Board of Directors 

Rahul Bawa rbawa@usankf.org (Cincinnati, Ohio) – Chair and Independent Director (term ends 12/31/2022)
Sasha Gerritson (Glenview, Illinois) - At-Large Director (term ends 12/31/2022)
Pat Hickey (Stow, Ohio) - Affiliate Director (term ends 12/31/2024)
Brian Mertel (Palatine, Illinois) - Athlete Director (term ends 12/31/2022)
Tom Scott (Plano, Texas) – Athlete Director (term ends 12/31/2024)
Matthew Ralph (Dallas, Texas) - Independent Director (term ends 12/31/2022)
Brian Ramrup (Richmond Hills, New York) - USOPC AAC Rep (term ends 12/31/2024)
Elisa Au (Glenview, Illinois) – USOPC Alternate AAC Rep (term ends 12/31/2024 – non voting)
Mike Donadio (Tampa, Florida) – Independent Director (term ends 12/31/2024)
TBD – Approved Sports Organization Director (term ends 12/31/2024)

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Board of Directors Biographies

Rahul Bawa (Cincinnati, OH) - Chair and Independent Director  (term ends 12/31/2022)

Rahul Bawa is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of PowerIT Solutions, a Cincinnati-based consulting organization that provides strategic business growth and technology consulting.

 

Mr. Bawa has over 30 years of Executive Management experience in a variety of leadership positions.  His leadership experience spans multiple industries including technology (CEO of eMerge Health Solutions, Technical Lead at IBM); financial services (Chief Information Officer at Axcess Financial, Vice President of eBusiness at Fifth Third Bank), venture capital (Chief Operating Officer at Blue Chip Venture Company, Director of Digital and Software Investments at CincyTech), airlines (Manager at United Airlines) and consulting (CEO of PowerIT Solutions, Vice President at Xpedior).

 

In addition to his role as Independent Director at USA Karate, Mr. Bawa also serves on a variety of other non-profit Boards including being a member of the Board of The Circuit, the Information Technology association of Greater Cincinnati and member of the Technology Committee of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation.  Previously, Mr. Bawa was Chairman of Pipeline H2O (water-technology accelerator) and Chairman of The Hamilton Mill (clean-tech and advanced manufacturing incubator).

 

Mr. Bawa is also a mentor to various startup companies across the United States.

Sasha Gerritson (Glenview, IL) – At-Large Director (term ends 12/31/2022)

Sasha Gerritson is professor at Northeastern Illinois University, where she directs the opera and music theatre program, as well as managing the recruitment and scholarship programs. An expert in nonprofit management, Ms. Gerritson specializes in long-term strategic planning, board development and individual and foundation giving and fundraising. For USA Karate, Ms. Gerritson has served as the chair of the Ethics committee, assistant for para-karate program and as a member of the fundraising committee. She has participated in karate as an athlete, in addition being the business manager of the North Shore Dojo. Ms. Gerritson also serves as the executive director of the Karate Can Do! Foundation, a group dedicated to making karate accessible to athletes with disabilities.

Pat Hickey (Stow, Ohio) - Affiliate Director (term ends 12/31/2024)

Patrick Hickey has been elected to the USANKF Board by the to fill the position for the Affiliated Organizations. In addition to long-term karate practice, he works as an insurance specialist for public entities including municipalities and school districts assisting with insurance placement and risk management needs.


Brian Mertel (Palatine, IL) – Athlete Director (term ends 12/31/2022)

Brian Mertel has won 10 (9 consecutive) gold medals in the Men’s Sr. Kumite division at the U.S. Nationals and was a long-time member of both the Junior and Senior National Team as an athlete and a coach. Mr. Mertel was a gold medal winner at the 2005 Shotokan World Championships; placed 5th at the 2008 WKF World Championships in Japan; and won a gold medal at the 2009 Pan American Championships. Mr. Mertel has also served as the Athlete Representative to the United States Olympic Committee from 2013-2016 and is currently the alternate representative. Sensei Mertel is a San Dan (3rd Degree Black Belt) and has been training since 1986. He began teaching in 1996, becoming a full-time instructor in 2002. Mr. Mertel brings a great perspective to the board as an Athlete, Coach and Sensei.

Tom Scott (Plano, Texas) – Athlete Director (term ends 12/31/2024)

Coming Soon!

Matthew Ralph (Dallas, Texas) - Independent Director (term ends 12/31/2022)

Coming Soon!

Brian Ramrup (Queens, New York) - USOPC AAC Rep (term ends 12/31/2024)

MBA - Masters of Business Admin 

MS/MS - Dual Masters of Science - Exercise Science and Nutrition

World / Pan American Medalist; National Team Member 2006-2022

4th Degree Shotokan Black Belt

 

Business strategist well versed in the startup realm, event management and sports performance. Excels at problem solving, communication, goal setting and agile thinking. Became an athlete rep on the board with the goals of increasing communication from the athlete base to the decision-making process in the federation, making sure all athletes felt their voice was heard and to bring my views on how to make this federation better on all levels. Serves on various committees within USA Karate including USA Karate's AAC as well as working groups within the USOPC AAC.

Elisa Au (Glenview, Illinois) – USOPC Alternate AAC Rep (term ends 12/31/2024 – non voting)

Elisa Au is the alternate USOPC Athlete Advisory Council representative. In addition to her non-voting seat on the board, she is also a member of the WKF Athletes Commission. Elisa is a former USA National Team member and 3x WKF World Champion. In addition to her karate experience, Elisa is a business advisor, working with companies in various industries to achieve their growth and profit goals.

Mike Donadio (Tampa, FL) – Independent Director (term end 12/31/2024)

Michael Donadio is the Associate General Counsel at the United Soccer League, which has become one of the most sophisticated soccer organizations in North America over the past decade and includes professional men’s and women’s soccer leagues as well as pre-professional men’s and women’s soccer properties.  

  

Mr. Donadio was previously an associate attorney at Foley & Lardner LLP where he was a member of the firm’s Business Law Practice Group including the firm’s Sports & Entertainment Industry Team. In that capacity, Mr. Donadio provided legal guidance to professional sports franchises and organizations in various capacities and also had the opportunity to assist USOPC organizations during his time at the firm. In addition, Michael assisted various companies from start-ups to major corporations in terms of general corporate governance/formation and board related issues.  

 

Mr. Donadio is originally from Upstate New York and currently lives in Tampa, Florida with his fiancée, Hayley, and son, Matteo. 

 

TBD – Approved Sports Organization Director (term ends 12/31/2024)

Coming Soon!