Dear USJA Members,
Recently Mark Tamulonis, our Treasurer resigned due to greater demands in his personal career and then within the same week but unrelated, Paul (Bob) Rush unexpectedly resigned as USJA President due to personal obligations. Within days, I was nominated and voted unanimously by the Board of Directors to move from the seat of Vice-President to President for the remaining term. It has been a whirlwind to get situated, review the open projects, identify new ones that can help our Organization and formally greet our membership as the newly appointed President of USJA.
First and foremost, I would like to thank our Lifetime Members, our Annual Members and our Coaches who have supported our Organization throughout this pandemic year of COVID lockdowns across the county. Our members deserve recognition and deserve to be heard. The USJA has always been a membership-based Organization and it is my honor to now serve as President to help our Organization grow. I know first-hand the struggles that many of us have experienced in personal and professional lives to stay afloat, keep dojos open and stay connected with our families and students throughout this year. Please know that we are in this together and I will do my best with your support, to help the USJA become stronger and more efficient for everyone!
I would also like to express sincere thanks to our outgoing President, Paul (Bob) Rush, for his time and contributions to the USJA along with the other Board Members who have worked overtime serving and protecting our Organization during this difficult time. Thank you to those of you who have reached out to our main office and have spoken with our Board Members. We hear you and want to hear from your more!
I will keep my greeting short but look forward to updating you often as we develop and proceed with these projects listed below that are in the works and on the horizon:
- Revive the USJA newsletter with current events and highlights of our members and dojos.
- Membership communication to help coaches and athletes navigate COVID-related issues pertaining to judo.
- Updates on USJA committees and accomplishments.
- Differentiated resource support for members running for-profit dojos and non-profit dojos.
- Establish and communicate our annual budget. Grow our endowment fund and athlete development fund.
- Upgrades to our member experience on our website and member portal.
- Lifetime membership specials.
- In the planning stages: virtual coach’s clinic and a virtual referee clinic – date and time TBA.
- USJA will not miss a year! We will be hosting the 2021 USJA/USJF Summer Nationalsin Florida–date and time TBA.
I also encourage our members to check out these events already on our calendar:
- Kosen Tournament, hosted by Shoshikan Martial Arts, May 1, 2021 in Las Vegas Nevada.
- The Greatest Camp on Earth 2021 hosted by the Carolinas American Judo Association, June 24-26, 2021 in Mathhew, NC.
The USJA has gone through some recent changes but I want you to know I am here to listen to your ideas and concerns, and I am willing to do all I can to ensure our Organization continues to work hard for you and for the great art and sport of Judo. Greatness awaits!
With humble resolve,
3x USA Judo Olympian