In recent months USA Artistic Swimming (USAAS) leadership has worked to be proactive when it comes to athlete representation. The Board of Directors approved the addition of two new athlete positions to the ensure a minimum of 33.3 percent athlete representation on the Board. “With government about to pass a bill that will require increased athlete representation and the organizations dedication to an athlete first culture the decision was an easy one to make, said CEO Adam Andrasko”.
USAAS went from three athlete representatives to five by adding two General Athlete Representative positions. Those positions were voted on by the USAAS Athlete Executive Council (AEC). 2000 Olympian, Carrie Barton-Garten and 2004 Olympian, Lauren McFall-Gardner were selected from a strong pool of seven candidates. McFall-Gardner who served 10 months as an Independent Director will now transition her athlete experience and professional background to a more athlete focused role on the BOD. Barton-Garten brings her background as a highly successful entrepreneur and talented athlete to help guide USAAS to new heights. USAAS President, Denise Shively stated, “We are pleased to expand our board of directors and committees to include 33.3 percent athlete representation as we continue our athletes first philosophy. Our organization is committed to being leaders focused on athlete safety, well-being and their development as athletes and community members.”
The AEC also elected recently retired National Team athlete, Emma Tchakmakjian to serve as the AEC President. "The implementation of the increased athlete representation on the Board of Directors enhances the intense positive momentum that USAAS has been embodying. By adding more athlete voice and perspective into the conversation, it highlights the commitment that USAAS has to ensure that athletes are at the heart of the decisions going forward. This is incredibly exciting and sets a precedent unlike any before." said Tchakmakjian. Tchakmakjian will assume the role vacated by 2012 and 2016 Olympian Mariya Koroleva. Koroleva served as the AEC President for six years and will continue to support the AEC as the Past President for the next year.
USAAS is striving to be a leader in the artistic swimming and Olympic sport community.