Peter Burchard, former President of USA Fencing, was faraway from his management position only one 12 months into his 4 12 months time period on the October 16 , 2021 Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors through an unscheduled vote on the tail finish of the assembly.
Earlier this 12 months, USA Fencing enacted changes to its leadership and governance structure that noticed the elimination of the membership-elected President position, transitioning it as a substitute right into a Chair of the Board position that’s elected by the Board at massive as a substitute of the final membership. Burchard was transitioned from President to Chair of the Board as part of this course of, retaining the equal position. Simply 6 weeks after this transition, the Board used this similar new governance construction to oust Burchard from the Chair position. He retains a seat on the Board.
Burchard was changed by David Arias, who made an official assertion on the matter on USA Fencing, which can be found here. Arias, who was Treasurer up till his appointment, was changed as Treasurer by Sam Cheris, who was additionally appointed Vice President earlier within the Annual Assembly.
The Annual Assembly didn’t embody this vote on the official minutes, making this a shock vote to many of the membership-at-large. Notably to those that voted Burchard into management, who now have their candidate faraway from energy by administrative motion as a substitute of well-liked vote.
In the course of the assembly, most Board members articulated their reasoning for miniating the vote and for the explanation why they voted to take away Burchard. Throughout these statements, plenty of accusations have been made. Some have been very imprecise, whereas others have been extra particular however unsubstantiated. A number of the allegations have been troubling, however in the end, no public info or proof to again up the allegations was made obtainable about any of the claims made by these members of the Board. This text might be amended if any laborious proof is put into public file by USA Fencing.
Just one Board member – Abdel Salem – selected to vote in opposition to Burchard’s elimination as Chair of the Board. Like Burchard, Salem was additionally a petition candidate who received workplace by well-liked vote.
Throughout the web, reactions to this Board motion appear to be universally damaging. Comments on the USA Fencing Facebook post announcing the change were sharply negative, and as of the publication date, not less than one individual concerned in USA Fencing committees and useful resource teams has reportedly resigned their positions because of this motion.