USA Karate updates key governance processes and policies to best serve its athletes and members
by USA Karate
Key among the reforms is moving towards a best practice that the board chair is elected from among the board’s independent members
Colorado Springs, Colo. (August 10, 2021) – The USA National Karate-do Federation (USA Karate) announced today a series of organizational and governance updates that will enable the organization to better serve athletes and members. In coordination with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, USA Karate has spent the last several months updating its governance structure, including adjusting the composition of the board to bring independence and additional athlete representation, and refining policies and procedures to comply with the latest SafeSport Code and best practices identified by the USOPC.
USA Karate’s board of directors will remain at 9 members and include 3 athlete representatives, up from the current 2. After an election to fill expiring or newly-created board seats later this year, the full composition of the board will be 3 athletes, 3 Independents, one Approved Sports Organization, one At- Large and one Affiliate Organization representative.
Additionally, in line with governance best practices highlighted by the USOPC’s review, USA Karate’s board of directors elected a board chair from among the board of director’s independent members. Therefore, John DiPasquale, a non-independent director has stepped down from his volunteer position as chair but remains on the board of directors. Rahul Bawa, an independent director will assume the duties of interim chair while a formal election process is undertaken for new board members to replace the members whose terms have expired, and a chair can be selected from the full, new board.
“It was an honor to serve as chair of USA Karate’s board of directors. I fully support these changes and the need for an independent chair to help lead our organization,” said DiPasquale. “I’m grateful to Rahul for being willing to step into this volunteer role on an interim basis and look forward to supporting him as we put the resources in place to support our incredible athletes and members.”
Bawa is the founder and chief executive officer of PowerIT Solutions, a Cincinnati-based consulting organization that provides strategic business and technology consulting. He has more than 30 years of executive management experience, including senior roles in the technology, financial services, and airline industries.
In addition to his new role as interim chair at USA Karate, Mr. Bawa also serves on a variety of other non- profit boards including as chair of WaterStep, a non-profit focused on empowering people around the world to save lives by having access to safe water and board member of The Circuit, the Information Technology association of Greater Cincinnati, Previously, Mr. Bawa was chair and co-founder of Pipeline H2O (water-technology accelerator) and chair of The Hamilton Mill (clean-tech and advanced manufacturing incubator).
“I’m pleased to step into this role and support USA Karate during this transition,” said Bawa. “Serving on the board of USA Karate, and now leading that board, is a true honor and a responsibility I don’t take lightly. I’m hopeful that my experience across various industries can help USA Karate continue to empower our athletes and members around the country.”
USA Karate’s updated bylaws are available HERE. Elections to fill the newly-created board seats will occur no later than October 31, 2021.