Mark Hannon
CFA Persian Breed Council Secretary 2001-2002

Published May 2001

Lee kindly asked me to submit some information about myself for the readers of I'd like to let you know a bit about my history and also what you can expect from me as the incoming Persian Breed Council Secretary.

I registered the Marcus cattery with CFA in 1973. I have also worked under the Bajonga cattery name. I began in 1973 with shorthairs and for a variety of reasons I soon wound up breeding Exotics. My first grand and my first regional win were with Havana Browns (1974 & 1975) and in 1977 I had bred an Exotic who achieved the win of 6th Best Cat in the region. The following year I exhibited an Exotic who was 6th Best Cat nationally. My work with Exotics naturally led me to work with Persians. In 1980 I showed my first Persian to a national win.

Since 1978 I have had nationally ranked cats almost every year. Over the years that has included CFA's Best Cat in Premiership (1991), CFA's Best Cat in Championship (1992) and CFA's Best Kitten (1999). All three of those cats were Persians. While I still work with Exotics, the Persian is the main focus of my breeding program.

One of the best known cats that I have exhibited is GC, NW Mystichill Mighty High, also known as "Sissy." This lovely bluecream was CFA's 3rd Best Kitten, CFA's 3rd Best Cat, and CFA's Best Cat in Premiership. She is the first, and perhaps only, Particolor Persian to achieve national wins in all three competitive categories.

The best known cat of my own breeding is GC, RW Marcus Roxanne of Anz, DM. This lovely calico is the dam of 19 grands and is the Persian female with the most grand offspring. Many of you probably read her story right here at two months ago. She has produced a long line of healthy, show quality cats.

Exhibiting has taken me to many areas of the country and I have gotten to meet breeders from areas quite far from my own. While I live in suburban Washington, DC, and exhibit primarily in the mid-Atlantic area, I am often on the road to more distant regions.

I have been active in CFA in many areas besides breeding and exhibiting. I am proud to have served on CFA's Executive Board for twelve years, four years as a Regional Director and eight years as a Director At Large. That has given me a good understanding of what the Board expects from the breed councils.

I have served on many of CFA's committees, both as a Board member and as a non-Board member. I chaired the Publications Committee, the Show Rules Committee, and the CFA International Cat Show Committee. I have also served as a member of the Budget Committee and on a number of other committees. Today I am once again serving as the chairman of the CFA International Cat Show Committee.

I have worked on many, many cat shows over the years, serving in just about every position. I have served as show manager for several of the CFA International Cat Shows with 1200 or more entries. I was a member of the original show committee for the National Capital Cat Show and I have served on the show committee for every one of their many successful shows. I have also worked on many other shows, from small back-to-back shows to larger shows.

So, my background in CFA is as a breeder, an exhibitor, and as a Board member and committee member. I have gotten a lot from CFA over the years, but I have also given back to the cat fancy over the years.

Even before assuming the office of Breed Council Secretary, I have been hard at work on behalf of our breed. At the June, 2000, meeting of the Breed Council Linda Mercer and I offered to design a web site for the breed council. That web site went into production in November, 2000, and includes some very interesting and useful information. Please take some time to visit the site: if you haven't already done so. My thanks to Linda for all the effort she put into it and continues to put into it.

At the CFA International Cat Show each year, the Breed Councils provide a display for the public which provides information on their breeds. The Persian has not had such a display for a number of years. The Persian is the largest breed in CFA and I thought we should have a display so I contacted our Breed Council Secretary, Sue Helmke, and volunteered to provide a display for the 2000 show. I funded this "booth" myself and was quite pleased with the final results. My thanks to the many who helped bring this booth to fruition.

Some of you may wonder where I stand on the "purity" issue as it affects our breed. While I have been working with Exotics for a number of years, I consider myself a purist. I have no desire to see the two breeds merge, nor do I personally support the move of longhair Exotics into the championship class, either as a division of the Exotic or as a competitive class of the Persian. On the other hand, I do not support cutting off the ability of the Exotic breeders to use Persians in their breeding program. I know from first-hand experience what a contribution the Persian makes to the Exotics.

I have also heard a rumor that I want to remove the Himalayan from the Persian breed. There is no foundation for such a rumor. I realize that to remove the Himalayan would require the support of 60% of those voting in our annual poll before the Board could even entertain such an idea and I have no plan to work to that end. As far as I am concerned, the Himalayan is a part of our breed and will continue to be so.

While those are my personal stands, they in no way should affect how I serve as Breed Council Secretary. Every Breed Council Secretary has their own views, that is only natural; however, that does not mean I will work to silence opposing points of view. I see one of my roles a Secretary to be a facilitator. My job is to understand CFA's rules and processes and to help you to do that as well. If you wish to see a change made to the current standard, I will work with you to help you get the change on our annual poll and to see that it is worded correctly and in such a way that your concept is understood by those who vote on our poll. I will do my best in my role as Secretary to remain neutral and to help you, regardless of your views, to express your ideas so that they are understood by our members. I want to insure that those voting on our poll understand your idea and that they vote on that, not on a misconception. I also want to insure that if we should pass an item by 60% that it is not tossed out by the Board on a technicality.

I hope that the above gives you an idea of who I am, what my background is, and what I plan to do as Breed Council Secretary.

If you have any questions, please send me an email and I will try to get back to you right away. My email address is:

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