Laura began her role as Director of Operations in January 2008, and Karen joined as her assistant in 2013. Together, Laura and Karen are responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day management of the USAF and the annual summer camps. They maintain the USAF administrative office and provide support to dojo-cho. They oversee USAF finances, the database and its various components including processing kyu and dan ranks, instructor certifications and annual renewals. As Aikikai liaison, Laura coordinates all dan and shihan applications with Hombu Dojo.
Laura and Karen maintain regular
communication with dojos and members through emails, newsletters, social media and phone calls. They implement a variety of initiatives, most recently a variety of COVID-19 related projects including "Open Office Hours," a monthly Zoom drop-in meeting with instructors and dojo-cho to say hello, answer USAF-related question, and share ideas, and the creation of the new website.
Laura and Karen work closely with Yamada Sensei, the Technical Committee, the Board of Directors and its committees.