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Letter from USA Fencing Executive Director Kris Ekeren: January Membership Wrap-Up

02/11/2015, 6:30pm CST
By Kris Ekeren

Dear USA Fencing Members,

In an effort to provide additional information to our membership, I will be sending out a monthly wrap-up letter to highlight the events of the previous month.

Sports Performance
USA Fencing athletes continued to have great success on the international stage. A few of the January highlights include:

  • Double gold performance at the Paris Men’s Foil World Cup – Race Imboden won the individual gold which was followed by a team gold. Alexander Massialas added an individual bronze.
  • The women’s foil team had an incredible performance at the Gdansk World Cup, bringing home a silver medal in the team competition.
  • Women’s saber added to the January medal count with an individual bronze by Daga Wozniak and a team bronze.

The National Office partnered with the Fencing Officials Commission to kick off the first initiative of the Referee Program Improvement Initiative. Led by Doug Findlay, a team of referee assessors will be working at each NAC to film and provide additional feedback to referees to enhance development of our referees.

Two additional initiatives began in January. A partnership with Fencing in the Schools kicked off with a program that introduced fencing to four Colorado Springs schools. The program is funded with a grant through Proctor and Gamble Team USA Youth Sports Fund.  USA Fencing also hosted a wheelchair fencing clinic at the Salt Lake City NAC, aimed at encouraging veterans to become involved in the sport of fencing.  The clinic was funded by a grant from the Veteran’s Administration and will be replicated in other locations throughout the season.

We welcomed Samantha (Nemecek) Belding to the USA Fencing team. Sam was a Senior World Team member in 2005 and brings great energy and fencing knowledge to the National Office.

The end-of-year campaign wrapped up successfully with many new donors giving to USA Fencing – thank you for your generosity!  Donating to USA Fencing enables athletes to achieve their dreams and the fencing community to unite in growing our sport.  

An early January NAC in Salt Lake City started 2015 off quickly for our events team. In addition, preparations for Junior Olympics in Richmond and an earlier-than-usual Div I Championship have kept us busy. We want to thank all of the divisions who have worked diligently to host and provide information on the JO qualifiers.

A successful Junior Sabre World Cup was held in Phoenix. Thank you to the organizers for hosting a great event.

Regional events continue to grow as we focus our efforts on expanding regional opportunities for all fencers. If you have a question on regional events, please contact Leslie Winckler (, our Regional and Division Manager for assistance.

Financial Status
USA Fencing continues to improve our financial status and we are hopeful that the $1.5 million debt from the previous quad will be erased by the end of this fiscal year. The December 31, 2014 financials show that we are ahead of budget by $100K, a number that we anticipate will shift slightly as we move through the year.

Thank you to the Nominating Committee, chaired by Jimmy Moody, for its work on selecting candidates for the upcoming election. The committee had a challenging task as there were many outstanding candidates.  The Election Committee now begins its work of setting the dates for the election, reviewing petition candidate applications and overseeing the election process.  Election Committee calls are open to the general membership and the information will be posted on our website. The next Board of Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, Feb. 26 in Reno, Nev. And all USA Fencing members are welcome to attend.

At the end of January, USA Fencing had 28,787 members, which is comparable to our January 2014 numbers.  The newly added collegiate competitive membership has grown in popularity as the season has progressed in an effort to keep college-age fencers engaged in the organization.

Marketing and Communications
In addition to the day-to-day operational items, the Marketing and Communications team has begun working on a number of revenue generating programs.

I also want to congratulate the city of Boston on their successful bid to be the U.S. applicant for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Finally, I encourage you to reach out to the National Office if you have additional questions on operations. I’ll also be at the Junior Olympics event in Richmond and the Div I- Championships in Reno and look forward to seeing many of you there!

With best regards –








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