The International Kennel Club of Chicago announced today that David Frei has been named the club’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. One of the most recognizable people in the world of purebred dogs, Frei has been seen by millions of viewers since 1990 as the television co-host on NBC and on USA Network of prestigious shows such as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the National Dog Show and the Beverly Hills Dog Show.
“I’m excited to be a part of bringing this iconic dog show back into prominence,” says Frei. “The International was long known for its spectacle and its spectators. Its comeback is important to the tradition and future of dog shows and purebred dogs.”
Frei will continue his television duties for NBC for the National Dog Show and the Beverly Hills Dog Show. He also served as director of communications for Westminster from 2003 to 2015, during which time he was recognized with top awards from the Dog Writers Association of America, World Dog Press Association, Association of Purebred Dog Writers, and Purina. In 2018, he was named to the prestigious Dog Writers Association of America’s Hall of Fame.
“We can’t think of a better person to represent the IKC as it reclaims its position as one of America’s preeminent dog shows,” says IKC President and Principal Scott Pfeil. “We’re thrilled David shares our excitement. Plus he’s a nice guy and true dog person.”
Frei has been involved in dog shows for more than 40 years, first as a breeder-owner-handler of top Afghan Hounds (and later Brittanys and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels), and then as a judge with assignments spanning four continents. His true passion comes from his therapy dog work with his own dogs and as founder and president emeritus of Angel On A Leash, which creates and advocates for therapy dog programs nationwide.
“David combines a true love of dogs with a strong knowledge of purebred dogs, dog shows, marketing and broadcasting,” says Erika Wyatt, IKC Chief Financial Officer and Principal. “He’s already introduced many millions of people to purebred dogs through his hosting of Westminster and the National Dog Show. He’s uniquely positioned to team with us and introduce our sport to millions more through the International Kennel Club.”
The IKC will host its revival shows in January 2023 at Schaumburg Convention Center just outside of Chicago, and in August at McCormick Place in Chicago. Both summer and winter shows will be flanked by two other all-breed shows, creating three-day cluster weekends.