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Field of Candidates Set for USA Fencing At-Large Board of Directors Election

04/04/2023, 2:30am CDT
By Bryan Wendell

Now that the 11 candidates are finalized, the power will soon shift to all voting-eligible members — each of whom will have a say in deciding which three of these individuals will earn a coveted seat on the USA Fencing Board of Directors.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The field of candidates is complete. Now the power shifts into the hands of the USA Fencing membership.

We now know the full list of 11 individuals who will stand for three At-Large seats on the USA Fencing Board of Directors.

In January, the USA Fencing Nominating Committee advanced nine nominees to the general election.

Mike Joo (New York City, N.Y.) was one of the nine but chose to withdraw from the election on April 2, 2023, and thus will not appear on the ballot.

With those eight remaining, Board-eligible members of USA Fencing were able to petition for a spot on the ballot by collecting at least 50 signatures from voting-eligible USA Fencing members. 

USA Fencing received three successful petitions by the March 31 deadline. They came from Igor Chirashnya, Andrey Geva and Abdel Salem OLY-Egypt.

Those three individuals join the eight nominees already announced to form your official 2023 ballot. The individuals are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.

  • Donald Alperstein (Denver, Colo.)

  • Igor Chirashnya (San Jose, Calif.)

  • Andrey Geva (Houston, Texas)

  • Selina Kaing (Cupertino, Calif.)

  • Nancy Kirkpatrick (Vandalia, Ohio)

  • Ivan Lee OLY (Cambria Heights, N.Y.)

  • Damien Lehfeldt (Alexandria, Va.)

  • Ann Marsh-Senic OLY (Royal Oak, Mich.)

  • Joanne Pasternack (San Jose, Calif.)

  • Abdel Salem OLY-Egypt (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

  • Richard Weiss (Fairfax, Va.)

Election Timeline and Details

  • April 27, 2023: Candidate Forum on Zoom for one half of candidates (8 p.m. ET)

  • May 9, 2023: Candidate Forum on Zoom for other half of candidates (8 p.m. ET)

  • May 15, 2023: General election opens

  • June 5, 2023: General election closes

  • June 6, 2023: Winners announced

  • June 7, 2023: Onboarding begins for At-Large Directors-elect.

  • Sept. 1, 2023: Terms begin for the newly elected At-Large Directors

Who can vote? 

Any USA Fencing member age 18 or older in good standing as of Feb. 1, 2023, and who belongs to a membership class that includes the right to vote is eligible to vote. Eligible membership classes are Life, Competitive, Collegiate Competitive, Supporting, Access, Olympian Life, Paralympian Life, Life Installment and Coach.

How Will the Election Work?

To determine which of the 11 candidates will be elected into the three open seats, voting will be conducted using a preferential voting system. 

In August of 2020, the USA Fencing Bylaws were amended to change the method of voting in elections to use this style of voting. The system we’ll use is outlined here.

Voters rank the candidates in order of preference, with “1” being the highest (most preferred) ranking. Voters may rank just one candidate or all 11, and their preferences will be tabulated accordingly.

The three candidates who receive the best combined ranking across all ballots will earn seats on the Board.

Getting to Know the Candidates

Beginning April 27, USA Fencing will begin a multichannel effort to introduce voters to candidates, explain how to vote in the election, and make a case to members why they should take the time to vote. 

All 11 candidates will be given an equal opportunity to make their case to members through the following channels:

  • Campaign video: Each candidate will be given the opportunity to create a 60-second campaign video during which they summarize their case for election to members. Each candidate's video will be shared across social media, with the order of sharing to be randomly assigned.

  • One-page platform: Each candidate will be asked to create a one-page summary of their platform. These summaries will be posted on the election website and shared with voting-eligible members by email. 

  • Zoom forums: Each candidate has been invited to participate in one of our two Zoom forums, during which members can hear from candidates and ask questions live.

Members: Make certain that you have a say in the important work of the Board, who represent you, by taking time to learn about these candidates and then to vote in the upcoming election. 

Tag(s): Updates  2023 Election