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Board members are volunteers whose oversight ensures that the USAF By-Laws and Mission Statement are closely followed. The Board frequently reviews and revises its policies & procedures and engages with the membership to stay current with its needs and perspectives. Board members may serve two consecutive 4 year terms. After a one year hiatus, a Board member may serve additional terms.

Board list updated 2/1/2023

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Committees of the Board & Ad Hoc Committees Include:

Financial Oversight Committee & Human Resources (FOC/HR)

The role of the FOC/HR is to provide oversight of the USAF finances. This includes reviewing financial reports and working with the Director and Assistant to the Director on financial projects, budget reviews and long-term forecasting. The FOC/HR reports its findings to the Board so that sound financial decisions can be made. 

The FOC/HR committee works with the  Board in managing all HR considerations, including annual reviews to determine compensation packages for employees and consultants.


FOC/HR members are: Ray Farinato (Chair), Julia Freedgood, Joe Nemeth, Paul Forhan (advisor), Chris Wong (advisor) and Kim Koenig (advisor)

Nominating Committee 

It is the role of the Nominating Committee to present recommendations to the Board when Board vacancies occur, including the possible re-election of Board members whose first of two terms of service is completed.


Nominating Committee members are: Harvey Konigsberg, Peter Bernath and Laura Pavlick (advisor)

Grievance Committee

USAF members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the principles of aikido and the values of the USAF. The Code of Conduct sets forth the expectations for member responsibility and basic guidelines for member conduct. In addition to the Code of Conduct, procedures are in place to file a formal grievance. 

The USAF does not engage in social media regarding ethics or grievance matters. It does, however, take these matters very seriously. The Grievance Committee reviews and revises these policies on a regular basis.

Grievance Committee members are  Peter Bernath (Chair), George Kennedy, Blue Spruell and Julia Freedgood.

Working Group (WG)

The WG is the only committee that includes members of the USAF who are not Board or TC members, or advisors. The WG was formed to help promote equity and inclusion within the USAF, and approaches all tasks through this lens. The WG assists the USAF with a variety of projects and initiatives as they arise. Since its formation in early 2020, the WG quickly became instrumental in supporting the USAF with meeting the needs of the aikido community as a result of COVID-19. This includes assisting with the weekly Aikido Online Classes, and the DVC series, including providing all pre-production and live technical support.


WG members are: Sharon Dominguez, (Chair) - New York Aikikai, Sylvie Firestone - Aikido of Westchester, Arturo Peal - Aikido of New Orleans, Harvey Konigsberg, Julia Freedgood (board member), and Chris Wong. 


Virtual Aikido Instruction Committee

This committee was formed to help keep the USAF community connected and engaged during COVID-19 through weekly online classes for adults and children. These classes are streamed simultaneously on Facebook live and Zoom, and are available on the USAF Youtube page and this website for easy public access. 

Committee members are: Harvey Konigsberg, Claude Berthiaume, Chris Wong, Sharon Dominguez, Sylvie Firestone, Arturo Peal and Laura Pavlick

Dojo-cho Video Conversations (DVC) Committee

The DVC brings USAF instructors together, offering an opportunity to discuss a variety of topics and share experiences during the pandemic. With group discussions and a supportive environment, these talks help foster community at a time when we are not able to meet in person. 


DVC committee members are: Ray Farinato (Chair), Steve Pimsler, Chris Wong, Karen De Paola, and advisors Sharon Dominguez, Arutro Peal and Sylvie Firestone.

International Aikido Federation (IAF) Representatives

The USAF representatives to the IAF is Charles McGinnis, Aikido of Cincinnati. Sharon Dominguez, New York Aikikai, is the U.S. representative to the IAF's Gender Balance Working Group.

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