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USA Fencing Election 2024: Nominating Committee Announces Initial Slate of Board Candidates, Issues Call for Petitions

01/23/2024, 2:45pm CST
By Bryan Wendell

The Committee put forth four candidates for the two elected Board seats and three individuals for the Board-appointed vacant seat. The slate of candidates may still grow as USA Fencing members petition to be added to the ballot.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The future of our Board of Directors took an exciting turn this month as the USA Fencing Nominating Committee announced its slate of candidates for three open Board seats.

First, the Committee put forth three individuals for consideration for the Board-appointed vacant At-Large Director seat:

  • Donald Alperstein

  • Molly Hill*

  • Selina Kaing*

Next, the Committee selected four individuals for the ballot in the 2024 General Election, where voters will choose two At-Large Directors: 

  • Alex Goor*

  • Maria Panyi*

  • Jeffrey Salmon

  • Terris Tiller

If Molly Hill is not appointed to the vacant seat, she will be moved to the ballot for the General Election. If Selina Kaing and/or Donald Alperstein are not appointed, they have requested not to run in the General Election.

The ballot may yet grow, as you’ll see below.

Asterisks indicate that the individual is a graduate of the USA Fencing Leadership Academy. The Nominating Committee gave special consideration to Leadership Academy graduates, noting that individuals who go through that program have a greater understanding of the Board's function and members’ responsibilities. 

That’s especially important because At-Large Directors are the only ones eligible to run for Board Chair.

How Did the Nominating Committee Make Its Decisions?

Here’s a peek behind the scenes. The Committee received 32 nominations for the three Board seats (two elected and one appointed). Two individuals were nominated by friends or colleagues and chose to decline their nomination.

Of the 30 remaining, there were 10 women (33.3%) and seven people of color (23%) — notable numbers as USA Fencing looks to ensure that the Board is as diverse as our membership.

The Nominating Committee used an objective scoring matrix to carefully evaluate each candidate based on the diversity needs of the Board, insights from Boardspan's GAP analysis from July 2023, and the candidates' experience in board, leadership, and committee roles. 

The Committee expressed its satisfaction with the high caliber of the nominees, noting several strong future Board candidates. Individuals who weren’t nominated for this round were encouraged to continue their involvement in USA Fencing committee work, further strengthening their potential for future Board nominations.

The Nominating Committee includes Amanda Nguyen, Kat Holmes OLY, Jackie Dubrovich OLY, Phil Andrews (ex officio) and Terrance Lasker, joined by Susan Belanich and Alice Dungey (Election Committee) and supported by Christina Pachuta (Staff Liaison). It’s worth noting that Molly Hill was previously a member of the Nominating Committee but resigned from that role well before the deadline for Board nominations — removing any potential conflicts of interest.

What Happens Next?

Appointed At-Large Director Seat (1)

One At-Large Director position was recently vacated as a result of the resignation of Ivan Lee.

As required by the USA Fencing Bylaws (Section 7.6: Vacancies on the Board of Directors), this vacancy must be filled through Board appointment. The Board asked the Nominating Committee to solicit and review candidates for this appointed seat.

The Nominating Committee put forth Donald Alperstein, Molly Hill and Selina Kaing for consideration.

Next, the Board is expected to vote on this issue at its meeting on Feb. 17, 2024. 

As outlined in the Bylaws, the appointed individual will complete the balance of the original three-year term, which began Sept. 1, 2023, and will conclude on Aug. 31, 2026. 

Elected At-Large Director Seats (2)

Two At-Large Director seats are up for election. Those seats are currently held by David Arias and Peter Burchard.

The Nominating Committee advanced Alex Goor, Maria Panyi, Jeffrey Salmon and Terris Tiller to the general election. 

But the slate of candidates is not yet final. Next, USA Fencing members will have the opportunity to petition for a spot on the ballot. The petition process is outlined below. 

Here’s what happens next:

  1. Interested members have until March 29, 2024, to gather signatures and file their petition.

  2. The National Office will authenticate petitions and signatures, and the Election Committee will determine whether petitioners will be added to the ballot.

  3. The final ballot will be announced to members by April 15, 2024. 

  4. The election itself will be held May 13 to 27, 2024. 

  5. Winners will be announced May 28.

  6. The two successful candidates will serve four-year terms that will begin Sept. 1, 2024 and conclude on Aug. 31, 2028.

How to Petition Onto the Ballot

The petition process provides an opportunity for members to nominate themselves for the election. To be eligible, candidates must gather at least 50 signatures from voting members in good standing, representing a minimum of 10 separate USA Fencing clubs. 

Petitions must be submitted in original hard copy to the USA Fencing National Office by 5 p.m. MT on March 29, adhering to the specific guidelines outlined in the USA Fencing Bylaws.

For details on the petition process, go here.

Tag(s): Updates  Election 2024  Board Election