Carlos Lopez.  

After being involved with the cat fancy for over 20 years, moving towards the TICA’s judging program was a natural progression for Brenda. TICA, the cat fancy in general, and her love for felines has been a very important part of her life and she has continued to dedicate her energy to an organization she believes in so intensely.   

In her free time, Brenda enjoys cooking, golf, tennis and spending time at the beach with family and friends.   She currently lives in Wyomissing, PA with her husband, Tony and their beloved furry family.