Board of Directors Votes to Remove Masters Council
On Saturday, Sept. 30, the USA Weightlifting Board of Directors voted to formally remove the five members of the USA Weightlifting Masters Council from their positions. The five will also be removed from their respective positions on the Technical and Competition Commissions, but may remain as committee members of their respective Weightlifting State Organizations.
This decision came after the five Masters Council members in question formed a competing entity on April 24, 2023 and voted to formally separate from USA Weightlifting on May 19, 2023. These actions created an untenable conflict of interest with their roles on specific USAW committees. The USAW Board acted based on provisions of the USAW Bylaws which allow for removal of committee members with and without cause.
“With respect to and in alignment with USA Weightlifting’s Bylaws, today’s vote to remove the Master’s Council was necessary,” USAW Board of Directors Chair, Jenny Schumacher said. “We are committed to providing our master’s athletes with the highest level of competition, consistent with every other USA Weightlifting national event. We have a passionate masters membership that is fully invested in continuing in the sport for as long as possible. We want to do everything in our power to support them on that journey.”
“Today’s vote reflects a strong commitment from the USAW Board to good governance, free of conflicts of interest,” USA Weightlifting CEO & President Matt Sicchio said. “This is a necessary change for the health of the organization and service to our masters community. We appreciate the passion that the previous Masters Council members brought to their roles and hope they stay engaged as members of USAW.”
New members of the Masters Council will be seated via a series of elections by USAW masters members, the first of which will happen by the end of the 2023 calendar year, and the second of which will happen in conjunction with the 2024 USA Weightlifting Masters National Championships (March 21-24).
USAW’s newly formed Masters Community Task Force, led by staff liaison JP Nicoletta and Board liaison Mike Choi, will now be tasked with providing recommendations for responsibilities and eligibility for the Masters Council elections. New council members will complete the unfinished terms of the removed members, and any further terms will be dictated by the USAW Bylaws.
“We are committed to being more engaged with our masters members and demonstrating to all members of the weightlifting community that they are valued,” USAW Director of Sport Development JP Nicoletta said. “In the coming weeks we’ll be surveying our masters members to collect further feedback and guidance. We’re excited to learn more and share what we find.”
In place of the three unseated Masters Council members who also served on the USAW Technical Commission, USAW will appoint, pursuant to the USAW Bylaws, Category 1 Technical Officials by rank-order invitation. Their appointment is based on points-accumulated, with a requirement that at least one male and one female official be appointed. The replacement of one member on the Competition Commission will be appointed in accordance with the USAW Bylaws. These Technical Commission and Competition Commission appointments will be finalized within the next thirty (30) days.
USA Weightlifting’s mission is to support United States athletes in achieving excellence in Olympic and world competition, and to support, promote and educate a diverse and inclusive community of weightlifting and the use of the barbell in the United States.