President’s Letter – 07/23/21

Dear USJA Members,

After a year of postponement, Olympic athletes are finally walking into the Tokyo Stadium for Opening Ceremonies tonight! The USJA is inclusive and welcomes our members in different martial arts both competitive and non-compitive but as a 3x Olympian (’96) (’00) (’04) and President of USJA, I would like to recognize our Judo Olympians in USJA. Thank-you for representing the United States and for being a part of our organization!

Jim Bregman, Bronze (’64)
Jessie Goldstien (’80 DNP),
Craig Agena (’84)
Steven Cohen (‘88)
Lynn Roethke, Silver (’88, ‘92)
Jason Morris, Silver (’88, ’92, ’96, ’00)
Eve Aronoff-Trivella, (’88)
Coleen Rosensteel (’92, ’96, ‘00)
Rhadi Ferguson (’04)

USJA officially wishes our 2020ne US Olympians and Paralympians all the best in their competitions after such a long road to get there. Go for the Gold!

As we all know, COVID, brought many challenges for our members, clubs, and USJA. It is great to see how many members have been able to return to judo as well as the return of judo competition. With things getting back to normal, USJA is pleased to announce more opportunities for judoka to get together and train and compete. The next two National Training Sessions for ages 13 yrs+ (intermediate and advanced players) will be held at Kokushikai Judo Academy, in Fair Lawn, NJ on July 30 and August 27. There is no fee for USJA members!

Players also have the opportunity to compete in our National tournament! Register now at for the USJA/USJF Nationals being held on September 4-5, 2021 in Cape Coral, Florida. Age and weight categories are offers for all ranks. This will be a USA judo point event for juniors and seniors. We want to thank co-directors, John Paccione and Michael Hall for working together to put this event on!

I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Tammy Hemingway, Mac Reagan, and Aniva Roman, who stepped up earlier this year to fill vacancies left on the USJA board. They and the rest of the board has put in countless hours of volunteer, unpaid service in order to ensure UJSA overcomes the negative impacts of COVID as well as is responsive to the needs and wished of its members. We are in the midst of renegotiating our insurance for our members as our main carrier no longer covers judo for any US organizations. A new carrier has been identified and we are working closely with our USJA insurance broker to provide continuous coverage and protection for our members.

Welcome to all of our new USJA Lifetime Members who joined over the July 4th event. Thank-you for your understanding for those of you who did not receive the information the first go around but were able to take advantage of the opportunity to join at a discounted rate!

The close of nominations for individuals seeking to run for one of the five open board positions is July 31st. I would like to commend the 27 people who currently are in the process of seeking to be nominated and the 12 individuals who have crossed the 100 mark of nominations as of today!

Due to our financial standing and efficiency of voting, the Board of Directors recently made the decision to provide an option in our Bylaws to choose online voting for elections instead of printing and mailing ballots which was deemed to be cost prohibitive. Electronic balloting is far cheaper than mailing out ballots, not to mention more environmentally friendly, convenient, and efficient. To preserve the integrity and confidence of online voting, the Board has reviewed bids of three different online companies and has chosen American Elections as our independent vendor at the cost of $500 to provide confidential, secure online voting for our organization. (They are the same vendor that has conducted elections for USA Judo as well.) Active USJA members, 17 years and older, will be sent a secure electronic ballot directly to their personal email on file in the USJA data base. Announcement of the voting timeline will be announced in coordination with our Treasurer, Tamara Hemingway and our Election Committee Chairperson, Michael Goldsmith and be posted on our website and social media. We are taking great effort to ensure that active members in the data base who are not tech savvy are contacted to be given the opportunity to update their information if there is no email on file for them. I want to personally ensure all of our members that the Board’s decision of 6-0 to use an independent elections vendor was done to address the many concerns you, our members, have raised about the elections being fair for everyone. It is wonderful that so many members are excited about our upcoming elections and we are looking forward to the professional service provided by American Elections.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Marshall Coffman on his recent promotion to Rokudan during the last USJA Promotion Committee meeting. Please contact Donna Turk, our Promotion Committee Chairperson for any promotion questions.

Celita Schutz
President, USJA

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