Distinguished university professor, lifetime ARBA judge #386, lifetime ARBA member, esteemed ARBA Standards Committee member, ARBA King, influential lecturer and writer, revered Dutch breeder, and passionate mentor to thousands, we proudly dedicate the 96th ARBA Convention to Dr. Scott Williamson of Fresno, California. Dr. Williamson, or “Doc” as he is affectionately known to many in the ARBA and academic communities, was raised in La Porte, Indiana.
In 1998, after a day of judging and showing rabbits and cavies at a beachside show in Cardiff, California, Kevin Whaley, Randy Shumaker, and Chris Zemny sat down for dinner in San Diego. As a lot of after-show dinners go amongst ARBA friends, reflections of the past, long friendships in the ARBA, where they’d traveled together, and conventions became part of the conversation. The three especially talked about the power and history California has in the rabbit and cavy industry, including past ARBA Conventions in their home state. At that time, Chris was serving as the District 2 ARBA Director, but none of them had ever been directly involved in hosting an ARBA Convention. The three were a bit younger then, and certainly wide-eyed with envy of those local breeders who had the courage and work ethic to take on such an ambition. Wouldn’t you know that by the end of dinner, Kevin, Randy and Chris were determined to coordinate and host an ARBA Convention. In 2001, California Rabbit & Cavy Shows, Inc. hosted the “Rabbit Odyssey”, the ARBA’s 78th ARBA Convention.
With the pride of bearing the torch of such a momentous event, the young CRCS team strived to innovate and offer a convention unlike any in the past. It was in 2001 that the host team introduced an ARBA Convention’s first online entry system, an animated website, and a results book available at check-out morning. In 2009, they were back at it in San Diego